Training Camp: 3 Days until Showtime
Patrick D. Starr
Out at training camp today, at the half way point of "game week", the Houston Texans were working hard despite the rising temperature as practice continued. Plenty of small notes to pass around today from camp.
Inside Linebacker Concern
Today with Keyaron Fox going down with a "significant" knee injury, Brian Cushing spending the night in the hospital with a virus, and rookie Shawn Loiseau fighting a groin issue, the Texans were down to three able bodies with Bradie James, Mister Alexander and Tim Dobbins.
It would be a safe bet to say the Texans will be working the free agent market today looking to add to the linebacker depth, with Saturday being a game day the need is at a high to get some help in quick.
More Players Making a Noise
Every practice it feels that new players show up on the radar, and now the likes of Hebron Fangupo and Phillip Supernaw have started to catch up to the NFL pace.
Fangupo, who we talked about early, has started to hit his stride at Nose Tackle. He is getting better with his hands and is understanding that playing low makes him hard to block. Today his best play was when he did a spin move to get back into his gap to stop the ball carrier. With the defensive line also thin with a few players out, Fangupo has been taking advantage of his increased practice time.
As for Supernaw, this is the first time we have mentioned him. The 6-5 250 lbs. tight end looks the part of the type of player the Texans look for and after a slow start he has been showing progression as an NFL player. The rookie from Ouachita Baptist is showing precise routes and some blocking ability but with all of this improvement he still has some ways to go. (It is a promising start.)
Wide Receiver Group Impresses
Today was the first time that all five (Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Lestar Jean, Devier Posey and Keshawn Martin) looked good as a collective group. There were plenty of catches and run after that catch that I haven't seen at camp to this point, but it helps Matt Schaub has been looking confident in the pocket. The combinations that the offense can use on the field are endless and the receiver group is progressing well.
It has been nearly a week (16 practice sessions on the field) that the rookie defensive lineman has not been on the field with his neck issues. One of his biggest issues coming out of Nebraska was his injury red flags and it looks like they might be true. Crick was penciled in as the second defensive end behind starter J.J. Watt, and being hurt he is missing some important reps he could have been getting with Watt being out. Crick is already behind with field time and it would be hard to see him being ready for Saturday's game. This is a story worth keeping an eye on as camp continues.
A New Leader
With all of the talk of how impressive the defense has been, the newest addition Bradie James has been a calming force inside of the defense. He is another coach on the field and today he was very lively on the field, and with Cushing out the defense turned to him for calls and adjustments. Despite not being a "game", James showed how important he already is and today was a prime example of that. He has some big shoes to fill with the departed DeMeco Ryans but he looks like he is more than ready to meet those expectations.