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OTAs practice report: Day 14


The Texans wrapped up their last day of OTAs on Thursday and will return for minicamp on Monday. The coaches have decided to hold out most of the veterans from practice so they can focus on their younger players, like defensive end Connor Barwin, who will be joining the team for the first time.

Minicamp to focus on rookies: The Texans' minicamp will have a new format this year. Coach Gary Kubiak plans to hold out most of the veterans from practice and have them work with strength and conditioning Ray Wright.

That will allow the coaches to focus on the rookies, especially defensive end Connor Barwin and running back Jeremiah Johnson, who missed OTAs because their respective colleges were still in session.

"There are about 30 veteran players that are going to be here working out with Ray and not practice," Kubiak said. "I'm going to practice all the young players. We are going to go back and start over from Day 1 when we came out here and really catch these young men up – catch Barwin up, catch Johnson up. All the players will be here, but only certain guys will be on the field."

Barwin and Johnson have been in constant communication with their position coaches and studying training DVDs, but they are behind in the installation program. The coaches want quality time on the field with them, as well as the other younger players who need additional work in the team's schemes.

{QUOTE}The new minicamp format also gives the veterans a bit of a breather before the Texans begin training camp on July 31. Minicamp practices will last 90 minutes apiece and will run from Monday through Wednesday.

Grossman reported to sign with Texans: The *Houston Chronicle *reported on Thursday that the Texans have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with veteran quarterback Rex Grossman.

Grossman, who was a first-round draft choice by the Chicago Bears in 2003, is reportedly expected to sign on Friday. He would join Texans quarterbacks Matt Schaub, Dan Orlovsky and Alex Brink.

There is no announcement from the Texans, and it is team policy that the organization does not comment until a deal has been signed. No transactions are official until announced by the team.

Nolan inks his deal: Safety Troy Nolan became the second draft choice to sign with the Texans this week, joining cornerback Brice McCain.

The seventh-round draft pick was the 223rd selection in the 2009 draft out of Arizona State.

Nolan started all 25 games in the last two seasons for the Sun Devils. He recorded 128 tackles (81 solo), 13 pass break-ups and 10 interceptions. He was known for finding the end zone, scoring five touchdowns on defense, with four interception returns and one fumble return. Nolan tied the ASU single-season record with two interception returns for a touchdown in both 2007 and 2008. He also served as a team captain during his senior year and was named second-team All-Pac-10 both of the past two seasons.

Nolan began his college career at College of the Canyons Junior College in California. He is part of a safety group that includes starters Nick Ferguson and Eugene Wilson and backups Dominique Barber, Brandon Harrison and John Busing.

Quotable:"I think Mario's got one of those opportunities in his career to be a Pro Bowl player for a long time - Defensive Player of the Year, those type of things. He's got that ability."
- Kubiak on defensive end Mario Williams

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