HOUSTON -- Deshaun Watson dominated the headlines Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, but the wide receivers might be the biggest football-related storyline to follow.
Watson didn't participate in team drills and did little in individual reps. Following practice, Texans coach David Culley said the QB was expected to be here, but for now, he needs to get caught up on the offense after missing all of spring and summer.
"We decided that the individual periods were the periods that we could get him in where nothing happens," Culley said. "Moving forward, we'll make a decision on that.”
Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel will battle it out for starting reps come Week 1 against Jacksonville. The good news for all three is Houston might have an undervalued receiving room.
And no, it's not just the veterans making a splash. Both Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan should be holding their heads high entering Day 2 of Texans training camp.
“Like I said back in OTA, you talk about a guy on paper says he's a rookie, but the way that he works and catches the ball and how strong he is, he doesn't feel like a rookie," wide receiver Brandin Cooks said of Collins. "Love going out here going to work with him and I'm going to continue to be there for him the best way I can.”
Collins, the team's third-round pick, might be the weapon who finally reminds of the physical presence of DeAndre Hopkins. His 6-4, 215-pound body makes him immediate noticeable.
Practice on Wednesday proved that. No matter who was under center, Collins caught it all. During seven-on-seven, he made a splash, showing off that 4.41 40 speed and size against smaller cornerbacks.
Then there's Jordan, who during the draft process, was highly-regarded as the second- or third-best tight end prospect overall. When it comes to making plays with his hands, maybe only Atlanta's Kyle Pitts is a better option.
Pitts went No. 4 overall last April. Jordan went No. 147.
One would have thought he was a first-round target with how smooth he looked in both route-running and finishing the play.
If those two weren't enough, the addition of Anthony Miller could be a difference maker for whoever wins the title of QB1 next month. Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes for a player to regain confidence.
Miller is banking on that after three mixed seasons in Chicago.
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“Boy, he can play. He's shifty," Cooks said. "Looking at him out here on the first day, he's built, and he can make a guy miss, he can stick his foot in the ground, and you love to see it.”
Was Miller a product of a poor system in Chicago?
Miller broke out in 2019 with 52 catches. In 2020 he made 49 catches for 484 yards and two touchdowns, but also watched rookie Darnell Mooney become the team's No. 2. Add in his altercation during the Chicago's wild card playoff loss to New Orleans and his time in the Windy City was short-lived.
Cooks barley knows him, but can see what scouts saw when the 26-year-old was coming out of Memphis. He a player with something to prove entering a contract year.
“His mentality, it's nasty," Cooks said. "He's a guy that he may be small but at the end of the day he got such a big chip on his shoulder, he going to come to work every day and he's got a lot of speed there in the backfield.”
The trio made the most impact and newbies of Texans camp, but they weren't alone. Chris Conley from Jacksonville made several top-notch grabs. Keke Coutee looked quick from the snap, winning in routes both inside and outs.
Even in limited roles, Isaiah Coulter, Alex Erickson and Chris Moore showed promise.
In the backfield, David Johnson led running backs in receptions for Houston in 2020. Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram also showed they can be effective in the passing game.
"Guys are going to come to work now, and guys can play ball," Cooks said. "You look at this roster and guys have been playing ball in this league for a long time, so that's definitely not a worry.”
Having Watson back would help Houston. He's a top-five player at the most key position in football. He's arguably a top 10 player in the sport.
That’s not likely, but the next QB could have a plethora of weapons to work with.
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