After a four-day layoff for Memorial Day weekend, the Texans returned to the Methodist Training Center on Tuesday for their ninth practice of organized team activities.
"I thought we looked good defensively," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after practice. "We were sluggish offensively. We were not as sharp, I guess I should say. We gave them a long weekend, and we've got to get going here again.
"We've still got five good days of OTAs left. We've got a lot of things that we need to get accomplished, a lot of teaching that we've got to do. So we need to stay at it."
Three QBs to campThe Texans currently have four quarterbacks: starter Matt Schaub, backup Dan Orlovsky, free agent addition John David Booty and undrafted rookie Tyler Sheehan. They'll likely only bring three of them to training camp, which begins on July 30.
"I'm fine with Dan and Matt, obviously," Kubiak said. "I'm trying to get a feel for Booty and take a look at Tyler also. I think we go to camp with three, maybe four, but I think it's going to be three with our tight end issue and having two kickers in camp. We're losing some luxury right there, so I've got to make a decision between those two other kids."
Both Booty and Sheehan are practice squad-eligible. Booty (6-3, 208) is in his third year out of USC. He was the Minnesota Vikings' third quarterback as a rookie in 2008 and spent last season on the practice squads of the Vikings and Tennessee Titans. Sheehan (6-4, 237) was a three-year starter at Bowling Green.
Lumps for Holliday
Rookie kick returner Trindon Holliday has impressed Texans players and coaches with his speed and quickness, but Kubiak did not sound particularly pleased with his performance on offense on Tuesday.
"He is what we thought he was as far as his talent and all that," Kubiak said. "But in this league, he's going to have to play wide receiver, so he's got a long, long way to go. He's way behind. He's got a long way to go to prove to this team that he knows what the hell he's doing. It's probably not a good day to ask me that question."
Kubiak continues to be impressed with the advanced development of Kareem Jackson, the rookie cornerback who spent three seasons under Nick Saban at Alabama.
Saban, a former defensive backs coach with the Houston Oilers and several college teams, works closely with the secondary at Alabama.
"Nick's a back end guy," Kubiak said. "From a coaching standpoint, this kid's very well coached up. Some of the things that you may have to work on knowing, he already knows them, so (Texans defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) had a head start with him from that standpoint. But we knew that. That was one of the reasons we were very excited to get him."
Antoine Caldwell (right guard), Chris Myers (center) and Kasey Studdard (left guard) have been lining up as the Texans' starters on the interior offensive line, but they've been sharing reps with a deep group of players that includes Wade Smith and Mike Brisiel.
"It's going to be a very competitive situation throughout camp, and it'll be interesting to see if Caldwell and Chris and Studdard can hold those guys off," Kubiak said.
Brisiel started 25 consecutive games at right guard for the Texans before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury at Arizona last season in Week 5.
"Every year, I've got to come out and work to get a spot on the team, so I'm approaching it every day the same," said Brisiel, a former undrafted rookie and practice squad player. "I've just got to get back on the field."
That's what he said
"I think it's definitely carried over as far as my overall quickness, hands and feet getting off the ball and then timing up my punches in the pass rush, for sure."
- DE Connor Barwin, on how his offseason boxing training has helped him on the football field
"I know a lot of people like to say that we're competing against each other. I don't really think that's the case. I think you're competing against yourself. In my case – I can't speak for everybody else on it – I think I'm competing against myself, to get myself better."
- RB Ryan Moats, on the competition at running back