Here are some quick notes from Wednesday.
The Quarterbacks Wake Up
Today the Texans quarterbacks pushed the ball downfield and tested the secondary and it was a big day for the offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage and Case Keenum made some nice throws to some receivers that completed some impressive plays.
Ez Nwachukwu made the catch of the day off a deep ball from Savage going over two defenders and hauling in the pass which instantly got the Texans offensive players excited. Keenum went deep to rookie wide receiver Travis Labhart down the sideline and Labhart made a leaping catch and tapped two feet in before the cornerback realized what happened.
Fitzpatrick is making some noise with tight end Garrett Graham and he made a nice back shoulder throw to Graham in traffic that had the tight end leap to make the catch.
The Texans offense looked like it had the most life it has had since the opening of OTAs and the quarterbacks are understanding what is needed to make this offense work.
C.J. Fiedorowicz Growing as a Player
The rookie tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz has a chance to be a good player at the next level and today he showed that he has untapped potential as a pass catcher. His sheer size alone gives him an advantage over any linebacker or safety that tries to cover him and he gives the quarterbacks a big target in the middle of the field.
He has shown that he can muscle his way through routes and the smaller defenders have had tough times figuring out how to cover the 6-5 and 265 lbs. moving target.
Rookie Cornerbacks Show Up
For the first time, rookie cornerback Andre Hal showed up on the field with some nice coverage plays on defense. He broke up a pass and he displayed his coverage skills by breaking on the ball and moving his feet. He still needs to get used to the NFL strength needed to play at this level but he is starting to figure out what it takes to compete at a higher level compared to college.
His fellow rookie cornerback Marcus Williams finally looked like he is understanding what the Texans are asking from him. He had a nice pass breakup on a ball intended for a receiver in the back corner of the end zone, but with his proper technique he made a solid play on the football. We had high expectations for the rookie from North Dakota State but he has gotten off to a slow start since arriving in Houston.
Kendrick Lewis Showing His Leadership
Safety Kendrick Lewis has been the most impressive from the stand point of the on field leadership qualities he has shown. He is constantly talking and directing traffic with the secondary and linebackers when the offense starts motioning players. Lewis is constantly working on the field with his fellow safety D.J. Swearinger and that is showing with both safeties' presence on the field calling out and communicating across the field. Swearinger has taken to Lewis and the veteran leadership he is showing is making a difference for the second year player on the field. Swearinger finally has a mentor on the field with him at all times that has played the game.
Lewis is an athletic safety who can play centerfield for the defense but also has the ability to drop into the slot to cover. His familiarity of the defense is making a big difference for a secondary trying to learn the defense and his value for the team goes beyond what most see.
Texans Make Some Minor Moves
The Texans made it official with the signings of rookie defensive end Tim Jackson and offensive tackle Will Yeatman, who is in his 4th season in the NFL.
The Texans waiving quarterback T.J. Yates has not been made official yet by the team.
Art Briles Visits the Texans
Baylor Head Coach Art Briles came to check on the Texans practice and took time out to talk to some of his fellow players in Case Keenum and rookies Terrance Lloyd and Chris McAllister. Briles also talked to Baylor alumni and Texans deep snapper Jon Weeks prior to practice.
Briles also had some nice words to say to Head Coach Bill O'Brien while they exchanged some pleasantries on the field.