OTAs Day 7: Rookies adjusting


Rookie receiver Dorin Dickerson is one of many rookies still getting accustomed to the Houston heat.

The Texans completed their seventh practice of organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center.
After practice, head coach Gary Kubiak announced that tight ends Owen Daniels and Anthony Hill, who are both recovering from torn ACLs, will not participate in training camp (read more – link to blog).

Salad for lunchRookie wide receiver Dorin Dickerson is making the transition from tight end, where he was an All-American last year at the University of Pittsburgh, to wide receiver.

In addition to learning the ins and outs of his new position from wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey and starting receivers Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, Dickerson is adapting to the position by working on another goal: Losing weight.

The seventh-round draft pick said he has been instructed to bring his weight down from 235 to the 220-225-pound range to improve his speed and quickness.

"Like right now, I'll go in there [to the Texans' cafeteria], I'll eat a salad and maybe eat something bigger for dinner," Dickerson said after practice on Wednesday. "I'll just go in there and eat a salad and drink some water, just try and keep my weight down so I can trim up and be a receiver."

Overall, Dickerson said his position switch is going well. Being able to watch and learn from Johnson hasn't hurt.

"It's the best receiver in the NFL, and that's just great every day," Dickerson said. "He does everything so perfect, you can't not learn from him. Every day, he gets out there and works hard, and that's the biggest thing. So he's a big role model to look up to right now."

Baby boy for Casey
Tight end James Casey missed practice for the second consecutive day, but his absence was more than excused.

"He and his wife had a baby boy yesterday," Kubiak said. "He's with his wife today, so he's not here."

Kubiak also said that guard Mike Brisiel had "a little hamstring issue" and that cornerback Mark Parson had a sore ankle, but that the overall health of the team was fine.

Assessing AmobiDefensive tackle Amobi Okoye slimmed down to 290 pounds this offseason, looking to regain some of his speed and quickness in the pass rush. Okoye, who's still just 22 years old, had 5.5 sacks as a rookie but only 2.5 in the two seasons since.

"I think players are always looking for an edge in what can I do to get better and what can I do to play better," Kubiak said. "Obviously, he wanted to take a look at being a little lighter, like he was in college, and we're OK with that. He's got a job to do inside, and if he can do it at 290 instead of 305, that's fine. He's having a good offseason and some good OTAs.

"He's always been able to rush the passer, and I think we as coaches can help him. He's doing everything he can to get better, and that's all we can ask."

Dynamo kicks
Houston Dynamo defender Craig Waibel of Major League Soccer attempted field goals for charity after the Texans' practice on Wednesday.

After Waibel got some instruction from Okoye in a basic pass-rushing drill, he attempted 10 field goals on one of the Texans' practice fields.

For every kick missed, Waibel donated $100 to his "Bald is Beautiful" campaign, which benefits children's cancer research. For each kick Waibel made, Texans kicker Kris Brown donated $100 to the same cause.

Waibel made seven of his 10 field goals, putting Brown on the hook for $700.

That's what he said
"That's good, but the impressive thing to me has been Steve's reaction to Arian (Foster) lining up with the first group and his reaction to coming back from a rough year. He's been very positive. He's been better. I think he'll come back and play very well."
- Texans coach Gary Kubiak, on how running back Steve Slaton has looked coming off of neck surgery and losing weight this offseason.

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