The Texans wore full pads for the first time in training camp on a scorching hot Monday morning at the Methodist Training Center.
With temperatures upward of 100 degrees, a brief skirmish broke out late in practice involving right tackle Eric Winston and safety Bernard Pollard, who's by far the most vocal player on the field. Afterward, Winston explained that were no hard feelings between he and his defensive counterpart.
"We're going to go inside and we're going to go have lunch together and we're going to start laughing and making jokes," he said. "It's one of those things that you go out here, you do the things during camp, you're on the field, you're competitive, and then when you step off the field, we'll are on the same team again. And that's the way well all look at it.
"It'd be a problem if it was something that was filtering in the locker room and there was some real hatred with each other, but I love Bernard. I always needle him and call him 'Benny' and he hates it, and we laugh and we all have a good time. And that's what it's all about. He's going to step right on that edge and sometimes he's going to cross it, and I think it's my job and the offensive line's job to push him back. It doesn't matter who it is."
Five Things Worth Noting
• The Texans placed wide receiver Glenn Martinez on the reserve/injured list and re-signed wide receiver London Crawford. Martinez, a fifth-year pro, injured his hamstring on Saturday. Crawford (6-2, 203), an undrafted free agent from Arknasas, was released by the Texans on June 16. Wide receiver depth had become an issue for the Texans with rookie Trindon Holliday also sidelined by a hamstring injury on Monday. The sixth-round pick from LSU could miss a couple more days of practice.
• Defensive end Mario Williams sat out another day with soreness in his hip flexor. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Williams received an injection in the morning to reduce inflammation in his hip. With six weeks before their regular season opener, the Texans aren't taking any chances with the 2006 No. 1 overall pick. Williams will not practice on Tuesday and could be out until at least Thursday. "The bottom line (is) it's too early in this thing," Kubiak said. "We're going to get it exactly the way we want it before we proceed forward."
• Rookie running back Ben Tate reeled off some nice runs in his first professional practice in pads. One came on his first touch in 11-on-11s, when he caught a screen pass from John David Booty on the left side of the field and cut it back right for a 30-yard gain. "He's got a lot of ability," Kubiak said. "He's behind the team because of the stuff he missed in the offseason. He has to catch up with the group from that standpoint, but I think players see his talent. As young guy now, it's about earning respect of other people here that you could help on Sundays. He's got a long way to go, but he's doing his job."
• Booty, the third-team quarterback, did a nice job of moving the offense down the field in the unscripted portion of 11-on-11s at the end of practice. He capped it off with a perfectly-placed deep pass down the left sideline that wide receiver Bobby Williams caught for a diving touchdown just beyond the reach of cornerback Fred Bennett. Booty has practice squad eligibility in his third year out of USC, although the Texans did keep three quarterbacks on the roster last season.
• Kubiak was effusive in his praise of defensive end Connor Barwin on Monday afternoon, calling him a "totally different player" than when he arrived as a rookie in 2009. Barwin, who had 4.5 sacks last season, played only one year of defense in college at Cincinnati. "I think he is much improved," Kubiak said. "He's stronger, (better) confidence-wise, just everything. He's a second-year player who looks like he's found his niche. He's going to continue to improve. He's had a really good offseason."
Five THings Worth Quoting
"Yes. More than I had last year."
- DE Connor Barwin, on if he has set a goal of how many sacks he'll get this season
"It was my rookie year when we played them. I wasn't able to go up against him, unfortunately. Hopefully I maybe get an opportunity this year, and I just have to make sure I get my pads set because I know that every down, he brings the wood."
- S Dominique Barber, on playing against the Dallas Cowboys and his brother, RB Marion Barber, this season
"It's been great. He's a great kicker. He's been very good in this league for a long time, and I think we're both going to make each other better. That's kind of my goal, and I'm just having as good a time in camp as I ever have."
- K Kris Brown, on working with K Neil Rackers while competing against him
"Kris is a great guy. He's been a big help to me since I've been here, and I've had a lot of respect for the guy. What people know of him here in Houston is how he is behind closed doors as well, and I think that's a great quality about him."
- Rackers, on working with Brown
"Oh, yeah. I have about 15 aunts and uncles and plenty of cousins and friends. But I'm not worried about that yet."
- DT Earl Mitchell, a Houston native, on if he'll have a large amount of ticket requests if he makes the team