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Steve on Facebook: Dear Drew, What will be the difference in the offense with Coordinator Pep Hamilton in charge?
DD: Hamilton and the Texans haven't been overly specific about what will look different, and we won't likely be able to specifically point out major differences until the regular season. But Offensive Lineman Tytus Howard recently said "Pep is going to surprise a lot of people" because of the good plays he'll soon call.
Hamilton has stressed the need to run the ball better and put his playmakers in position to accentuate their strengths and take advantages of mismatches with opposing defenses.
The offensive linemen, pass catchers, running backs and Quarterback Davis Mills have all been enthusiastic about the changes and the possibilities for improvement with Hamilton's new offense.
Connor from Facebook: Dear Drew, How does WR Nico Collins look?
DD: Better, on the whole. More decisive. More assertive. More aggressive. He's looked good in Year 2, and has done well through the early part of training camp. Collins has more consistently used his big frame to come up with catches, and should figure more heavily into the offense in his second season. As it was, he did a solid job as a rookie in 2021. In the first two weeks of the season, he had a reception in each game and then left with an injury. Collins missed the next three contests, and over the last dozen games he played, he had three or more catches per game in all but two matchups. This offseason he continued to build better chemistry with Mills, and so far in camp, that's showing.
Nathan on Facebook: Dear Drew, Be honest: what do you think of the Battle Red Helmets?
DD: I love them. How can you not? The Battle Red jerseys are my favorites, so to finally mix things up, uniform-wise, with the new helmets is awesome. The Texans wore them a week ago at practice, and they'll put them on again for the November 3, Thursday-nighter at NRG Stadium against the Eagles. I can't wait to see them, and I hope we'll see them more often in the years to come.
Aaron on Facebook: Dear Drew, Will Jalen Pitre be the x-factor for the defense this year?
DD: He could be. I always hate to get overly excited about what guys do in training camp and Organized Team Activities (OTAs), because over the years we've some players flourish in those settings and then not do much in the regular season.
But Pitre is practicing the way he played last year at Baylor. The defensive back was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for the Bears, and almost always seemed to be around the ball. Head Coach Lovie Smith on Friday said Pitre is "blending in" as a starter at safety.
Another possible X-factor guy for the Texans defense this year is Defensive Lineman Rasheem Green. He's playing, and playing well, all over the defensive line so far in camp. He had 6.5 sacks last season with the Seahawks, and also hit the opposing quarterback 15 times. Green could help cause some problems for offenses this fall with his ability to get to the quarterback from different spots along the defensive front.