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Good Vibes: Texans OTAs

Here are some notes from OTAs on Thursday.

- Head Coach Gary Kubiak said the door remains open for recently departed rookie wide receiver Dwight Jones. He is still currently listed on the Texans roster but only time will tell if Jones will return after leaving in the middle of OTAs.

- Kubiak feels the competition on the field is the best it has ever been. He also feels Antoine Caldwell is coming along nicely and is finally healthy. Derek Newton and Rashad Butler are working exceptionally well, but feels Newton is pushing for a starting spot in his second season as a professional. Biggest points for Newton are speed and strength but he is still learning the game. Kubiak was quick to say that Newton will be a starter at one point, once he learns all the fronts and assignments.

- Coaches feel Whitney Mercilus is more athletic than expected and he is doing some good things on defense and special teams. Mercilus feels that he is learning so much in his first two weeks with the Texans and is improving his techniques with coaching. He is also using Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed as tools for his learning and looks up to the guys in front of him.

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- Jared Crick is using the veterans for learning too. He is asking Antonio Smith, J.J. Watt and Shaun Cody for advice. He feels very fortunate to have those guys to lean on both on the field and in the meeting rooms.

- According to Nick Scurfield, today was the first day kickers kicked in front of the team. Rookie kicker Randy Bullock went 6/6 while veteran Shayne Graham went 4/6.

- Kevin Walter is helping out rookie wide receivers with their questions and is really impressed with DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin. Walter said he also sees why the Texans drafted the two young wide receivers saying they are fast and pick up on the offense with ease. He also pointed out the job Lestar Jean has done in OTAs and said Jean would have helped out during the 2011 season if he wouldn't have been injured.