The weather report said rain all day, but it held off until the afternoon, thankfully. As such, the Texans were able to get in a full pads practice on Wednesday. Here's the Harris Hurry-up from day six of training camp.
-- Outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett may have had one of the top five plays to this point in camp. During team drills, from his outside spot, he read a quick throw to his left, leapt up and snagged the pass and headed for six. The defense, justifiably, erupted in joy as the third year player from Stanford sauntered into the end zone.
-- Cornerback Kevin Johnson continues to play well during this camp. One of the best battles of camp is watching receiver Will Fuller V against Johnson. Those two have gone at it, each and every day, every rep.
-- Johnson's transitional quickness is so evident breaking on the ball, but it has to be against Fuller because his route running is fantastic.
-- The outside linebacker position is deeper than it might appear at first glance. One of the guys I really like watching is LaTroy Lewis, who made a significant name for himself last year in Oakland Raiders camp. He's one strong dude, playing the run with power and rushing the quarterback well too.
-- During the one-on-one run game period, Lewis knocked one of the tight ends straight on his wallet. I've never seen that in that period, perhaps ever.
-- It's remarkable, in some sense, how far Whitney Mercilus has come playing the run. His technique, recognition and hand strength are evident and allow him to set the edge well regularly.
-- In one-on-ones against the linebackers/safeties, tight end Ryan Griffin showed why he's such a tough guy to cover. His understanding of route running gets him open and he proved that often against the safeties for a couple of catches.
Running back Troymaine Pope made one heck of a catch down the field during one-on-ones. With a linebacker draped on him, Pope made an over the shoulder catch for a touchdown that was just gorgeous.
-- Tackle Seantrel Henderson versus defensive end J.J. Watt during run drills is worth the price of admission, trust me on that.
-- Tight end MyCole Pruitt had a safety attached to his hip yet still made a tremendous catch for a touchdown during one-on-one drills against the safeties.
-- Rookie safety Justin Reid had a pass breakup on the final play of the one-on-one drill as he covered fellow rookie Jordan Akins. Reid had to stay with Akins all the way across the field on a deep crossing route. It's not a route that safeties like to cover, nor are they successful doing it. Yet, Reid handled it beautifully.
-- One of the toughest parts of training camp for any offense is the familiarity the defense has with what the offense does regularly. Case in point, in team drills, linebacker Dylan Cole recognized a formation just prior to the snap during a team drill. He pointed to the spot where he knew the ball was going and ran right to the spot to help on the tackle.
-- Now, it does go both ways, but defenses are more apt to take advantage at this point in training camp. It's not cheating, but if it helped me get an "attaboy" from the coaches, I was all about it. Offenses didn't like it much, though, and still don't.
-- One of my favorite plays on the day didn't seem like much on the surface until I drilled down a little further. Quarterback Brandon Weeden had his unit at the line of scrimmage, ready for the snap. Just prior to, he sent a guy in motion to the other side of the field. When he did the defense shifted and rookie safety Justin Reid showed as if he were going to rush the edge. Before the ball was snapped, Weeden noticed it. He checked the protection and made sure that Reid was accounted for if he did blitz. He did and the O Line picked it up allowing Weeden to make a clean throw.
-- The communication was just so impressive during that 20-25 second time frame on both sides. Very cool to watch and listen.
-- The best catch of the day was ruled a no catch. Rookie Jester Weah made an outstanding over the shoulder catch right in front of us, landing in bounds, in the end zone. But, with no officiating crew to accurately determine complete/incomplete, it was ruled incomplete...by the defensive staff. Figures, huh?
-- Late in practice, Deshaun Watson was really dealing, especially during seven-on-seven.
-- The Texans worked some situations late in practice and will probably do some more of that this week heading into the last few days at the Greenbrier.
More to come tomorrow...hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough to get more work done. See ya then, everyone.
Check out some of the best shots from Wednesday's practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.