Let me give you a nugget on each guy in preparation for Saturday night. I've told you all about the practices the past ten days, so let's encapsulate that in a two part observation series. Not to mention the depth chart arrived on Tuesday, so I'll address that in this two part series as well.
Today, the offense. I'll take each player and tell you what I've seen, what I like and what needs work. Then, you can have a cheat sheet on Saturday night while you watch the game. The players are listed in order of the most recently released depth chart
When managing the up-tempo, he has an excellent handle on the pace and execution of the offense...changes his arm slot to make throws...learning where to throw the ball in the throwing radius of his receivers, mainly
Been up and down...good moments have been fantastic...tough moments have been really rough...needs to pick up pace on nearly everything - decision making, changing and execting plays...made a number of plays on bootlegs, on the move...Saturday is a HUGE day for Keenum to maintain this number two position.
Getting more reps by the day...seems to be more comfortable in the scheme...wants to be great...putting in the work to do so...when he drives the ball, there's no arm close to his...has thrown a couple of nice touch throws in team activities during camp.
We know what he can do...been recovering from an injury, allowing other guys reps...much needed chess piece in this offense...wouldn't be shocked to see him not play on Saturday at Arizona.
Bruising, downhill runner...okay hands but not to the level of the other backs in this stable...interesting to see how much power game Texans will run with him in the game Saturday
Struggled catching the ball early in camp...rebounded and performed well since...numbers game is going to make it tough...that makes Saturday the most important game he's played in a while to fight for the roster.
North Shore HS product...a training camp addition who has plenty of speed...showed his pop/power early in training camp...not sure how much of a showcase will he get on Saturday.
Showed a full array of skills not many knew he possessed when he got here...still a rookie, but seems to understand the offense at this point...most fans will want to see him, more than any other RB, presumably.
Missed a few days early with an injury...but has looked sharp...like his scoots/quicks and the way he runs inside...may get a bunch of work early on Saturday, no matter where he's listed on the depth chart
He hits hard...very, VERY hard and if he can play on Saturday, he'll be looking for a red shirt like the bull he is.
Been a RB, DE and a FB over the past four years dating back to college...athletic but not sure he's a true fullback...will need to impact special teams to get this staff's full attention
After laying out for a pass reception, he's not been back in practice...when on the field, he's been sharp as ever.
No. 10 DeAndre Hopkins
Has caught nearly everything...since Andre's been out of practice, he's starred...can't wait to see him battle with Patrick Peterson on Saturday night...ready for next step.
Works his tail off every day...had a couple of key drops throughout the week, but looked crisp the majority of the time...finally free of suspension/injury and 100% for the first time in years
Looks comfortable in the slot, even though he didn't truly play that position the last two years...still made some nice catches on the perimeter, including a great over the shoulder catch early in camp...needs to make a play or three on Saturday to not only lock up a roster spot but also to show the coaches how much impact he can have on Sundays.
Been one of my three top players in camp...this slot receiver position fits him better than any position/scheme has in his career...can get open against anyone...still in tough competition for the slot receiver position in three wide sets...look for him to return punts and kicks as well on Saturday night.
Steady...not going to run past anyone but catches what you throw at him...been solid and should have a great stage on Saturday to audition for a roster spot.
Haven't seen many opportunities in camp.
No. 12 Lacolton Bester
Came to rookie mini-camp without a contract, left with one...made a couple of diving catches in camp...not the fastest, but is elusive...not the biggest, but strong going up for the ball...would like to see him catch the ball in space on Saturday night
No. 17 EZ Nwachukwu
The bona fide "star" of training camp if there is one...catches nearly everything...not the greatest hands but he's so wide open a great deal of the time that he can "absorb" the ball into his body...gives the Texans something they haven't really have, blazing fast speed
Maybe the coaches and the organization have been surprised at his performance, but not those that saw him at Texas A&M...dropped one quick screen early in camp and haven't seen him lose one since...wins in 1-on-1 against any type of defensive back...can make an impression that earns him more time over the rest of the pre-season...a big Saturday night performance will do nothing but bolster his case.
Been injured for most, if not all of training camp...would love to see him on the field as I really liked what he looked like during OTAs
Signed late last week as a combination receiver/returner candidate...still getting comfortable with the offensive scheme...may need to make a play on punt return where he just has to react and run during this pre-season.
Never flashy...gotten a ton of looks in camp...has lined up in as many spots on the offense as you can imagine...may not play much on Saturday, doesn't need to.
As a sixth rounder in 2013, hard to imagine that he'd be this valuable, this soon but he is...blocking at the point of attack needs improvement, but he's a guy that'll improve at that aspect...an excellent receiving weapon all over the field...curious how many tight ends are on the field at any given moment on Saturday night.
No. 87 C.J Fiedorowicz
Better pass catcher than people expected...best of the group blocking/maintaining edge defenders in the run game, even without having played one NFL game...at sometime in a pre-season game, he's going to make a catch and run that'll get the city of Houston thinking about a loving-to-be-shirtless tight end from New England...suffice it to say, he's not there yet
The former Utah product confounds me nearly every single day...can't figure out if he's a big receiver or a small tight end...needs developmental time and a ton of reps...the athleticism, hands and physical ability are all present but he still needs work on his blocking acumen
Expectation (hope) is that the former Nebraska defensive end can become an effective edge run game blocker at Y-tight end...made a few nice catches in camp though
If he's not the best LT in the game, he's in the top three team picture without question...that's all I have to say about that
Concussion set him back but love his size, athleticism and versatility...just needs more reps on the edge to get comfortable as he hasn't played much tackle in his life (was a former tight end in college)...don't think he sees the field on Saturday night, unfortunately.
Been at left guard since day one...his ability to play guard and center will always help him...should get reps at both positions on Saturday night.
Easy to see why this organization drafted him...loves to hit...physical at the point of attack...must maintain his blocks, the pop is there, needs to maintain leverage and control...should get a ton of reps on Saturday night at guard
Only been in Houston for a handful of days...have seen very little of him in camp thus far
The perfect middle man for this offense, this quarterback and this staff, pure and simple
Completely looks out of place, too small, too short, but he's getting the job done every day...son of a coach...has soaked up the coaching...even though he's sort of lilliputian in a giant's world, he doesn't get physically beat...his technique really helps him...a solid performance on Saturday won't surprise me.
Will probably start on Saturday night...steady and consistent in workouts...not the guy the Texans imagined would be at that RG spot, but opportunity is there for him on Saturday.
No. 66 Connor Boffeli
Has shown some promise at times...had to put on a bunch of weight while at Iowa...good technician...has been out of practice this week with an undisclosed injury
Seen him play a bunch at Oklahoma...not real nimble but not scared to put a hat on a hat...has only been here a handful of days
Has been on the pre-season PUP list, unfortunately (very, VERY unfortunately)
Trained eyes will be on Newton on Saturday night without question...each day at camp he's gotten more comfortable...struggled a bit early trusting his technique, but he's playing with more bend and sliding laterally well, now over a year removed from his knee injury...solid pre-season performances will buoy his confidence greatly
Veteran is playing his way into shape...will be under the microscope on Saturday to truly see what he's got left in the tank...missed a couple of days with an injury
Not sure what to expect from Feiler on Saturday night...seen him look good, powerful in the run game, struggle a bit in pass protection...this is one strong man, but can he improve his pass protection technique?
Another training camp addition...played for Bill O'Brien at Penn State...with Yeatman/Clabo injured for a few days he got a bunch of reps at tackle...should see the field a bunch on Saturday too.