It's hard to project how Saturday's run-in with the Redskins will affect this team. You could look at it as a 'wasted practice' as Jay Gruden did. Or you could look at it as a moment this team bonded and perhaps defined itself for the season.
Without getting into 'who started it' talk, let's be clear. The Texans aren't going to be pushed around. Everyone saw Vince Wilfork blast his way in the backfield on video. But what you may have missed is how fired up he was after the whole thing was over and the teams divided. John Harris painted a picture of the moment as one in which Wilfork vocalized the emotions of the entire squad and, if he hadn't done it already, established himself as a leader of this team.
Nate Washington told us afterwards "Everybody stands together, everybody protects each other. Nobody is out there to hurt anybody."
Bill O'Brien wouldn't lament the fights, dismissing them as part of training camp intensity. Sure he didn't want to cut off the joint practice that early but he may have gained more in the long run. After all, the team still got some solid, full pad work in and they inadvertently may have found a way to unite them as a group.
Maybe they didn't need it. Maybe it would have happened anyway. Or maybe we'll look back on Saturday as a pivotal moment in the season.
More on Camp…
-- Great to see Chris Polk out there on the final day in full pads. The team needs all the help it can get at running back with Arian Foster out for a while.
Take a look at the best photos from the second practice against the Redskins in Richmond, VA.
-- Both Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett continue to make plays and make some throws 'they would want back.' Hoyer got first team reps the first and third days with Washington and Mallett took the reigns on day two. There's a lot of mixing and matching going on and no one should think of running with the 'twos' as a missed opportunity. In fact, I would think high performance with the second group is a huge part of this evaluation.
-- Nate Washington will be 32 years old on opening day. But if you didn't know it, seeing him practice, he looks 27. Here's a theory; Washington was the 'third guy' in Pittsburgh (behind Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward) and later signed with Tennessee which was always seemingly in quarterback flux. He's never really had a chance to fully showcase his abilities. Perhaps it's now next to DeAndre Hopkins.
-- The offense is trying to find rhythm in the passing game but it's not easy against a secondary that's ocean-deep (the Texans DBs, not Washington's). Nice to see the Texans trying to work it to the tight ends more. Of course it is practice and no one knows what the final game plans will look like but I would be surprised if Garrett Graham doesn't catch at least 35 balls this year. Last season, the tight ends as a group didn't hit that mark.
The Texans wrapped up their time in Richmond with a Saturday practice versus Washington.