After Friday's massive rainstorms, the sun shined as the Texans hit the fields in full pads for training camp practice No. 9. The team has just two remaining days of practice in West Virginia, before departing for Kansas City.
Head coach Bill O'Brien said he was pleased with the overall progress of camp, but feels the team needs to improve in a few key areas.
"Situational areas," O'Brien said. "I think we're a little bit behind in the red area, third down. Those are big-time areas. We've got to be a little more consistent in our protection, our route-running and our execution in the passing game in those areas. We need to get going on that, but I think overall we've made progress, but there's some things that we still need to improve on."
Andre Johnson spoke to the media during practice, saying "the sky was the limit" for the Texans but staying healthy would be key in 2018. Johnson said he believes Deshaun Watson will have a lot of success in the league because of his ability to keep plays alive when they break down.
DeAndre Hopkins was chatting with Johnson before and after practice. Johnson said whenever the two see each other on the field, they discuss football.
"He's over there working on releases and he walked over to me and was like, 'Did I do that right?'" Johnson said, laughing. "Like you're just working a release drill but I guess it's just the relationship. Me and him just talking the game. He's always wanting to know things to become better."
Running back D'Onta Foreman entered camp on the PUP list. O'Brien said the second-year back is making progress in his rehabilitation from Achilles surgery.
"I think he's progressing well," O'Brien said. "I don't – you know, again, I'm not a doctor. I've said that over the years to you guys. I think he's doing well. He's on the right track, and we'll see. We'll see how it goes. But, I think he's headed in the right direction."
The offensive line got a good chunk of work in during side-by-side drills. Tight ends also made some tremendous catches during team drills. Jordan Akins caught a touchdown pass and O'Brien has been pleased with the rookie's progress.
"He's 26 years old, he's a very, obviously, a mature guy, really hard worker, smart guy," O'Brien said. "He's picked up the offense really well. It's not easy to play that position in our offense. There's a lot that we ask of that position. I think he's done a good job, and probably having some experience under his belt helps him. He knows how to approach each day and maybe a little bit different than a 20- (or) 21-year-old guy."
Former Oilers great Robert Brazile will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. O'Brien said he extended an invitation for him to come watch the Texans practice.
"Every time I see Dr. Doom (Oilers LB Robert Brazile) going into the Hall of Fame this weekend and I see the Oilers, I tell them to come by practice too because I think it's important," O'Brien said. "Football is so important in the City of Houston. I think it's good when those guys come back."
Check out some of the best shots from Saturday's practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.