After a day off on Monday, the Texans returned to the practice fields at The Greenbrier Sports Performance Center on Tuesday. Players practiced in pads and shorts but there was no live action for the day.
Head coach Bill O'Brien wants to see the players with more pep in their step on Wednesday. The day off didn't really add the extra energy he was hoping to see.
"Practice was decent, not the crispiest," Whitney Mercilus said. "Definitely (should) be a lot sharper, especially coming off the off day. That's what (Head) Coach (Bill O'Brien) harped on, so we're going to be coming out tomorrow full pads and we have to be very, very sharp."
Kevin Johnson, now in his fourth season, is off to a strong start in training camp. O'Brien says the cornerback has had a healthy offseason and is playing with more patience.
"It's almost like letting something happen a second before you think you need to do something about it and trusting my ability that I'm still going to make that play," Johnson said.
Monday was a pretty quiet off day in West Virginia for several players.
"I did a lot of relaxing and I woke up in the morning and took care of my body, knocked that out early, Johnson said. "After that took a nice little nap and then I was hopping around from room to room just talking with the fellas: Joe (Johnathan Joseph), Jack (Kareem Jackson), Tyrann (Mathieu), all the DBs and we're just having some good laughs."
Mercilus did even less.
"I just came in, did some rehab, treatment, all that and went straight back to my room," Mercilus said. "Just chilled out and slept. That's it."
Rookie Jermaine Kelly Jr., the seventh-round pick from San Jose State, passed his physical and was placed on the active roster. Kelly, who wears No. 35, practiced with the team for the first time since being placed on PUP heading into training camp.
DeAndre Hopkins was not present at practice. The All-Pro's absence was not – take a deep breath -injury-related.
"Hop had a personal reason," O'Brien said. "He'll be back, I think, on Thursday."
Wide receiver Sammie Coates stepped up and made some big catches in practice, including one for a long touchdown.
"Good work ethic, good speed, good size," O'Brien said. "(Can) help us, hopefully, on special teams and then does some decent stuff on offense. He's done a good job. He's done a good job."
Check out some of the best shots from Tuesday's practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.