Texans Training Camp: Day Four

The Houston Texans wrapped up day four of training camp and the intensity was there for the defense today.

-Tight End Zach Potter is an imposing figure and he showed why he has a shot to make the roster. He has the ability to move outside linebackers and defensive ends off the line of scrimmage with his size and is one of the few that can pass block without help. Potter can pick his spots to be a pass catcher and he made a nice reception off the arm of Tom Savage, who dropped it right in Potter’s hands.

-Quarterback Tom Savage looked much better than he did the previous days and is starting to settle into his groove once again. He did the same during offseason workouts by starting slow and as he had more practice he started to get dialed in. Today he looked much more confident in the pocket and throwing the ball with a purpose to his receivers.

-Jadeveon Clowney for the second day in a row produced the “wow” moment of practice. He was able to show his overall strength against the tight ends in a blocking drill and it was impressive. Clowney has such long arms that he is able to move players with ease and it showed today. Clowney is slowly coming into his own on the field, but he is just scratching the surface of his overall potential.

-Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz put together a good day and showed the part of his game that made him intriguing coming out of Iowa. He is a polished inline blocker and has a chance to become a better pass catcher. His pass catching is not the issue, it is the fine tuning of his route running that needs work. If Fiedorowicz keeps blocking the way he has been in the first two day of pads, he will be finding more snaps when gamedays arrive.

-Kicker Chris Boswell had field goal duties today and he was consistent with his approach and results. He makes it look easy when he kicks and the ball takes off from his foot, which is a big difference from Randy Bullock. Boswell is smooth with his approach and if he is given a fair shot to win the job, he has enough overall skill to push for the kicking duties in 2014.

-Rookie runningback Alfred Blue continues to impress and today he popped off a long run by making defenders miss. He runs high at times and will need to get his pad level lower, but he has shown that he can handle what this offense is asking from him. He is becoming a reliable target for the quarterbacks out of the backfield and is slowly progressing with his pass protection. Blue will be pushing Andre Brown for the backup role at this rate.

-Nose Tackle Ricardo Mathews has the size and quickness this defensive line missed in previous seasons. Mathews has a handful of moves that he put on display to rush the passer today and they can be of the finesse or power variety. He offers the defensive front a player who can play either the run or pass with some success which will be important when the team goes to nickel and dime defenses on game day.

-Nose Tackle Jerrell Powe is a true nose tackle and he is not scared to do the dirty work for the defense. He has been eating up blockers for the linebackers to roam and make plays, and he has cleared free runs for the backers to make plays down hill. Powe is a strong run defender and looks like he has the base 3-4 nose tackle position to himself for the time being.

-Brandon Harris had a much better day than his previous and he produced in coverage against DeAndre Hopkins. Harris had a pass breakup to open up 7 on 7s and he looked much more under control today. It is an upward climb for Harris to keep making positive steps after a rough two days, but he looked like he has made some adjustments to what he has to do to be successful.

-With Arian Foster out for the time being, Brown has been called upon to be the guy for the offense. He has shown some light flashes of running the football with a purpose, but he has a tough time catching the football. Throw in some ball security issues, Brown had a rough day at the office.

-It has been a rough two day stretch for Dennis Johnson and it is slowly creeping into his head. It is just not one portion of his game, but he too has had some ball security issues through these past two days. He has had his nice bounce to the outside runs but when he is asked to run in between the tackles, Johnson has issues breaking tackles. It will be important for Johnson to get back on track in a hurry.

-Free Safety Jawanza Starling is slowly making progress and is turning into a better fit for what this team might need. There is the idea of a true free and strong safety and Starling is the next best free safety after Kendrick Lewis. Starling has nice instincts and a good grasp of this new defense and he has quietly put together a solid camp.

-The question comes to mind on what Tyson Clabo might have left in the tank as an offensive tackle. The next thing to look at is if the layoff might have slowed him some, but he is trying to get back into real football playing shape. Either way, Clabo has struggled mightily since he has arrived in camp and it is tough at the moment to see that he is going to help this team at any point in the future. There is still time to go, but he is struggling to pass block consistently and move players off the line of scrimmage. It could be early for Clabo, but the early returns have been tough to watch.

-Defensive End Tim Jamison is still doing what made him successful before, rushing the passer from the interior of the defensive line. He and offensive guard Ben Jones went at it today in 1 on 1s and both pushed each other, but Jamison proved he still has above average skills to get to the quarterback. Jamison is pushing for one of the last defensive line spots, but he could be a situational pass rusher for the Texans if he can make this roster.

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