Both offensive and defensive lines completed their final preparations of the spring inside NRG Stadium with their position coaches, leaving the other position groups to work on the field on the passing game and coverage for less than hour.
Brian Peters had a strong final day, intercepting a pass after he broke on the route in front of him, taking it back for what would have been a pick six. Peters is considered a top special teams player for the Texans but can also help depth wise from either inside linebacker or safety, like he showed during the regular season last year.
Today was not the strongest of day for the rookie receiving group ,with drops from Zach Conque, Chris Thompson and second-year wide receiver Wendall Williams. All three had catchable passes in their hands that they could not haul in. Thompson’s sticks out the most, especially after he beat his defender deep and had the pass hit his hands in stride off the arm of Brandon Weeden.
Tom Savage is growing as a quarterback and sometimes, it is more than the physical attributes of throwing the football. Today, Savage noticed on the first play of the day that his personnel was not correct. He let head coach Bill O’Brien know and a quick sub was made before the snap. Minute details are important for quarterbacks to run the offense efficiently, and with Savage being able to realize the proper offensive skill players were not on the field to run a particular play out of formation, that is just a small element of what turned out to be a strong spring for him.
Brandon Weeden discussed Bill O'Brien presence in the quarterback room.
Today, Savage was working well with DeAndre Hopkins and there were some sliding catches in there from Hopkins too. Savage does a good job of keeping receivers from harm's way, especially in traffic., there is no hanging receivers out to dry when Savage is in the quarterback position. For Hopkins, he maneuvered out of his routes to give Savage nice targets, doing the rest while the ball was in the air. Hopkins is still working with Savage to develop that good feel quarterback and receivers have after they practice a large number of reps together.
Stephen Anderson ended the spring strongly and displayed his abilities the way he did last season, being a match up nightmare versus linebackers and safeties. He is getting better at catching the ball away from his body but more importantly, he is solidifying himself for this season in the tight end group.
Let us preface the thought with “it’s early,” but the strongest spring belonged to Tyler Ervin and the work he has put in. During yesterday’s practice, he had a strong day (Read Here) and today was no different with how much stress he puts on defenders with the ball in his hands. There were moments last year on the practice field where Ervin showed his explosive ability, but like most rookies, the learning curve is steep and it caused him to play slowly. Fully immersed in the playbook and with an understanding of what O’Brien wants from the offense, Ervin is no longer thinking and is just playing the game. Where it really shows is in how quickly he is getting in and out of breaks plus his acceleration with the football in his hands. Ervin has had a clear jump in confidence in the offense and now he has to continue it moving forward.
Behind the top four wide receivers for the Texans, there are some concerns on who could potentially lock down the 5th and 6th spots on the depth chart. Wendall Williams is clearly ahead of the group of youngsters which includes Dres Anderson and rookie Chris Thompson, Riley McCarron, Shaquille Hill, Deante' Gray and Justin Hardee. It is almost to the point where Williams is the clear favorite due to the performance of the second-year wide receiver and because the rookies are dealing with health issues of their own. Anderson is catching up to what the offense is asking him to do while the only rookie who has really put it together this spring has been Justin Hardee. Hardee is putting in the extra time, working on his game, and specifically, making plays when his number is called during team sessions. The rookie group has potential but to this point, each individual will have to show extraordinary work during training camp to make his way to a spot on this team.
It was a short day for the Houston Texans with Bill O’Brien cutting practice to only an hour. Additionally, he is not bringing them back for the final day of mandatory mini-camp on Thursday. The Texans now head into an extended break before training camp kicks off in late July.
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