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Texans' Teammates: Mills Impressive in Emergency Debut

Houston Texans' left guard Tytus Howard has confidence in rookie Davis Mills

Switching quarterbacks, particularly to one you've got no experience with, is bound to be tough for everyone on offense. Thankfully, rookie Davis Mills appears to be making a strong impression on the guys charged with protecting him as he prepares to make his first NFL start.

"When he sits back in that pocket, he's already tall, so he can see everything, and he just delivers," left guard Tytus Howard said on Tuesday. "He's not scared to take a hit when he's throwing the ball, and you can tell because I think last week the guy came free, he took the hit, but he's a quarterback. A lot of quarterbacks can't take a hit like that and just get right back up. He got right back up and came back down on that drive and scored a touchdown. So that speaks volumes to what type of player he is."

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Mills was thrown into a tough situation, taking over halfway through a difficult and tight game against the Cleveland Browns. He went 8 of 18 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception, with the Texans ultimately losing 31-21. 

Mills had his moments, as he did in the preseason, where he showed his arm strength and a willingness to stick in the pocket and go deep. His accuracy and timing, however, need improvement. 

Much of that will come with experience, not only in a new system and at a new level but playing with a new set of receivers.

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This week is a big opportunity for him to show the Texans and all those watching this primetime game that he can be a starter in this league. 

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And one aspect of his game that fans have yet to see is his mobility - a trait that brought his predecessors Tyrod Taylor and Deshaun Watson much success in this system.

"He can actually move pretty good," Howard said. "I think a lot of people haven't got a chance to see that, and I think they will see that this weekend. But he's pretty athletic. I've seen him at practice roll out of the pocket, deliver a strike down the field to a guy, and I was like, ‘Wow, that's an impressive throw for a rookie.’ So, he earned my respect."

A tall quarterback who can see the field, run when needed, and take a hit without it flustering him, Mills was described by running back David Johnson as "always calm, cool and collected."

Mills has the ingredients to be a success, and thankfully he has the backing of a rapidly improving offensive line to support him as he develops.

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