One of the more interesting position battles in the camp is the slot receiver. Keke Coutee, Anthony Miller and Alex Erickson compete for playing time between the outside receivers.
Asked Friday about Miller, who was acquired in a trade with Chicago three days before the start of camp, coach David Culley said, “He fits in perfectly with Keke and Alex in this role. All he did was make the competition even (better).
Indoor receivers rely on speed and tenacity. They bounce like pinball machines and have to read the reports and make shared decisions.
Miller (5-11, 199), Coutee (5-11, 187) and Erickson (6-0, 195) are playing for money. Miller and Coutee are in the last year of their contract. Erickson signed a one-year contract as a free agent. The decision to keep depends on production, especially when preseason games begin next week in Green Bay.
Dial it down
While players like to start training with shoulder pads, coaches and staff are even more enthusiastic. Coach David Culley, general manager Nick Caserio and their staff saw enough Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to drop the intensity a few levels on Friday.
The coaches spared the players on Friday with a short scallop practice. The hardest thing they had to deal with as they prepared for Saturday night’s practice was a rainstorm.
“We’ve had three really good days in the pad,” Culley said. “Basically today was just a recovery day where we can really do a good job tomorrow night. Today was what we call assignment, alignment, communication and the guys (working) on their technique.
“I couldn’t ask for more than these three days of paddling, especially the last one. The effort was excellent. The finish (the games) was exactly what we wanted (but) the consistency is still not there.
John McClain discusses the Texans’ lightweight practice in front of fans and great Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. Video: Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle
he has legs
One of the reasons the Texans signed 11-year-old veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor was his mobility. They’re not asking Taylor to be Deshaun Watson, one of the most creative quarterbacks in the NFL when the games go down and he’s on the move, but they want his running ability to have an effect on them. defenses.
“When you have a guy out there who can use his feet to give you positive yards, that’s a plus,” David Culley said of Taylor.
During the first two weeks of camp, Taylor showed his mobility inside and out. He can run for yards, or he can dodge the rush to buy time until a receiver opens. His mobility will put pressure on the defenses.
The last time Taylor remained healthy enough to be a regular starter was during a three-year span (2015-17) at Buffalo, where he ran for 14 touchdowns.
Crowded field on DL
When the roster is reduced to 53 the week before the regular season begins, the Texans may not have a harder cut than in their defensive line.
Defensive line coach Bobby King has 15 players, nine of whom are new. Of the nine new linemen, eight are veterans. Four of his linemen are converted 3-4 linebackers – Whitney Mercilus, Jacob Martin, Jonathan Greenard and Jordan Jenkins.
Watching training and trying to find four starters in two weeks of training is impossible, probably even for King. They have so many linemen coming in and going out that it’s hard to keep up with them.
But based on practice, this group should help the defense show a substantial improvement against the run and put enough pressure on the quarterback to help secure more than the nine takeaways recorded by the Texans in 2020.
Pie splash in the sky
The Texans’ top four backers are proven NFL veterans who have enjoyed success with other teams. When fans watch Mark Ingram II, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead in practice, they can imagine what it would be like if each combined their best seasons by running, receiving and scoring touchdowns.
Johnson would have 2,118 scrum yards and 21 touchdowns. Ingram would be next with 1,540 yards and 17 touchdowns. Lindsay would have 1,278 yards and 10 touchdowns and Burkhead would have 598 yards and eight touchdowns.
Obviously that won’t happen this season, but the coaches would like at least one of them to come close to their career best performance on an offense that seeks more balance between running and passing.
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