Skip to main content

Training camp practice report: Day 4


Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing sported a new haircut at practice on Monday.

The Texans took the field on Monday morning for the fourth day of training camp. The morning practice was attended by 4,051 fans, bringing the four-day total attendance to 14,252.

New 'do for Cushing:Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing's long hair is no more. On Sunday night, the first-round draft pick got a haircut from teammates DeMeco Ryans, Matt Schaub and David Anderson as part of what Cushing called "rookie entertainment." Cushing sang a song on stage in front of the veterans before getting his shoulder-length hair buzzed off in the Texans' team auditorium.

"I'm a lot cooler now at practice, so I'm happy about that," Cushing said. "It's about two years right there off in about 30 seconds. It's a lot quicker to cut than to grow."

The veterans gave Cushing a "Schaubie" haircut, mimicking Schaub's buzzed hairdo, even his hairline. Cushing modified it from there and showed up for practice on Monday with a close-shaven Mohawk.

"Sampson wouldn't let them cut his hair, but I think Cushing is going to be just fine without it," right tackle Eric Winston said. "I think he even looks meaner than before, too, so I think that's going to suit him well, especially in this heat."

Winston said that Cushing was a good sport and that he thinks Cushing just "wants to be one of the guys."

"I thought it was pretty impressive for him to grow that crop and let those guys do that to him last night," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "I know one thing—they know he's with them. I know that. It was pretty impressive."

Leach in camp, for now:Fullback Vonta Leach participated in his first practice of 2009 training camp on Monday morning. Leach, who had a death in the family the night before training camp began, had been in North Carolina with his family since Friday.

"It feels pretty good to be back out here with the guys," Leach said. "Obviously, I had to go home and take care of some business with the family, a death in the family, but it felt good to go ahead and get your mind away from it and come out here and practice with the guys."

The Texans wasted little time in getting Leach back up to speed, throwing him several short passes during the team periods.

"I told him we added some periods to practice since he missed a couple of days, so I think everyone is mad at him now," Kubiak said with a grin.

{QUOTE}Leach will practice with the Texans tomorrow and Wednesday morning, then fly back home for the visitation and funeral.

"I'm doing alright," he said. "You know, I'll make it. These are the things you go through, and you've just got to overcome it."

Foster impressing:As the battle for carries behind starting running back Steve Slaton continues during camp, Kubiak has taken notice of undrafted free agent Arian Foster.

"It's very early, but it's obvious – he's impressive," Kubiak said. "He's kind of what you look for. He's a downhill runner, no nonsense. He's got a big body. Reminds me of Chris Brown when he came out of college a few years ago.

"So we'll see, but I think we knew we were getting a talented young man. As long as we have everyone else in line and he's being a pro and taking care of his business, he's got an excellent chance to help the team."

Foster ran for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior at Tennessee. He ranks second in Tennessee history with 2,394 career rushing yards and first with 650 rushing attempts.

A chance for Studdard:With Texans ironman Chester Pitts getting a break from practice as he rehabs his shoulder back to 100 percent, third-year pro Kasey Studdard is getting the bulk of starters' reps at left guard.

"(What we're looking for) is consistency as a player, knowing that he can be there week in and week out as the starter," Kubiak said. "We're finding out a lot about Kasey, and Kasey's finding out a lot about himself. It's an important year for him. It's time to prove that you can start in this league, and I think he's on his way to trying to get that done."

Studdard will get extensive game action once the preseason begins.

"Those are the guys who are the meat of the preseason; that's where their season is," Kubiak said.

Jenkins pushing for a spot:Wide receiver Darnell Jenkins is working hard to make the Texans' roster this season. Kubiak described Jenkins, who spent much of last season on the practice squad as a rookie out of Miami, as a physical player who isn't afraid to hit on special teams. Jenkins also returned punts and kickoffs in college.

"He's in direct competition with a guy like Jacoby (Jones)," Kubiak said. "They're going to share return duties throughout the preseason along with a few other guys, and they're out there battling as receivers. He'll get every opportunity. He's had a good offseason, and he'll have a good chance to make this team."

Injury report:Rookie cornerback Glover Quin, a standout during OTAs, sat out the latter half of the morning practice and the entire afternoon practice with an unspecified leg injury.

"He came in this morning with a bruise on his outer leg and said he was fine," Kubiak said. "He came out here to practice (in the morning) and got about a half hour into it and said it was bothering him real bad, so (we'll) just keep our fingers crossed."

Kubiak said he still didn't know the nature of Quin's injury after the Texans' brief special teams practice in the afternoon. The *Houston Chronicle *reported that Quin received a precautionary MRI today. Quin was at practice in the afternoon as a non-participating observer.

Morning practice notes:The entire offense ran wind sprints after practice for several minutes…Leach's time away from the team hasn't diminished his flair for contact. On the first play of the team period, Leach caught a short pass from Schaub and then drew a collective "ooh" from the crowd when he leveled cornerback Fred Bennett near the sideline, knocking Bennett's helmet off…rookie tight end James Casey hauled in a deep pass near the left sideline on a throw from Dan Orlovsky. Casey also received words of encouragement from Kubiak for his blocking on a running play to the right side…wide receiver André Davis was unable to catch a couple of deep balls thrown his way, including one throw that went wide out of bounds. But he made a highlight-reel catch on a ball from Orlovsky that was deflected and popped several feet up in the air before Davis came down with it in traffic…Cushing intercepted Orlovsky on a pass intended for tight end Anthony Hill over the middle, ending one of the team periods.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content