When OTA sessions concluded last Friday, head coach Bill O'Brien made as definitive statement as he had since arriving in Houston as it pertained to the Texans right tackle spot.
Little did we know at the time that his comment on Newton was just the start. At an 8 a.m. team meeting on Tuesday, O'Brien introduced
He and the Texans weren't done.
Later that afternoon, the Texans parted ways with veteran quarterback T.J. Yates.
We've been clamoring for clarity, in some sense, for months and we just got plenty of it. The news just hasn't stopped.
Oover the past seven days:
4. Newton was named the team's starting right tackle
5. Former Dolphin tackle
6. Fitzpatrick was named the starting quarterback
7. Yates was no longer a Texan.
That said, other than DQ's crushing diagnosis, the rest of news isn't insurmountable, to be honest. Clowney should be near 100% by training camp. Watt was back in practice on Tuesday, diving for interceptions during team drills (yes, the best defensive player in the world laid out for a pick in "no pads" practice). Newton looks quicker and lighter on his feet and a different player than last year (more on this in a moment). Yeatman made strides in Miami before an injury sidelined him in 2013 and he can move. Many expected Fitzpatrick to be the starter heading into training camp and one of either Yates or
Clarity, right? Well, with one potential Hall of Fame wide receiving exception. Luckily, there's still time to figure that out before Training camp Day one, but it'll make for some stressful days over the next five weeks.
The news about the quarterbacks took center stage after day one of minicamp, but Friday's news on Newton had my attention. O'Brien's declaration about Newton was met with expected resistance. Had I not seen Newton over the past four weeks of OTAs and mini-camps, I might've had trepidation about the statement. However, as I mentioned above, he just looks different. He appears unburdened. He's talked about it in post-practice interviews as he admitted to how difficult 2013 was on a number of different levels. He's more than a year removed from his knee issues. He's moving more fluidly and his footwork is more consistent. Yes, without the pressure of collisions and contact and he'll be under the microscope until he plays consistently throughout July and August.
Now is "looking different" the answer? C'mon, y'all know me better than that. But, it's a start and Newton needed a completely new one after last season. Will Newton be the starter when the Redskins come to NRG Stadium on September 7th? Like Fitzpatrick and 20 other players, he'll start if earns the job when the pads go on during training camp.
Over the next two days, I'll have my eyes on a few players that continue to make consistent progress.
Offensive lineman Xavier Su'a Filo is on site after graduation at UCLA.
Just a few on my agenda.