There's no question that you want to check out the entirety of Lovie Smith's post practice media gatherings, whether it be on this site, social media or reading the transcripts later on the Texans App. Smith gives you a lot of details on how individuals are doing, as well as the big picture.
At the OTA week three presser, he talked about how the rookies were doing and, among others, named a certain safety from Baylor. He also talked about a linebacker from Alabama spending some time with the 'ones.'
Even though he named these players I'm still gun shy to do the same. That's because we haven't had a whole lot of that around here. Saying nice things about rookies and identifying where any player might be on the depth chart sounds very different than what we've heard before at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
On the SportsRadio 610 morning show, Sean Pendergast pointed out how "we could never tweet that!" He's right and it's for good reason. You don't want media micro reporting every aspect of practice because it's fluid and people might read way too much into the information.
I've seen so many players line up at various layers of the depth chart and at different positions over the years only to see them in another spot as the regular season launches.
In camp, offensive linemen will often practice all over the place because sometimes in games, with only seven active, they'll have to adjust. Another good example was from last year when a certain QB was reported to be 'practicing at safety' when it was just to give a look in an on-air drill with the other QBs. It got totally blown out of proportion.
It's best to let the coach report the details. Smith knows he's not revealing anything that gives opponents a competitive advantage. This is his 12th season as head coach in this league and he's seen it all. If a player he singles out as doing well ultimately doesn't, everyone will eventually find out anyway. If he says someone is practicing with the ones but later serves as a reserve, the world will know.
I remember a coach here once announcing that all starting jobs were up for grabs. And that's when Andre Johnson was on the team! He was being a tad facetious. Of course Johnson and the rest of the qualified veterans would start. He was sending a message.
But he was sort of right. Starting jobs are always up for grabs in sports for the individuals who rise to the occasion, and Smith isn't announcing starters. He's just relaying practice info.
'Messages' are sent by on field execution and competition. The players are smart and can see who is excelling and how well, or not, their own performance is going.
Everything will get resolved as we get to the 53-man roster and the week one line up. In the meantime, the media and fans appreciate Smith's candor and just about everybody understands that this is a work in progress and a lot can and will happen throughout training camp and the preseason games.
Check out some photos from the Texans practice on June 7 + the Texans Legends that stopped by to watch OTAs.