11 observations from Texans training camp Day 10 - Saturday under the lights

11 observations from Texans training camp Day 10 - Saturday under the lights
The Texans first preseason game is next Satuday against the Packers. Photo via: HoustonTexans.com

The Houston Texans had their most active practice of training camp on Saturday with a scrimmage atmosphere in front of fans.

1. Texans head coach David Culley was as demonstrative and loud as he has been all camp on Saturday. Culley was exasperated after a pre-snap penalty for the offense. Later, Culley "benched" a player for another player after a false start.

2. Brandin Cooks is regularly unguardable in Texans camp. Cooks had three big plays, one wiped out via penalty, on Saturday. The veteran wideout is a terror for the defensive backs.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was impressive for a good portion of the practice. Taylor's movement will be an asset when the better defenses show up on the schedule. Taylor made very few mistakes on Saturday.

4. The play of the day saw Taylor roll out to his left, chased by defenders, and heave the ball to the end zone. The 35-yard pass ended up in the hands of Brandin Cooks for a score. This was after a penalty had negated a previous Cooks score.

5. The above-mentioned penalized play was a screen to Cooks. Leading the way on the screen: second-year offensive tackle Charlie Heck. Heck had far more good plays than bad plays on Saturday. He's had a solid camp playing tackle and clearly has changed his body composition in the offseason.

6. Heck did allow one speed rush to get past him. The rush came from defensive lineman Jacob Martin. Martin flashed twice in the scrimmage with two sacks. Martin has had a rough camp to this point, so if he could build on Saturday that would go a long way for him.

7. Vincent Taylor and Ross Blacklock caused havoc along the interior of the defensive line. Taylor destroyed a run play. Blacklock had a couple of hurries and a would-be sack. Towards the end of practice, Blacklock started getting extra attention put on him.

8. Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel struggled to be consistent on offense. Mills started his set of reps with a little momentum, but he finished his first set of reps with a pass to nowhere, leading to a field goal. Driskel threw an interception to safety Lonnie Johnson.

9. Plenty of the rookies showed up during the workout. Nico Collins had a nice catch in traffic. Roy Lopez was constantly double- teamed by offensive linemen. Tight end Brevin Jordan had a nice catch on an out-route. Linebacker Garrett Wallow, who is wearing 32 despite being a linebacker, had a freaky pass breakup saving a touchdown. Wallow skied for the ball and batted down a would-be touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to Alex Erickson. Wallow, unfortunately, didn't come down with the interception.

10. Pharaoh Brown and Jordan Akins are the clear leaders at tight end. Each of them had touchdown catches, including a beauty of a strike from Tyrod Taylor to Brown for a touchdown. Akins finds holes in the defense.

11.Deshaun Watson was not at practice yet again.

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Yordan Alvarez is hitting fifth for the American League. Composite Getty Image.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game against Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Burnes is 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA in his first season with the Orioles, who acquired him from Milwaukee just before spring training. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes is an All-Star for the fourth straight season. He will become the fifth Orioles pitcher to start an All-Star Game, the first since Steve Stone in 1980.

Skenes, who made his major league debut on May 11, is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings. The 11 starts for the 21-year-old right-hander will be the fewest for an All-Star and he will become the fifth rookie starter after Dave Stenhouse (1962), Mark Fidrych (1976), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

NL manager Torey Lovullo announced last week he was starting Skenes.

AL manager Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas said Monday he has Steven Kwan of Cleveland hitting leadoff and playing left field, followed by Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson, New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto and center fielder Aaron Judge, Houston designed hitter Yordan Alvarez, Guardians shortstop José Ramírez, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

Ketel Marte bats first and plays second base for the NL, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Milwaukee catcher William Contreras, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm, Dodgers center fielder Teoscar Hernández and San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

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