It didn't take long for Bruce Ellington to make an impact.
In his first game as a Houston Texan, the wide receiver started and led the squad with 93 receiving yards. It only took four catches to do so.
"Give Bruce a lot of credit," head coach Bill O'Brien said of the fourth-year pro. "Bruce just showed up here, I think about a week, 10 days ago, and he's picked it up pretty well."
Ellington played collegiately at South Carolina and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He spent the first three years of his career there, but was let go earlier this summer. Since joining the Texans, he's quickly immersed himself in the offense and made plays in practice and his first preseason game.
"I like it," Ellington said of his opportunity. "It's a great group of guys at receiver. They all come out to work hard every day, it's very competitive and I'm just going to do what I got to do and control what I can control and work hard."
Ellington caught Tom Savage's first pass of the game for a 12-yard gain and first down. Three plays later on the opening drive, he and Savage linked up for a 37-yard completion that took the Texans to the New England 12-yard line.
An 11-yard reception later in the drive, coupled with a 33-yarder later in the game from Deshaun Watson capped off Ellington's evening. O'Brien said the time the veteran's put in on and off the field with his position coach has been impressive.
"He's been working hard with John Perry and getting ready to go," O'Brien said. "He made the most of his opportunity tonight. He did a nice job. It's good to have him around."
In addition to his explosive plays on the field, the young veteran's been a positive influence in the receivers' room.
"We constantly learn from each other," Jaelen Strong said. "Bruce, what he learned where he came from, he brings it over here and puts it out there in the receiver room. We can choose to listen to it or not. Everything Bruce says is meaningful, so I lean on him a lot for advice. Whenever he says something I take it in."
Ellington and the Texans resume practice on Monday and Tuesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.