You've seen flashes with our game in the preseason, and as we get going and the runs aren't as vanilla anymore, we can get more creative, I think we're going to have a great running game. Running Back Phillip Lindsay
The Houston Texans held Tuesday's practice outside at the Houston Methodist Training Center practice fields. Players were in shorts for the hot and steamy noon practice as they began some game planning for their third and final preseason game on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Practice looked a little different from Texans Camp. Instead of first-team offense facing first-team defense, each faced a scout team to simulate looks of what to expect from the Buccaneers.
"We're going to play our guys, just like they're going to play their guys," Head Coach David Culley said. "Obviously, they're the defending Super Bowl champions, and it will be a good test for us probably seeing the best group of frontline players that we've seen because basically we haven't seen in the first two ball games, we didn't see all of Green Bay's starters, we didn't see all of Dallas' starters, and vice versa with us."
Rookie Wide Receiver Nico Collins returned to practice after missing the second preseason game due to a pulled muscle.
Veteran Justin Britt says he getting a chance to play "freely" under Offensive Line Coach James Campen.
"I'm grateful to have Campen as my coach," Britt said. "He has a lot of knowledge playing and coaching. Playing center, that's something that really attracted me to be able to learn from him. It's been a pleasure."
Tyrod Taylor threw a deep pass to Chris Conley for a completion in an early team period.
Lovie Smith's defense continued its emphasis on takeaways. Cornell Armstrong and Justin Reid each had an interception in practice.
"Coach Lovie, he's a turnover mindset guy, take-away mindset guy," Desmond King II said. "His defense is built on having eyes on the quarterback, having those zone instincts. So what we want to do is be able to play fast out there on the field and get the ball."
Pharaoh Brown made a couple of catches in team drills.
Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins returned to practice after missing the second preseason game due to a pulled muscle.
Mark Ingram II, Phillip Lindsay, David Johnson and Rex Burkhead all made plays in practice in the run game and receiving game.
"You have to understand, in this day and age, you need more than one running back," Lindsay said. "That's just how it goes. On top of that, a majority of us are big on teams that has running back group by committee. It keeps you fresh. It's a long season. 17 games. You guys don't understand the littlest hits are the ones that mess you up the most, getting landed on and all this."
In fact, the final period was situational work. With the game tied and under a minute remaining, the offense had to move the ball down the field for a field goal to win the game. Taylor scrambled to the sideline and then threw passes to Brown and Chris Moore along the right sideline.
With probably enough time to run one more play to get into field-goal territory, David Johnson caught a pass and scored a touchdown. That was the final play of practice.
"I'll tell you what, he's very versatile," Culley said of Johnson. "He's a guy that basically has been very, very good during his career in third down situations as well as on first and second down, and with the depth that we have at our back position right now with those guys, his versatility becomes very, very important for us, and I feel good about where he's been during this Training Camp."
The Texans will return to the practice field on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Houston will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final preseason game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT on ABC13 and SportsRadio 610.
Check out the best photos from Day 20 of Training Camp presented by Xfinity.