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Emptied Notebook: Texans Training Camp Day 6

Posted Jul 31, 2013

Mohawks, microphones, kickoff returners and more make up the latest edition of Drew Dougherty's "Emptied Notebook".

*The following is a random assortment of quotes, oddities, scattershots and interesting tidbits from Wednesday at Texans Training Camp presented by XFINITY.

-The Wednesday morning practice was open to the public. 5,147 Texans fans watched it outside at the Houston Methodist Training Center.

-Inside linebacker Joe Mays suited up and practiced for the first time as a Texan. The former Bronco signed yesterday, and the Houston staff wasted no time in getting him on the field.

"They told me they wanted to get me in there and throw me in the fire to see what I can do," Mays said. "Hopefully I did okay enough, but it’s still a learning process."

-Rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins continued to impress, and caught several touchdowns during 1-on-1 drills in the red zone.

“Yeah, he had a really good practice," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He’s getting better every day. He’s made of the right stuff. It’s fun to watch his development right now.”

-Kubiak’s high school coach watched practice from the sidelines today. Former St. Pius X Panther boss Rene Hancock was on the sidelines, and that made Kubiak happy.

“Oh, he’s a special man in my life,” Kubiak said. “It’s fun to have him come out here and see him. Coach (Jerry) Donahue from St. Thomas who I knew for many years is out here every day. It’s a great reminder where you come from. So that’s why it’s always special to me to wake up every day and work for my hometown. I grew up five minutes down the road. It’s pretty special every day.”

-Defensive end J.J. Watt wore a microphone during practice for NFL Films.

-Fellow defensive end Antonio Smith was mic'd after practice by Texans TV. You can watch that video here.

-Texans superfan ‘Mohawk Steve’ was also on hand watching the team work. He’s excited for the start of 2013, and plans on returning to a few more practices during camp. He did a podcast in May with former Texans Insider Nick Scurfield, which you can listen to here.

-In the afternoon, there was a short bit of special teams work inside the Houston Methodist Training Center from 1:30 to 2:10 p.m.

-As they did so outside in the morning, receivers Keshawn Martin and Alan Bonner, and running backs Deji Karim and Dennis Johnson, were the primary kickoff returners.

-At times, fullback Greg Jones and safety Shiloh Keo caught tennis balls from the tennis ball machine.

-Former Texans general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly watched part of the afternoon practice and spoke for a few moments with Kubiak.

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