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Early camp thoughts

Matt Schaub will go down field and take chances. He knows it's practice and this is the time to get everything ironed out. I saw some nice downfield pass plays off the boot and out of the pocket. He looks off safeties and has a nice rapport with his teammates. Sage Rosenfels looks solid and Bradlee Van Pelt looked 10 times better than he did last year when he was signed off his couch at home to become the backup quarterback. Jared Zabransky made a terrific throw in the first afternoon session but looked rookieish (new word) on some other occasions. It's to be expected. Quinton Porter might not get too many reps this camp.

They'll still go with the bread and butter slant with Andre Johnson as a high percentage pass play, but they'll do more with it. Jacoby Jones looks a lot more comfortable than he did in the OTAs. He's super quick and could be fun to watch. Jerome Mathis is hanging around as I cross my fingers and say a little prayer for his hamstrings every time he touches the ball. Bethel Johnson is making people's eyes pop out with his speed. He's here to win a job and just might do it.

Speed is a good topic to bring up. Whether the team wins two games or 12 games this is by far the most speed this organization has ever possessed on a roster.

Ahman Green is a total pro and looks like he's 25 years old. The presence of Green seems to have sparked Ron Dayne, who is looking spry. The competitive situations that Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith are creating at most positions appears to have ignited many fires. This is a good thing.

It's hard to tell about the O-Line until we see some preseason game action. This unit ran the ball well down the stretch in '06 but the defense had the edge in many of the one-on-one drills I watched. That's not surprising since it's August and you're dealing with four number-one picks on that side of the ball. Tomorrow could be another story. In the big pciture, the boots and quick pass plays should help keep Schaub protected.

Mario Williams is slimmer (relative term, he's down to 280) and quicker. He should have a very productive year. Amobi Okoye is getting adjusted as a rookie. Charlie Anderson is getting a long look as a rush end who can also play OLB. Shawn Barber saw time at nickel LB with the first unit and looked good. C.C. Brown and Glenn Earl would start at the safety spots if the team played tonight, but things could eventually change if Brandon Harrison, the rookie from Stanford, plays well.

So many positions, so little time. I'll have more soon.


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