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Scouting the Enemy: Texans Have Some Work Ahead to be Competitive

I went to Houston Texans Training Camp and scouted a team that has plenty of work ahead to become competitive before Sept. 11.

I had the opportunity to view a Houston Training Camp practice on Wednesday with Cody M. Davis of the Texans Daily. Like most in the preseason, Lovie Smith's team is a work in progress. We must note that the Houston offense struggled, and the defense shined in the camp session. Let's dive in!

Lovie Smith

THE QUARTERBACKS IN DRILLS

Smith and the Houston brass decided to focus their attention on second-year signal caller Davis Mills to run the Texans' offense this season. At practice, the Houston offense was inconsistent, with Mills, Allen, and Driskel taking the snaps. Mills didn't sustain drives, and several of his passes were off target.

For example, he had a stretch in 7-on-7 drills by passing for 3-of-7 completions. Most of his passes weren't down the field, but either swing, screen, or intermediate throws.

I wanted to get Coty Davis' impressions of Mills. "How he finished the 2021 campaign, I saw a lot of promise, development, and growth in Davis Mills," Davis said.

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BETTER QB PLAY IN 11-on-11s

In the 11-on-11 drills, he and the backup quarterbacks had better success. Mills connected to TE Jordan (20 yards), FB Janovich (10 yards), and WR Cooks (12-15 yards). He followed up by overthrowing Cooks, a sack, and a check down to a running back. His last pass was a 30-yard beauty to Brandin Cooks along the left sideline.

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"I would like to say the first half of training camp, he [Davis Mills] looked better and more confident. The last five days of training camp, he had two good days to so-so days, and one terrible day. And that one terrible day was on Wednesday," Davis noted.

Kyle Allen tossed two touchdowns, and Jeff Driskel had an up and down performance in the 11-on-11s.

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In the red zone drills, the defensive back mostly shut down the quarterbacks, but WR Nico Collins bodied off a corner to snag a 15-yard touchdown from Allen. Allen had an interception and another touchdown to WR Johnny Johnson III.

If I had to summarize the complete session with the special teams unit, the Texans need some offensive help. Pep Hamilton has decent receivers to coach with Brandon Cooks, Nico Collins (who may emerge as a star player), and Phillip Dorsett. Lovie Smith's defense no longer has a household name like J.J. Watt, but Derek Stingley Jr. is primed to be the name to remember.

"He's a great player, and he's going to help us win a lot of football games," Smith said after practice this week.

Another concern was in the interior of the Houston Texans' offensive line. The defensive tackles kept the pressure on the quarterback on most plays.

Preseason is when head coaches will evaluate the execution of the team, players, and staff. Lovie Smith and Dennis Allen are on their second stints as NFL head coaches. While it's not a regular season contest, you have to believe each wants to win coming out of the gate in this preseason opener.