HOUSTON -- Phillip Lindsay is smiling. It's contagious how energized and positive he can be for a player coming off the turf of over 90 degrees at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Maybe that's just his persona. He could just be happy to be in Houston Texans' camp, unlike several other high profile runners still left on the market. Todd Gurley is looking for his next chance to revitalize his career. Adrian Peterson wants one more shot.
Lindsay, 27, already has his opportunity with the Texans. And while it's early, general manager Nick Caserio might want to be starting a savings fund to keep him around longer than the 2021 campaign.
"I take it one day at a time," Lindsay said Thursday after practice. "For me, it's about staying consistent. That's just the name of this game. It doesn't matter if you do well tomorrow, do well today, it's about the next day."
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Three years after going undrafted out of Colorado, Lindsay is a millionaire. He made his mark with the Denver Broncos, tallying two 1,000-yard seasons plus a Pro Bowl nod.
Houston maybe saw that scatback style approach and thought it would work underneath new head coach David Culley and Tim Kelly's play-calling. Sure, every team needs a change-of-pace runner.
Who's to say that's Lindsay? Can he be the lead back over a 17-game season? He sure looked like the best of the bunch each snap on Thursday.
"I have a big chip on my shoulder," Lindsay said. "For me it's like, I feel like I'm always being disrespected. And for me, I have to go out there and show it. In my head, I'm the baddest dude there is. Period."
Lindsay, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal with the Texans in March, made it look easy when on the field. He juked and jived his way past offensive linemen and into the second level of defense.
His vision looked stellar as he bulldozed up the middle, leaving defensive tackles wondering what could they have done to stop him. All those things were seen during his three seasons with the Broncos behind an improving offensive line with NFL legend Mike Munchak.
Lindsay will make Houston happy if he can contribute in the passing game for whoever is calling the shots. In his time with Denver, he recorded a grand total of 77 catches and a touchdowns.
Maybe Denver never wanted to use him that way. Kelly should, especially across the middle of the field.
Lindsay didn't drop a pass during individual drills. His footwork looked smooth when cutting towards the sideline against the Texans' defender.
What really stood up with his straight line speed. In team drills, he bolted up the seam, winning over the top against the Texans nickel defender and winning the foot race towards the end zone.
"Phillip has had had some success in this league," Culley said. "When we brought him in here, we knew what he was all about. As a matter of fact, he showed up a few times on some runs. Did the same thing yesterday. We're glad to have him here."
It's early in camp, and things could change in an one whistle, but Lindsay comes as advertised. His footwork and speed will be an asset to the Texans' offense. So will his vision when working to the second and third level of defense.
Maybe a change of scenery was best for the new Texans runner. He feels that he has something to prove to the NFL community.
That could make him — and the Texans — dangerous come Week 1.
"For some reason, they think we're the scumbucket. I don't know what they've got going on in the media," Lindsay said. "Everybody has something to prove and they're some great dudes in there and they're also really talented."
Here's some other takeaways from Day 2 of Texans camp:
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Deshaun Watson was at practice for the Texans once again. He entered the complex with no issues and did not speak to the media.
Watson, who came to camp to avoid being fined $50,000 a day from the NFL, still worked with the three other quarterbacks. He did individual drills and spoke to rookie Davis Mills. Once again, he did not practice when the offense ran team towards the end of the morning.
For now, Culley says they will evaluate Watson on a "day-to-day" basis before having him work with in team drills. Until then, He’ll throw to receivers during warm-up drills. Maybe he'll continue to play scout team safety.
"As we said before, it's a daily deal," Culley said. "There's no change from yesterday."
For those wondering if Watson will have a change of heart think of this; Mills, Tyrod Taylor and all stayed behind with other receivers to work on routes and timing.
Watson left the field as soon as practice concluded.
Keke Coming Around
With Randall Cobb now back in Green Bay, the battle for slot receiver comes down likely to two players. Keke Coutee will be the first as a the veteran of the group. The other will be Anthony Miller, the former Bears starter in the slot.
So far, Miller has been consistent in route-running and his hands. Thursday though was a big day for Coutee. He didn't drop a pass during individuals, nor during seven-on-seven. The only play where he struggled was on a deep pass downfield that was overthrown.
Entering a contract year, this will be a pivotal camp for Coutee to show the new coaching staff he deserves to stick around. In three years with the team, he's tallied 83 catches for 941 yards and four touchdowns — three of which came last season when Cobb was placed on the injured reserve.
Miller has some size (5-11) and more consistent production (134 rec, 1,564 yards, 11 TDs), but Coutee has speed. Maybe that keeps him around for the long run?
That, plus practices like Thursday certainly help.
Keep Eyes On King
The addition of Desmond King was the one move most fans of the team approved of by Nick Caserio. The team has been looking for a cornerback since 2016, and a cost-affordable deal from the All-Pro seemed like a perfect fit.
King, who spent the last four seasons playing the nickel defensive role for both the Chargers and Titans. Maybe he'll translate to the outside for Lovie Smith. Maybe he'll stay inside?
Either way, King showed why he is going to be a difference-maker for Houston's defense.
King broke up a pass during team drills when playing closer inside. During team drills, both he and Keion Crossen recorded a pair of pass deflections, including one that would have been a touchdown based on the coverage.
King was revered for his physicality and ability to play near the line of scrimmage. Both were on full display.
A player's number can be special to their play. In two days, we already have several players looking to grab their old numbers back.
Chris Conley now will Cobb's No. 18. Miller, who wore No. 3 to begin camp, now will wear Conely's No. 17. Nico Collins, the team's rookie wideout, now will wear No. 12 and Jordan Veasy, the newest Texans receiver will now wear Collins' No. 84.
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