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Vandermeer's View: 5 players looking for big preseasons

Of course we all want to see what the stars will do when the Texans square off against Kansas City in their preseason opener (Thursday, 7:30, ABC 13, Sports Radio 610). But most of these guys hardly need the work and some won't play at all.

Preseason for a player like DeAndre Hopkins is just a throat-clearing exercise. But there are plenty of men on the roster who seek to perform well in their bid to establish long term NFL employment.

Here are five Texans that are worth zooming in on as the lights go on for the dress rehearsal games.

1. Braxton Miller

He's made plays at practice and it looks like the receiver information download is really starting to take effect. Preseason tilts will be an ideal showcase to shed the 'former quarterback' label and solidify his identity as a wide receiver. He'll want to shine on special teams to strengthen his case.

2. Kendall Lamm

Yes, of course I want to see how Julien Davenport and Seantrell Henderson look at tackle. But that's like saying I want to order steak at a steak house. There's a help wanted sign for a swing tackle on Mike Devlin's door and it'll be a great story to see if Lamm can lock down the job.

3. Corey Moore

He's started 11 games in the last two seasons. He sees what's in front of him, with the acquisition of Tyrann Mathieu, the drafting of Justin Reid and the transformation of Kareem Jackson. Not that he needed it, but it adds even more motivation. He's got special teams play in the arsenal as well, to help his cause.

4. Joe Webb

If the Texans are going to carry three quarterbacks (yes, please) Webb makes it an easier decision with his ability to play special teams. However, it's what he does as a passer that will make the biggest impression. Deshaun Watson is unlikely to play much and Brandon Weeden is a known commodity. You could say the same about Webb, but we haven't seen him in this offense, so it could be fun. Plus, he's the only quarterback on the roster to have started a playoff game.

5. Troymaine Pope

I know what you're thinking, "Who?" He had 12 carries for the Seahawks and Jets two years ago and spent time on the Colts and Texans practice squads last season. With D'Onta Foreman currently out, Pope has a big opportunity to cash in on preseason carries as his experience puts him ahead of rookies Lavon Coleman and Terry Swanson. Look for number 33 - I'm thinking he's going to get a healthy dose of the pigskin starting Thursday.

Check out some of the best shots from Sunday's practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

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