The Houston Texans kicked off organized team activities (OTAs) this week under head coach DeMeco Ryans. The team's second practice, held on Tuesday, was open to the media. Here are four takeaways from the first look at the team's rookies and veterans practicing together:
Ryans was fired up to see his team, rookies and veterans, mixing together on the field together for the first time at practice.
"For it to be voluntary, we have a really good group participating," Ryans said. "A lot of guys out. A lot of guys who -- this time period here, it's about how can I improve as a player? The guys that are here, they are honing their craft. They are getting better. And it's all about setting yourself up to be able to compete to make the team in training camp. So the guys are doing that. I feel like the guys that are here are going to be in great shape to help us out in the fall."
With three quarterbacks on the roster, the Texans will be dividing up practice reps between third-year veteran Davis Mills, rookie C.J. Stroud and veteran free agent signing Case Keenum. On Tuesday, Mills was the first-team quarterback, taking the first set of reps during the open team period. In other periods, Mills and Stroud were lined up together (both under center and shotgun) and roughly getting the same number of snaps, throwing passes simultaneously.
So, how much do first and second team reps matter in OTAs? Not much, according to Stroud.
"For me, I'm trying to get better," Stroud said. "It's not about being with the ones, being with the twos, just getting better. That's what spring is for. Getting the timing down. Learning my receivers, learning Tank [Dell], learning [Robert] Woods learning how Nico [Collins] runs his routes, learning how Dalton [Schultz] run his routes just anybody I can learn from. That's what I've been on. It's not about ones and twos right now, just getting better as a whole and getting ready for training camp. So that's been a blessing."
Also practicing with the 2's for now was third-overall draft pick, DE Will Anderson Jr. His play at the end of practice even caught Jalen Pitre's eye.
"He made a play in OTAs today, and he had a celebration," Pitre said. "So it's a guy that's used to just making plays. I love to be around that type of energy."
WR Tank Dell caught a nice pass from Stroud during team drills for a long gain. The rookie wide receiver and Stroud have been building chemistry together off the field.
"Yeah, it's been going great," Stroud said. "We've been hanging out in the hotel, just going over scripts, getting the plays down together. It was great to be not only by myself, but a great rookie class. Not only just football players, but human beings. Tank has done a great job, very vocal, wants to be better, wants to know what we like so he can run a route a certain way, wants to get right with the coaches. He's just very, very in tune to what we want, and he wants to just be great. So it's amazing to be with him. He's very like minded."
-The latest on John Metchie's return
WR John Metchie III, who missed last season undergoing treatment for leukemia, was not at practice Tuesday. Ryans gave an update on Metchie and is hopeful he could make a possible return in training camp.
"Metchie is doing great," Ryans said. "Metchie is working on training camp. Get him back to football. We're right on the correct path with him."
Texans OTAs will continue until June 8 at the Houston Methodist Center. Mandatory minicamp will take place June 13-14.