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Houston Texans

Nick's Notes: O-Line competition, DeVier Posey heat up


Notes and quotes from the Texans' fourth day of 2012 Training Camp presented by XFINITY at the Methodist Training Center:

*The Texans worked in full pads for the first time on Tuesday after working in shoulder pads on Monday. Coach Gary Kubiak said he tried to get the team moving more quickly in team periods and that the offense responded "really well" early on in practice. He also said the competition has been good on both sides of the ball, but he wants to see more physical play. "We need to thump a little bit more," Kubiak said. "It's a fine line. You're working in your pads and you want to be physical (but) you want people to stay up and stay healthy. We've got to continue to get more physical, because we are a physical football team."

*With Andre Johnson on the sideline for the past two days, rookie wide receiver DeVier Posey has had two of his best practices of the offseason. The third-round draft pick from Ohio State had a couple of impressive deep catches on Tuesday afternoon as he worked primarily with the second-team offense against the second-team defense. "I think he's been doing some good stuff every day," Kubiak said. "As a receiver, you don't know how many times a ball is coming to you. He had a chance to make a couple of nice plays today and he made them. I'm watching his whole body of work, and it's been pretty consistent." Kubiak was critical of Posey's conditioning level during OTAs (organized team activities). Posey missed 10 games last season due to suspensions. "He has a lot of talent, a lot of ability," Kubaik said. "You could tell in OTAs and stuff that he had missed a lot of football, but I see him catching up. I like the way he works. He's in very good shape and can go all day, so that's what you've got to do in this league to play receiver. He's on his way. He's had a good week so far."

*The Texans' open competition at right tackle and right guard has picked up now that the team is practicing in pads. Rashad Butler and Derek Newton continue to rotate series-for-series at right tackle, while Antoine Caldwell and Brandon Brooks do the same at right guard. "It's very competitive," Kubiak said. "They're going back and forth right now. One day, one of them works with the ones, the next day, the other one works with the ones. They're split right down the middle. We'll see who gets it done." Kubiak said he has seen "flashes" from all four players. "I think that Gump (Caldwell) has done some good things," he said. "Butler has done some good things. The young guard (Brooks) has the ability, he has big-time ability, but he has to catch up. You see flashes of what you're looking for. I think Newton is still a young player, but he's a physical player. It'll be interesting. It'll sort itself out in the games, probably not in practice."

*Another position with unsettled questions is fullback. The Texans have three on the roster in starter James Casey, who is also the team's second tight end, along with veteran Moran Norris and second-year pro Derrell Smith. Smith, a practice squad middle linebacker in 2011, has gotten some first-team reps in camp. "It's an interesting dynamic," Kubiak said. "James is our starting fullback, but we do a lot of different things with James. The young kid Smith has a lot of ability. I think he's got a chance to be an excellent one, but he's a former defensive player trying to learn to play offense, so that's his struggle right now. Norris has been playing a long time and he's a banger. He's a big banger. They're all kind of different, so we've got to sort out who's going to be the best special teams help. How do we set our roster? Two fullbacks? One fullback? What are we going to do?" Good question, Coach.

Quotes of the Day

"He's like my Jim Thorpe. I'm going to play him everywhere. He gives us a lot of versatility offensively and causes problems for people, so I've got to use James the right way. I'm starting to do it in training camp and not waiting until the season." – Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, on FB James Casey's versatility

"B-Money, we call him, Brandon Harris, he's going to play a lot." – FS Danieal Manning, as part of a response to a question about the Texans' young defensive backs

"He's a well-conditioned guy who can do a little bit of everything. He catches the ball well and he should play special teams, so he has an excellent chance to help our team." – Kubiak, on RB Justin Forsett

"These guys just run to the ball. They're very tenacious. They have great chemistry. They love playing with one another. I'm just trying to get in, fit in and keep everybody looking forward." –ILB Bradie James, on the linebacker unit's identity

"I can't compare myself to him because he's a great running back. He's definitely shown that the past two years. I haven't done anything in the NFL. Once I establish myself and make some plays, then I could answer some questions." – WR Lestar Jean, on if he ever compares himself to Texans RB Arian Foster because they're both undrafted free agents

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