The new head coach of the Texans is full of surprises lately. A two hour workout this morning? Shorts and jerseys only? What's next, plates of cupcakes for his players on the way back to the locker room? Oh, I kid, I kid.
I know there's a well thought out method to his message and to his way. That said, I'm impressed with the work this team gets from team drills without pads. As the workout was shorter than usual and I was on the radio for a good majority of the workout, I didn't get to my observations record but hopefully 14, including one from yesterday, will appease the masses.
1. Before I get into today's observations, I have to rewind to yesterday. After I submitted my Sunday TC observations, I packed up and headed into the cafeteria for a drink on the way home. There's no telling who you'll see in there at any time, which is always a bit fascinating. Typically, I stay out of the way, grab my water or Diet Coke and head back out. Staying quiet and doing my job, ya know?
Anyhow, there's a refrigerator with waters just inside the door and I usually grab one from there and
I heard one of them say "is this it?". With that I looked back up and saw 'The Hit'. At the same time, I heard Brenkus talking about pounds of force and science mumbo jumbo that I disdained as a civil engineering major over two decades ago. But it was their rapt attention to watching their new teammate on television that stoked my curiosity. I can only imagine what would've happened had Clowney walked in. "Hey whatcha y'all doing?" "Ah, nothing, just watching you on television." Surprisingly, that's never happened to me and never will.
2. Monday's was the first workout without a full complement of fans in the stands. It seemed almost eerie to not see the mob scene at the barriers for autographs, handshakes and selfies.
3. As Marc Vandermeer and I started the show today, I noticed what looked like a kickoff return drill.
4. A decent amount of Two Spot work today, giving all three quarterbacks a bunch of reps in team situations.
5. The first offense worked on goal line today again in a number of different forms. But early in practice,
6. I've noted the number of situations the team's worked through and today was no different. At one point, the first kickoff team was lined up against no scouts and only returner
7. After that "sudden change" situation, the first offense worked more on two minute end of game, down by two points, one time out situations.
8. During that drill, I noticed Fitzpatrick change his arm slot two or three different times. I'm so intrigued by throwers that can do that like a Major League Baseball shortstop. Lions QB Matt Stafford is the king at doing that but Fitz seemingly has about three or four different release points, which just amazes me.
9. After kicking a FG, the offense went back on the field and worked on being backed up to their own end zone. The ball was placed on the two yard line and on the first snap, Hopkins jumped offsides. I couldn't see who it was immediately but I then saw No. 10 circling the field and I knew.
DJ Swearinger, playing official with none on the field today, walked up, grabbed the rock and moved it half the distance to the goalline. The only thing missing was the former South Carolina star turning his mic on and telling the entire crowd that the Clemson guy committed the penalty.
10. The defense was the clear winner of the "backed up" situation. DE
11. Then it was on to "Last play of the game", aka the Hail Mary. The ball was placed on the 50, the 35, 25, 10 and 5 for one final play. Once the offense got to the five, CB AJ Bouye knocked away a fade route intended for Hopkins, one of his many excellent plays in camp.
14. After practice, each player, each position group gets in a ton of extra work once O'Brien has excused them from practice. I can't tell you the number of different things I've seen players doing after practice, some with coaches nearby, some completely on their own. There are players all over the three practice fields; all the way down on field three Watt worked on his timing of batting balls down. On field two,