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Camp surprises and defender updates | Dear Drew

***Got a question about the Texans? Life in general? Drew Dougherty's your guy. He's been with the Texans since 2009 and is chock full of meaningful, as well as generally useless, information. Fire away by clicking here!

Lee in Killeen: Dear Drew, I haven't heard much about Shaq Lawson. How is he doing so far in camp?
DD: The defensive end has done well. He's someone the team is looking to for some pass rush impact this season. Lawson has particularly liked going against Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil, because of the extreme challenge. Tunsil's one of the best in the NFL, and Lawson said that work has really given him a chance to hone his skills.

Brody in England: Dear Drew, How is Eric Murray looking? Also, how does defensive coordinator Lovie Smith look to use him?
DD: If you listen to Smith and safety Justin Reid, Murray's been solid so far. Smith brought Murray's name up when he was asked to pinpoint which players had stood out through the first week of camp. Reid is happy Murray's back for year two, and Murray's challenging for a starting spot at safety. He started 14 games for Houston in 2020, and when I spoke with him a few days ago, he said one of the main things he focused on improving was his transitions and getting out of his breaks quicker.

Aiden: Dear Drew, How is Davis Mills doing?
DD: He's playing like a rookie. He's had his ups and he's had his downs. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said recently that things are starting to slow down for Mills when he's in the pocket, which is a good thing, and that Mills isn't making "panic mistakes."

Ben: Dear Drew, Which RB has stood out?
DD: This is a tough one to answer, because they've all made plays. Phillip Lindsay's been impressive, David Johnson continues to be a weapon catching the ball, and Mark Ingram's found the end zone. I think Lindsay will wind up seeing the most snaps, but I believe it won't be by a wide margin over those two or one of the younger backs on the roster.

Evan: Dear Drew, Who is the surprise player showing up on offense and defense?
DD: On offense, Charlie Heck. Defensively, Roy Lopez. Now, take all that with a grain of salt, because I'm not able to view every part of practice. But before camp started, not too many folks predicted Heck would see reps with the first team at right tackle, and that's happening. Culley said Heck really got a lot stronger this offseason, and has looked good. As for Lopez, he was the last guy drafted in the Texans 2021 rookie class. The defensive lineman from Arizona has made plays, caused problems for the offensive line, and definitely flashed.

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