The Leftovers: New technology, rookie outlook, RB future

Drew Dougherty of Texans TV has worked for the team since August of 2009. Fans on Facebook sent in questions for him this morning, and he answered a few in the video above. He answered quite a few more in the article below.

Javier Hu: Dear Drew, Have the Texans implemented any new technologies this year that you know about to help make them better?
DD: Yep. The most notable is the mobile cooling unit that's in between the indoor bubble and the outdoor grass fields at the Houston Methodist Training Center. It can house 35 players, and it's 25 degrees inside. It can drop a players' core temperature very quickly. It'll get some work in late July and August when the Texans get going for training camp.

Chris Royal: Dear Drew, If Tytus Howard does not start, does that constitute as a bad pick seeing as most 1st rd picks are supposed to start?
DD: He'll start, but I don't know exactly when. Let's re-visit this question in five years, because the guy's only been a Texan for one month, and we're still three months away from the start of the season. But think about this: running back Steve Slaton was outstanding as a rookie in 2008, was injured in 2009 and had some fumbling problems, and was out of the NFL by the end of the 2011 season. Conversely, left tackle Duane Brown split time in 13 games as a rookie in 2008, but has since been to four Pro Bowls. If you looked solely at what they did as rookies, you'd say Slaton was the better player. But you gotta be patient and let things play out. That doesn't mean Howard won't start this season. But let's see what happens over the course of his career.

Dylan Makee: Dear Drew, Do you see the Texans making any moves through trades?
DD: It wouldn't surprise me. General manager Brian Gaine made a move last October when he acquired receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Broncos for a fourth-round Draft pick. He made the move when Will Fuller went down with an injury, so I could see Gaine trading again for help if he perceives a position not being as strong as it needs to be.

Heather Garza: Dear Drew, Do you think our run game will be better this year now that D'Onta Foreman is near 100%?
DD: I do. Foreman's progress has been very encouraging, and head coach Bill O'Brien has been very complimentary of the third-year back's progress. Foreman himself admitted that this is the best he's felt physically heading into a season, and that includes when he was at Texas City High School. I'm excited to see what he and Lamar Miller do on the ground for Houston in 2019.

Dan Flores: Dear Drew, I've been reading that most consider Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller, V a more electrifying tandem that Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. Why on earth would anyone come to that conclusion?
DD: I've not read that. Hopkins has been the best in the NFL the last two years. That's no knock on Fuller, but it speaks to Hopkins' greatness. Now, when Fuller and Watson are on the field together, great things happen. They've linked up for touchdowns 11 times in 11 games played together the last two years. Those touchdown catches have gone for an average of 29.3 yards per pop, so they're explosive in that regard. Hopkins has also said how much he likes it when Fuller and Keke Coutee are on the field with him, because it makes defenses play him differently. Bottom line: when those three are on the field, good things are in store for the Texans offense.

Ramiro Rodriguez Dear Drew, How is Tytus Howard doing, and how much is he contributing to the offensive line?
DD: By all accounts, he's doing just fine. But it's May, and the pads haven't come on yet. It's incredibly hard to gauge how any offensive lineman is doing yet. O'Brien said Howard and the rest of the rookie class have "a long way to go". But I think he'll get there and wind up being a plus for this squad.

Steve Hicks: Dear Drew, When will tickets be available for training camp?
DD: Hi Steve. Mid-July is when that typically happens. They'll be free, but you'll have to get them online ahead of time.The Texans are back in Houston this year for camp, and they'll practice in Wisconsin against the Packers in the days leading up to the preseason opener.

Antonio Perez Junior: Dear Drew, What can we look forward to seeing game 1 in preseason vs the Green Bay Packers?
DD: A lot of rookies. Anytime the Texans practice with another team, the bulk of the work gets done during the week and the front-line guys don't wind up playing too many snaps. Since the Texans and Packers will practice against each other a few times, Houston's starters won't get a whole lot of work that week.

Eric Loera: Dear Drew, What position group this far is impressing you the most?
DD: Good question, Eric, and the answer will definitely require an asterisk. There's no hitting right now, so you can't get a great gauge on the offensive and defensive linemen. Since that's the case, I'll go with the tight ends. They're an athletic mix of players who all present mismatch opportunities for opposing defenses. I've liked what I've seen so far from that position.

Berry Sanders Dear Drew, Out of the the draft picks on the OL or at CB, who is showing the most progress and has a better chance of starting or significant playing time?
DD: I think all four of those players referenced have a great chance at that this year. If I had to choose one, then keep your eyes on Max Scharping. The second-rounder from Northern Illinois has an impressive college tape and will likely make a very positive impact on the team this year and in the years to come.

Jalen Johnson Dear Drew, How is A.J McCarron looking at OTA's so far?
DD: Just fine, Jalen. The young veteran has done a solid job finding the open man and is adjusting nicely to the team. He's been a solid acquisition.

Rafael Pelayo: Dear Drewster, How is Charles Omenihu looking in OTA’s?
DD: As I referenced above, he and the rest of the rookies are doing pretty well, but O'Brien thinks they all have a long way to go. He's got an excellent chance at contributing early and often this year at defensive end.

Roman McPeake: Dear Drew, With D’Onta Foreman healthy (Hook'Em), do the Texans plan on limiting Lamar Miller’s carries by using a running back by committee this year?
DD: At the Combine in late February, Gaine said the Texans would "love to have a committee backfield" in 2019. So yes, the carries will be distributed differently than they were last year, when Miller and Alfred Blue were used almost exclusively.

Christos Philippou: Dear Drew, Taking my what will be 1-year old to the Wembley game to see my Texans for the very first time. Assuming you will be on the sidelines can I buy you a beer?
DD: Sure thing! And congrats on the baby!

Check out some of the best shots from the second week of Texans OTAs.

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