Houston Texans Training Camp Observations
Day 1 and Day 3
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Day 3 of Houston Texans training camp now in the books, on a day that was unbelievably hot. And this is coming from someone who manages the heat quite well. Cold weather is a different story.
For today’s newsletter I am emptying out the notebook notes/observations from Day 1 and Day 3 of camp. Ton of information to get to.
Before that, it was great to have the fans back in attendance today. Houston fans piled into the shaded stands, some waiting as early at 5AM, to get their first peak at DeMeco Ryans, CJ Stroud, and Will Anderson. The positivity was radiating from the fan base, and streaming through the players. Quite a stark contrast to public practices in 2022. The energy is very infectious. A welcomed sight and feeling for all.
Metchie was back on the field for Day 1 in full go mode. Was clear he was excited but still shaking off the cobwebs of old returning to practice. Metchie had the day off today (Day 3). Team will slowly ramp up his work. Route running was a billed with crisp movement. Could provide a nice underneath security option for Stroud this year.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself but my gosh this kid is a monster. Explosion is all I could think seeing him line up opposite of Laremy Tunsil, and sometimes getting around Tunsil. Speed and transition is evident. One play the offense ran a play action bootleg with Anderson quickly shifting to his opposite side to chase down the quarterback for a would be sack. I’m excited.
This group could be VERY GOOD. In 2022 the secondary was sneaky solid in pass defense (tackling needed some work). Derek Stingley added some muscle, Jimmie Ward appears to be a strong addition, and Jalen Pitre is full of energy working all over the field. The safety position will be interchangeable in Ryans’ system with either player lining up deep.
The battle for CB2 between Steven Nelson and Shaq Griffin will be one to watch. The slot CB spot is also up for grabs between Desmond King and Tavierre Thomas.
On Day 3 the offense made three attempts at Derek Stingley with zero success. Former Texan Jonathan Joseph is constantly working with Stingley down to first step drills before practice.
Day 3 was a rough one for Stroud. Over throwing two routes in 11v11 along with a wobbler that ended in the hands of safety MJ Stewart. There will be bumps along the way for Stroud.
In drills the mechanics are a sight to watch. Clean footwork, ball placement is near perfect, and quick throwing motion. Watching Stroud followed by Mills and Keenum, the quickness of Stroud’s throwing motion is evident. Movement within the pocket is solid and confident, and took off for a scramble twice today with no open receivers.
From what I’ve been told, Stroud is clearly QB1 inside the building both with staff and players. Only a matter of time before that is seen on the field.
Day 1 and Day 3 we have seen a different arrangement within the linebackers. New veteran Denzel Perryman (wearing #6 jersey…hard to get used to) and Henry To’To both getting some work at the mike position. Kirksey’s spot on the roster might be a bit more firm than I expected. Seeing time on the strong side (Sam) of the linebacker grouping. The staff continues to speak highly of Kirksey both on and off the field.
Tank Dell is crazy shifty in space. Dell put CB Steven Nelson on skates running a quick out route, and then spinning away from the boundary back inside to get free from Nelson. Dell is also getting a lot of work at punt return duty. Continued interest in how Bobby Slowik deploys Dell.
Noah Brown, while not splashy, is as solid a WR2/3 there is. Straight line speed is faster than I expected.
The road grading crew of Shaq Mason and Kenyon Green is fun to watch. We saw multiple times today with Pierce and Singletary finding open lanes on inside zone and power traps. Green and Mason quickly finding work at the second level.
Jalen Pitre, with his new grille, has upped his trash talking game this season. Pitre is crazy energetic flying all over the field. Even spotted him on a safety blitz after dropping down the linebacker level.
Head Coach Demeco Ryans is super animated during 11v11’s. Ryans called a heavy blitz package two plays in a row bringing 6 rushers. On the second attempt, DT Kurt Hinnish broke through and barely missed on a sack. Demeco jumped in the air only to be disappointed on the missed sack.
MJ Stewart finding his way in as safety3/4 was in on two pass break-ups against Mills.
Dalton Schultz is a pro’s pro. Quietly working as the clear TE1. Schultz has solid route running skills, especially in the short/intermediate areas. Trap pull run plays with the tight end are a focal point for this run game.
Jon Greenard had a big sack on Stroud with a huge burst and bend around tackle Tytus Howard. The team really needs Greenard to stay healthy this year.
Speaking of edge rushers, Jacob Martin still has plenty of spring in his step. Working within the rotation of Anderson/Greenard/Hughes/Greenard. Martin has a real shot at making this roster.
The players have Saturday off. Sunday is the big day as the players will be in pads. Unfortunately I am unable to attend this Sunday. Be sure to followNewsletter, I am confident Cody Stoots will have all the details from practice.
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