The Texans saw sunshine at practice for the first time in a few days and took advantage with a lengthy, yet necessary workout. Here's the Harris Hurry-up from Saturday's workout.
-- Andre Johnson was on hand for the day's festivities, making his way up from Houston for the weekend. Former first round pick Travis Johnson was also on hand on the sidelines taking in the day's work.
-- I saw Travis work his way over to see Roderick Johnson, a fellow Florida State Seminole claimed off waivers in June, after practice. That got me thinking, there haven't been many Seminoles to wear a Texans jersey. Travis Johnson is the only Seminole to ever be drafted by the Texans and fullback Greg Jones was the only other Seminole to start for the Texans in their history (six in total).
-- Watching the front seven's work on halfline inside run period was a blast. It was very animated.
-- Linebacker Dylan Cole made a couple of tackles in that drill as he read the plays, disengaged from blocks, struck and wrapped up for the tackle, perhaps better than anyone in the drill.
-- Half (or more) of the battle is anticipation and half the battle is being decisive. Outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett showed both during that drill that shut down a run his way. He saw the down blocks on his side and knew a pulling offensive linemen was coming. As such, he blasted the guard, eliminating any run lane for the running back.
-- Watching from the end zone, it's so intriguing to see running backs "get skinny" through holes in the line. Now, the backs are all different shapes and sizes, but there were slivers of space at times and they slithered through to gain big yardage.
-- Inside drills mean collisions and there were a few, but the most audible one was fullback Jay Prosch and linebacker Kennan Gilchrist collided. Pads were popped.
-- I've often raved about linebacker Zach Cunningham's versatility and ability to cover any number of positions in the passing game. Today, he was matched up on Lamar Miller and no one has been able to cover Lamar in camp. Cunningham mirrored Miller's route as well as he could but was still a step behind. Yet, he never stopped to look for the ball until the very last moment and eventually knocked it away.
-- Receiver Sammie Coates continues to be consistent catching the football which is what we all wanted to see heading into camp. If he can show that during preseason games, he's going to secure a spot on this team.
-- The Texans did a bunch of 11-on-11 work, moving the ball up and down the field with all quarterbacks at the helm.
-- Of course, quarterback Deshaun Watson got his first crack and led the offense down the field for a touchdown. On one play near the end of the drill, he missed receiver Will Fuller V, overshooting one in Fuller V's direction. But, on the final play of the drive, Watson noticed that the entire defense went the one way while Fuller V went the other. The former Notre Dame star got himself wide open in the back of the end zone for a score.
-- Watson seemed to get even more in rhythm as the practice wore on.
-- On the second drive, Watson dialed up Fuller V on first down on a beautiful route on the sideline. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Fuller V is as precise a route runner as there is.
-- A couple of plays later, Watson found his rookie tight end Jordan Thomas - great throw/great catch. Even though there were refs there, they missed a blatant hold on that throw. One of the linemen just snatched Christian Covington to keep him from getting to Watson. I'll take that, though, to keep #4 upright and healthy. Sorry, Cov, but you understand.
-- Watson then stared Benardrick McKinney right in the face as he came sprinting up the middle at the quarterback and delivered a strike to receiver Braxton Miller. That's the type of play that I've seen Watson make a few other times, but it's impressive nonetheless.
-- After that drive stalled, quarterback Brandon Weeden took over and made one of his best throws in camp. He got a little pressure up the middle, so he slid to his left, but stayed in the pocket. As he did, he made sure to set his feet and then delivered a rope to Sammie Coates for a first down.
-- Three plays later, Weeden threw a seed to Jordan Thomas for the touchdown, finishing that drive with six.
-- As has been mentioned previously, Lamar Miller has slimmed down and is certainly quicker to, and through, holes. I caught a perfect view of that on a run during a team drill a few minutes later. That hole wasn't huge, but it was just enough. Miller spied it, then sprinted through it into the clear for a solid pickup.
-- A few plays later, cornerback Kevin Johnson knocked away a Watson pass as the heat was dialed up on the second year signal caller.
-- One guy I haven't mentioned much made a stellar tackle for a loss on the ensuing drive - outside linebacker Ufomba Kamalu. He held the edge and, as the running back tried to bounce outside of him, he completely shut it down. The defense was hyped for Kamalu after that play.
-- I try not to miss pass rush one-on-ones with the defensive and offensive linemen, in large part because I want to see how the two starting tackles - Julien Davenport and Seantrel Henderson - are progressing. Davenport's length is disarming for rushers that don't really have a plan against him. He only got one rep and when I say he stoned a rusher, I mean, he locked out those 37-inch stems and played keep-away like it was nothing.
-- Speaking of long arms, rookie edge rusher Duke Ejiofor uses his 35-inch arms well on the edge for a young guy. If he can refine his tool box, ala Whitney Mercilus, he's going to be one difficult guy to stop off the edge in the future.
Well, that'll do it for a thorough, yet excellent, Saturday practice at the Greenbrier. It was the last Saturday action in West Virginia in this training camp. Oh, the end is coming, which means the beginning is almost here.
See ya tomorrow, everyone.
Check out some of the best shots from Saturday's practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.