Notes and quotes from the Texans' sixth day of 2012 Training Camp presented by XFINITY at the Methodist Training Center. The morning practice was closed to the public.
Johnson on track: Wide receiver Andre Johnson is on track to return next week from a pulled groin that has sidelined him since Sunday. "I think I'll probably be back on the field probably Monday sometime," he said on Thursday morning. The five-time Pro Bowler has been running with Texans head athletic trainer/director of sports medicine Geoff Kaplan for the last two days. "I'm feeling good," Johnson said. "I ran good today, ran good yesterday, so it's just taking it day by day. There's no big rush. It's not like we play a game tomorrow, so you're just going to play it smart. I'll keep coming out every day running and see how it feels, but it's been feeling good. I haven't been having no problems with it and hope to be out on the field sometime next week."
More in store for 'J-Mo': With J.J. Watt sidelined indefinitely by a dislocated left elbow, defensive end Tim Jamison will work as a starter. An undrafted free agent out of Michigan in 2009, Jamison spent parts of his first two seasons on the practice squad. He played in all 16 games in 2011 as a reserve, recording two sacks and a forced fumble. "Timmy's a grinder," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's always a hard worker, plays with a lot of effort. Gave us a lot of great time last year, and now he gets to chance to act like a starter, so we'll see how he handles it. It's just more reps for him and a chance for him to be a better player." Nose tackle Ra'Shon "Sonnie" Harris also might see time at defensive end, and the Texans could sign another defensive lineman. Rookie defensive end Jared Crick has been limited by a neck injury since Wednesday.
Brooks battles heat: Rookie right guard Brandon Brooks left practice on Thursday morning after having issues with the heat. The third-round pick from Miami (Ohio), who is competing with Antoine Caldwell for a starting job, is likely to return to the field on Friday. "Brandon's fine," Kubiak said. "Heat issue. He should be back right away."The Texans have the hottest training camp in the NFL, with temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees outside at the Methodist Training Center. Brooks (6-5, 337), the Texans' heaviest player, was the first known casualty of the heat so far in camp. "It's interesting, when we have heat issues, it's usually new guys, young guys that aren't used to Houston," Kubiak said. "Our guys that (have been) here hold up pretty good."
Kicker update: The Texans' kicking competition continued on Thursday, with rookie Randy Bullock and veteran Shayne Graham both attempting field goals in front of the team. Bullock had been the only kicker to work on Wednesday, going 9-of-11 on field goals. "I think it's been good," Kubiak said of the competition. "Graham did not kick yesterday, said he wasn't feeling well. I think Randy's been working hard. I think he's kicked well. He's had some misses. Obviously, we're looking for the most consistent guy, but they're both very, very talented. One's at this end of the spectrum from playing a long time and one's just getting started, so we got to see how it works out."
Manning the leader: This item is a day late, but free safety Danieal Manning is emerging as a major leader on the team this offseason. It was exemplified by some extra work he did after practice on Wednesday morning. Manning wasn't on his own, or with his fellow defensive backs, but with rookie wide receiver DeVier Posey. "I was just telling him some of the techniques that we play, playing against us," Manning said. "Certain routes, we can recognize the way he releases; we can tell what route he's really running so we can cut routes off." Manning, a seventh-year veteran who joined the Texans last offseason from the Chicago Bears, ran through routes with the third-round pick from Ohio State for about 30 minutes after practice. "It's just like going in their room and watching film with them," Posey said. "You want to make sure that you're not giving away things with your body as a young receiver and giving away clues that help them out. He's always out here, man, and he's always friendly and willing to help you. You're on the field and you make a good play, he's going to tell you, 'Good job.' He just wants to see young guys do well."
Quotes of the Day
"We coached the Pro Bowl last year, & there weren't any inside 'backers that were any better than him." – Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, on ILB Brian Cushing
"It's as good as our offensive line will be able to make us. We go as they go." – Texans RB Arian Foster, on how good the team's running backs are
"Everybody knows that it's his team and he's the leader. I'm trying to come out here every day and get better, because I still made a lot of mistakes last year." – QB T.J. Yates, on preparing to be the backup to Matt Schaub