With Deshaun Watson watching (and waiting to be traded) and Tyrod Taylor off on scheduled personal day, Saturday's training camp practice for the Houston Texans was all about chances for the backup quarterbacks.
Jeff Driskel and Davis Mills were front and center.
Mills missed some throws, drawing harsh criticism from the media. He threw some interceptions, drawing the harshest criticism of all. Until Driskel did the same, at which time he drew the harshest criticism of all.
"The worst practice I've ever seen from a Texans QB'' is a rather hyperbolic statement, though our man Sean Pendergast has seen a lot of poor Texans football.
Still, his point is well-taken; it was rough.
But at the same time, the Texans drafted Mills in the third round for a reason. They believe has prototype potential - and that is going to take more than one day of premium-team practice.
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“We really love what he’s all about. We love all the intangibles he has,” Texans head coach David Culley said of Mills. “He can make all the throws and we feel good and feel fortunate that we’re able to get him when we got him.”
As a rookie, Mills understands he’s not going to necessarily fill the shoes of Watson or become Houston’s “face of the franchise” immediately. For now, he simply wants to work on improving his skills on the field and learn as much as he can from Culley and the other veteran quarterbacks in the locker room.
“They’ve been great, and I love it,” Mills said about his new team. “They definitely have a lot to teach me, and I have a lot to learn.”
Texans passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton has had his eye on Mills since he was in high school. Hamilton has worked at developing quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Justin Herbert, and with Mills, he sees a young man with tremendous promise.
“I do think that the things that he was introduced to at Stanford and the skillset that he developed is going to help him to have a better chance to play winning football in the National Football League,” Hamilton said.
Mills might not be the second coming of Watson, but he is sure going to be the best Davis Mills he can be. And what that needs to be, sometime soon, is something substantially better than "worst-ever.''