Spotlighting one Texans rookie on each day of training camp:
Flashing the speed that helped him win the NCAA 100-meter sprint title in 2009, Trindon Holliday sent a buzz through Texans training camp with a couple of electrifying punt returns in the team's morning practice.
It was during a drill with Holliday waiting to field a punt from a Juggs Machine as seven defenders ran at him. The drill didn't feature any blockers, but Holliday didn't need them.
On the first return, he darted left to evade the pack of defenders, then found daylight down the left sideline. On the next one, he outran a group that included running back Steve Slaton and linebacker Darryl Sharpton to the right sideline. Once he got the angle on them, he was gone. Both plays were met by resounding 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the crowd.
"That was a lot of fun," Holliday said. "To be able to make those plays and know the fans are loving it, it's something to feed on and pushes me to want to do more in the future."
Texans coach Gary Kubiak was guarded in his praise of Holliday after practice, opting to reserve his judgment until the Texans are in pads. But J.J. Moses, the Texans' kick returner from 2003-04, couldn't say enough about Holliday after watching practice from the sidelines.
"I was just telling Coach Joe (Marciano), I try not to speak before something really happens, but Trindon is probably one of the quickest guys I've ever seen," Moses said. "I've had an opportunity to be around a lot of great return men, especially in Kansas City when I was with Dante Hall and competing for a job, and then watching Jacoby (Jones) for these previous years. But when I saw Trindon out there, he just has another gear that many athletes don't have. It's just like he brings these bigger guys in his world, and then it's tough to get him because he's so small and elusive.
"I really believe that as he continues to grow in the offense and knows more about the special teams, he can be the premier return man in the league."
Moses never had Holliday's speed, but he did face the same concerns about his size throughout his career. At 5-6, 175 pounds, Moses was the shortest player in the NFL during his career and the shortest player in Texans history. Those distinctions now belong to Holliday, who's all of 5-5, 165.
"If he's made it this far in getting to the National Football League, height is not going to be the issue," Moses said. "The only issue is him just staying healthy, him being able to hold on to the ball. If he does those two things, everything else is going to pretty much take care of itself. At that point, his God-given talent will definitely take over. It's got to."
How Holliday develops as a receiver remains to be seen, but his potential as a returner made waves on Day 2 of Texans camp.