Day two of joint practices between the 49ers and the Texans didn't bring with it any, uh, shall we say fireworks, but it was another excellent day of work against a quality NFC opponent. Here is the Harris Hurry-up, the last one of the year (**sheds tear**)...
-- Receiver DeAndre Hopkins was back at practice today and made his presence known immediately. He hauled in a one hander on a throw from Deshaun Watson that set the crowd off in the far corner of the Houston Methodist practice facility (you can see the video below). 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who's going to be a star in this league, was in perfect position, but Watson fit the rock into a spot where only Hopkins right hand could make the catch. It did. He did. Vintage Hopkins.
-- A few reps later, Will Fuller V ran a brilliant route to get wide open for a catch at the goal line for a touchdown.
-- I tried to catch a little bit of everything today so I didn't see entire drill periods (until the final situational work). That said, there was a pass rush period where the Texans defensive line really took over and dominated the entirety of the drill.
-- One of the guys that I keep telling myself to talk about is defensive tackle Angelo Blackson. He got a ton of heat on Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes in preseason game one and that's what he's done this entire camp. Today, during a pass rush drill, he threw a spin move that got him clean past a 49ers interior lineman. He's played the run well. He's gotten pressure on the quarterback. He's done a solid job this camp.
-- Yesterday it was J.J. Watt; today it was rookie Duke Ejiofor. Watt planted rookie tackle Mike McGlinchey yesterday back on his wallet in a run block drill, while Ejiofor did a similar thing today during a pass rush drill to a 49ers offensive tackle.
-- Overall, I thought there were more running lanes today for the Texans running backs. Yesterday, it seemed to be heavily clogged inside, but today, there were plenty of holes in the interior for the Texans backs to find running room.
-- Receiver Braxton Miller had another solid day, including a reception on a ball from quarterback Brandon Weeden. It was a long developing play and Weeden had to throw nearly all the way across the field. But, Miller completely turned around his defender and was open by yards.
-- Speaking of Miller, it was great to see the kickoff return unit spring him for a significant return against the Niners first kickoff unit. It did the same for running back Troymaine Pope, who also had a strong practice.
-- One of my favorite plays of the day was, well, I didn't even write down the result of the play. Pope was at running back and the Niners brought rookie safety Emmanuel Moseley off the offense's left side. Pope caught him under the chin like a Mike Tyson uppercut and blasted him on his backside. I mean, wow! Pope needs to get a helmet scratch and sniff sticker for the hit of the day on that one.
-- On Wednesday, tight end Jordan Thomas picked a ball off the top of a safety's head and I forgot to mention it (my bad). I mention that because he ripped away a catch from safety Jaquiski Tartt for a touchdown in one-on-ones.
-- Fellow tight end Stephen Anderson made an excellent catch on a fade route on safety Chanceller James for a touchdown in one-on-ones as well.
-- When the 49ers offense worked down in the red zone, inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney had a pass breakup on a route that Jimmy Garoppolo eyed the whole way. "B-Mac" read his eyes the entire way and nearly had a pick.
-- During a team drill, defensive tackle Christian Covington forced a Garoppolo throwaway, getting pressure up the middle. Covington continues to have a strong training camp/preseason.
-- Cornerback Aaron Colvin's hustle got him a pass breakup during team drills. A ball was thrown to a receiver five to seven yards behind Colvin but after it was thrown, Colvin sprinted at the receiver who was juggling the rock. Colvin dove at it and knocked it away.
-- A few plays earlier, safety Kareem Jackson nearly picked off Garoppolo on an option route.
-- K-Jack did eventually get one from Garoppolo during a situational period. Down two, with a minute on the clock and one time out, Garoppolo's first throw ended in 25's hands. He got some pressure and just launched one down field and Jackson was in the right spot to "end the game", if you will.
-- Cornerback Josh Thornton must love to see red on the other sideline because had another pair of pass breakups today (as in Kansas City), one in team and one in 7-on-7.
-- Linebacker Zach Cunningham broke up a Garoppolo pass down the seam during situations.
-- When the Texans offense worked team during the red zone, it was an excellent period. Watson finished the period finding rookie tight end Jordan Akins in the far corner of the end zone. Akins beat linebacker Reuben Foster by just a step but Watson's throw allowed Akins to run through the catch for the touchdown.
-- Hopkins versus Witherspoon was an excellent matchup today. Witherspoon is one of the few cornerbacks in the league that can physically matchup with big receivers like Hopkins. More on him later. But, during situations, Hopkins caught one backshoulder ball on the sideline, while Witherspoon broke one up two plays later.
-- Safety Kurtis Drummond has made a ton of plays, especially since we arrived back in Houston. Yesterday, he ripped the ball right away from a former Michigan State teammate after a completed pass. Today, during situations, he nearly had a pick and then, two plays later, he came up with a pass breakup. One day after the other, Drummond has consistently found ways to make plays on defense and on special teams.
Okay, well, that's a good place to stop. Really have enjoyed offering up my thoughts from training camp this year. Looking forward to game two against these same 49ers on Saturday night. See ya then, everyone.
Check out some of the best shots from Wednesday's Texans Camp practice with the 49ers.