In no particular order, here are a few thoughts from Training Camp so far…
DeAndre Hopkins and friends – Andre Johnson said Saturday “I don’t think our window is closing but my window might be closing.”
I still think there’s plenty of fresh air left in the career of the greatest player in franchise history. And now he has more help than ever. Keshawn Martin is starting to look like a veteran after hitting a bit of a rookie ‘wall’ last season. Devier Posey is optimistic he can help the pass catchers and stay off the 6-week PUP. And Hopkins looks like someone who will make some very big plays with his sure hands and big target area.
Daniel Muir – I can’t count how many times I have looked down from the booth before games at the opponents warming up and said to Andre Ware “I want one of those big nose tackles on our team!” Well, now we have one. Muir is a 7th year player, listed at 322 pounds. Seth Payne said he liked him in Sunday morning drills. I don’t know if he makes the squad but he’s one of those non-passing down vending-machine type guys who might help on a rotational basis.
D.J. Swearinger – He’s impossible not to notice and might be impossible to keep out of the line up. He constantly makes plays and the motor never stops running. He’s always moving around and the energy seems to inspire his team mates.
Linebackers – When Brian Cushing is not in there, it brings back bad memories of last year. Daryl Sharpton is out with a groin problem so the ‘thinness’ is back. Yes, Tim Dobbins is practicing but he ideally is not a starter. That means plenty of reps to go around for guys like Cameron Collins and Mike Mohamed. On the outside, with Sam Montgomery still out with a sore ankle, Bryan Braman continues to get a long look. And it’s hard not to notice the amount of snaps they’re giving Willie Jefferson, a rookie from Stephen F. Austin who, at 6-5, is as tall as Matt Schaub and J.J. Watt.
Tight Ends – Jake Byrne, who the team picked up late last year, is one of those big, strong Wisconsin kids (yes, another one. But hey, it’s working!) who might just find his way onto the roster. I haven’t seen enough of Ryan Griffin but he’s an imposing presence who, as a sixth round choice, has to make the squad. Rookie Adam Schultz catches everything but there’s a traffic jam ahead of him on the depth chart.