The Houston Texans will wrap up OTAs this week and Head Coach Lovie Smith is pleased with the progress his squad has made, especially the rookie class. Smith specifically mentioned three of the Texans 2022 draft picks, DB Jalen Pitre, OL Kenyon Green and LB Christian Harris, who had impressed him so far.
"Yeah, they are, the ones that can go right now - you're not here every practice but (Jalen) Pitre, for one, he's been outstanding," Smith said. "Knack for the football. Has done a lot of good things. You can say the same thing about Kenyon (Green). You saw today Christian Harris was out there with the ones a lot of the day. The young rookies are progressing the way we want them to."
Several rookies, such as DB Derek Stingley JR. WR John Metchie III, are still limited due to injuries from last season. At the start of OTAs, Smith said he plans to ease those players back into full competition. Even with few or no practice reps, rookies have been like sponges when it comes to taking in the coaching.
"Whatever they can do to come in and get extra work in, they are doing it," DB Steven Nelson said. "They are staying out there with the coaches. They are learning, watching more film so they can be accountable and when their name is called, they are able to perform."
At Tuesday's practice, Texans Legends such as Andre Johnson, Wade Smith, Chester Pitts, Kailee Wong, Jonathan Wells, Fred Weary, among others watched from the sidelines too.
"Practice always picks up a little bit when you've had guys that have worn the uniform watching what you're doing," Smith said. "Football-wise, getting better. Every practice counts. So, we're taking advantage of them. It's winding down a little bit. You know, we finish up OTA practices this week and then next week we have our three-day mini-camp and then we take a break. I'm kind of looking forward to that break just as much as the players are."
The Texans wrap up OTA practices on June 9 and will hold a mandatory veteran minicamp June 14-16 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.