HOUSTON -- Tyrod Taylor isn't new to this role. He's done it twice before in the past three seasons.
The Texans are hopeful that Taylor can be the guy for the start of the 2021 season. He already understands what David Culley is looking for in a quarterback. He also has practice working with pass-game coordinator Pep Hamilton for his time in Los Angeles.
Maybe this was always meant to happen for Taylor? He certainly thinks the Texans called him for a purpose beyond be just "a guy" on the roster.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Taylor said Friday after Texans practice. “I’ve always said each year is a learning opportunity. Whether it's good or bad, in the offseason you’re able to reflect and ask yourself: ‘How can I become a better player and a better student of the game?’ You factor in all of those things."
Taylor, who signed a one-year contract with a maximum value of $12.5 million, continues to lead the offense in practice. Culley doesn't have a depth chart, but one can gather information on where certain players are in the lineup.
In individuals, Taylor gets first snaps. During seven-on-seven, he's leading the pack of QBs. In team? There's Taylor once more, working behind the likes of Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard on the edge.
He hasn't been named QB1 yet, but Taylor is the front-runner for the job as now.
“He’s been around the league,” Culley said. “He’s a veteran. He’s been there and he’s done that. He’s one of our guys. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s been a starter in this league.”
That starting experience will be necessary now with Deshaun Watson still wanting out of Houston. Once again, practice began and Watson was there. He went through individual drills before standing on the sidelines during team.
Watson watched from a far as Taylor, Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel continued their play. He didn't do much Friday, actually regressing his on-field work for the first time since Houston began practice.
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Some people believe Watson's presence at camp is a distraction. That's news to Taylor.
“Absolutely, me and Deshaun are friends,” Taylor said of Watson “ We've known each other for a number of years now. We've had good conversations on the field and off the field about football and about life, about everything. Everything has been a positive conversation.”
A loss for Watson is a win for Taylor, who continues to build a rapport with the Texans' wide receiver corp. Still, Taylor considers the 25-year-old a valuable member of the organization.
“He’s part of the team," Taylor said. "When we come out here, we’re all focused on working and getting better at every aspect. That’s different for every person.”
For now, this is Taylor's team. Mills, the rookie out of Stanford, could be learning more and more from both Watson and Tyrod, but Taylor will likely be the captain of this ship Week 1 against Jacksonville.
Maybe Houston needs that. After all, he can run and still has a serviceable arm. He showed that in Buffalo when helping the Bills end their playoff drought during 2017.
More than anything, the experience is a fit. It should give Houston something the Texans need at a position most dire to winning in the NFL; stability.
“He’s a consummate pro, and I don’t use that loosely,” Culley said. “He's the first guy in this building every morning and he's usually the last guy to leave and that's every day and that's just who he is. You'll never hear him doing a whole bunch of talking about this and talking about that. He just goes about his business."
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Is Denmark known for football? They might become that if Hjalte Froholdt continues to show improvement during his reps at camp with the Texans offensive line.
During one-on - ones, Froholdt might have been the most complete blocker among those looking to secure a roster spot. On three different occasions, defensive tackles either lost the rep or lost their footing trying to move past the 6-5 Danish blocker. Twice Froholdt actually pummelled the defender into the ground before the whistle.
Still young, Froholdt, 24, might need a change of scenery to be successful. Texans general manager Nick Caserio scouted him back in New England and made him the second Danish player ever to be drafted in the NFL.
Offensive guard seems to be a weaker point for Houston now. Maybe it won't if Froholdt continues to dominate in practice.
More of Moore
Chris Moore isn't going to be able to replace the production of Will Fuller, but he's earned more reps in the offense after Friday. Every day, it feels like a new wide receiver continues to improve.
Friday was "The Moore Show'' in more ways than one.
Moore didn't drop a single pass during individuals and only improved on his cuts when looking to pull a double move on the defender. In seven-on-seven, he made the catch of camp, a one-handed grab over the cornerback in mid-air. That led to a roar of praise from the other receivers.
Moore worked with Culley during his four years in Baltimore. Maybe Culley sees something John Harbaugh didn't. Houston could use a sixth receiver with some size, anyway.
Mitchell The New CB2?
Terrance Mitchell knows the Houston area quite well. Here's hoping Round 2 with the Texans goes better than his first ride.
Mitchell, who spent the 2016 offseason with Houston, was released in the final round of cuts. Since then, he's bounced around from Kansas City to Cleveland and even made a quick stay in a starting role for the Browns' playoff run.
Maybe things are looking up for Mitchell entering his seventh season?
One rep in seven-on-seven was horrendous. The rest of the time? Mitchell looked fluid in his backpedal and breaks. Playing the outside along with Desmond King and Bradley Roby, there was balance in the secondary. Multiple times Friday Mitchell ended a play with either a clean stop or a break up on the ball.
Houston needs a No. 2 cornerback to play the outside. As of now, it's hard to imagine anyone but Mitchell.
*Tight end Anthony Auclair has done a nice job developing into a more well-rounded player. So far, he's looked great on plays underneath routes.as the security net in the flats.
*Just keep hoping Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan can keep this up against other teams. Three practices in and outside of a bad rep or poorly placed ball, no one would be able to tell they are rookies. Taylor gave high praise to the Michigan product, saying his size and frame allows him to "go up and get those passes" down the field.
*Quietly, Charles Omenihu continues to have good practices. He added consistent pressure during team and looks fast coming around the corner. On Friday, he batted a ball at the line of scrimmage, negating the play.
*Now is not the time to give up on Ross Blacklock. In Lovie Smith's 4-3 scheme, the second-round pick of 2020 looks like a better fit and a better player.
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