Texans Training Camp Primer: Wide Receivers

It is closing in on Houston Texans 2014 training camp and here at State of the Texans we will cover all of the position groups and players leading up to day one of training camp.

We take a look at the Houston Texans wide receivers prior to the opening of the 2014 Training camp.

In Camp: Andre Johnson (if he reports), DeVier Posey, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Thomas, Alan Bonner, Keshawn Martin, LaColtan Bester, Alec Lemon, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Travis Labhart, Anthony McClung,

On the Spot: All eyes are on Andre Johnson and if he reports to camp on July 26th. There have been reports of him visiting NRG Stadium during the break. There are plenty of reasons for Johnson to return to the Texans, but there seems to be an issue with his future beyond 2014. The roster is much better with Johnson on the team and getting him bought into Bill O’Brien’s system is important.

Johnson can easily make a strong impression on the roster especially with the amount of turnover since last year. If there is any time that the Texans need Johnson to be a leader, it is now and it is up to Johnson to make the right choice for himself heading into camp.

Battle to Watch: Mike Thomas vs. Alan Bonner will be the camp battle to watch for the slot wide receiver position. O’Brien has said the slot wide receiver position is a spot where they feel the wide receiver is best suited for that position and will work inside the majority of the time, which leads us to Thomas and Bonner who both have the skill set to excel out of the slot for the Texans. Thomas brings a veteran presence to the wide receiver group while Bonner is getting his first real action since 2013 training camp where a hamstring injury landed him on the injured reserve. There will be times where the Texans will use two slots wide receivers at the same time, but one will get the majority of the looks comparable to how the New England Patriots use the position.

Offseason Star: DeAndre Hopkins has taken his first year and used it to understand what he needs to do to get better for this season. He has added some good weight over the offseason and during practices before the break he did a better job of keeping his body in front of defenders. He still catches the ball with a purpose and he has taken over as the go to wide receiver with Johnson holding out. His confidence is growing with a strong OTAs and it appears that he will be used to his strengths this season.

Don’t Be Surprised If: Alec Lemon and Ez Nwachukwu make some noise in camp to possibly make the 53 man roster coming out of camp. Both offer something different when it comes to the position. Lemon is a technician with sound routes and above average hands where Nwachukwu is the fastest receiver of the group and can cover ground in a hurry in routes.

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