It's all about Training Camp now. The offseason is in the rearview mirror and we are a little over one month away from TC kicking off right here in Houston. Now, I'll admit, I loved that 75 degree day in the hills of West Virginia at the Greenbrier back in 2017 & 2018, but Houston is home and it's where we're supposed to be for training camp. Seeing as though the next time we see coaches, staff and players en masse in this building will be for training camp, I figured I'd dive into the five things I'm most anxious/most excited to see during Texans Camp.
1. Offensive Line physicality - Watching offseason practices and knowing OL Coach George Warhop and assistant OL Coach Hal Hunter want to see this OL be more physical, I can't wait to see how that manifests itself when the pads go on early in training camp. The addition of veteran A.J. Cann. The addition of rookie Kenyon Green. Those two moves should bolster that unit's desire, and ability, to move people, other people, in different colored jerseys.
2. Derek Stingley Jr. playing football - It's really been a while since we've been blessed to watch the number three overall pick play, truly compete on a field. Yes, all eyes will be on him due to his draft slot, but I just love to watch him match and mirror and compete for the rock. I wonder if…nah, I'll stop there for now.
3. Which RB takes charge? - Throughout the offseason, it felt like the running backs were really excelling, up and down the entire group. During training camp, maybe it doesn't happen, but maybe a back emerges as the clear RB1. My gut tells me that we might have to wait until after the three preseason games to know for sure who'll step up as RB1 to start the year against the Colts, but I'm ready for that competition to commence.
4. The Defensive Line menagerie - There are 17 defensive linemen on the squad as we speak and head coach Lovie Smith has stated that there'll be eight on the game day roster. So, wow, how do we get down to that eight? I think this position is as deep as it's been, but it also needs some dominators to move to the head of the pack and separate from the rest, if you will.
5. Who is the "breakout player" we didn't see coming? - Last year, that was clearly DT Roy Lopez Jr. This year, is it a rookie off the beaten path? Is it a guy that was on a practice squad last year? Is it a guy in which the light finally goes on and he dominates? There's always one. 2016 it was CB A.J. Bouye. Last year, Lopez. Man, former LB Dylan Cole was that guy a few years ago. Who will it be in 2022 and how much impact will that guy have on this team in 2022?