The OTAs brought a little bit of bad news about Andre Johnson, but there's a lot of good news out there as well about the Texans. The first thing that caught my eye was this picture. It was captioned: "Cornerback Dunta Robinson sprinted on the adjacent practice field."
It's just one picture, but it looks like he's getting full strides. No idea how fast he's going, but it's good to see him using his leg. Sprinting is just straight line speed, so he's still got to get his leg use to cuts and then contact. But it's good to see him running with months before the start of the season. It's looking more and more likely that we'll see No. 23 on the field this season.
More random thoughts on OTA: Day 1 after the jump.
(on any players not at practice) “Fred’s not here, Bennett. He’s not feeling well, so we just told him to stay at home. Hopefully, he’ll be in here tomorrow and everything will be OK.”
I guess Jacques Reeves and Antwaun Molden are taking snaps with the 1st team right now. My guess is Petey Faggins and Jamar Fletcher are with the 2nd team. Maybe Derrick Roberson and and Derrick Johnson are the 3rd team DBs? When both Fred Bennett and Dunta Robinson take the field, I wonder where Reeves ends up on the depth chart. Regardless, it's nice to see we're getting some depth in the secondary.
(on WR Jacoby Jones) “Well, you’ve heard me say it before: If guys are going to be great players, they usually make a big step from year one to two. So it’s nice to watch him what he’s doing right now, because he’s starting to make a lot of plays. The fact that Andre (Johnson) won’t be working during the OTA’s is going to open up the door for a guy like him to get a lot more reps, so hopefully he makes a lot of improvement.”
We saw it in the preseason, but just slivers of hope in games that count. It looks like Jacoby's turning the corner. This is going to be one of those things that will make the Texans a feared offense--having 4 legitimate NFL WRs on the roster. The deeply ironic thing is that Smithiak has been building this team as a run-first team, and yet the WR corps has risen to the surface as one of the major strengths of this team. If we get a playmaker in Jacoby, the Texans should never run against more than 7 in the box.
(on DT Travis Johnson) “Well, I’m concerned. He’s missed a lot of time. He’s got the inflammation in the pelvic area, is the best way I can describe it. He’s way behind the team from a physical standpoint. Nothing he can do; they’ve had him resting. Before I put him on the football field, I want to make sure he catches up with his teammates conditioning-wise, so you’ll just see him conditioning at the time.”
(on where DT Travis Johnson’s injury came from) “Well, it’s kind of been something’s that bothered him before and then it crept up again back in February, early March. And we’ve tried a few different scenarios. He had an injection the other day that we’re waiting to see how he recovers from. He has felt better. He ran Friday, he ran today, so we’ll see.”
This has to have made for a horrible honeymoon for Travis Johnson. Supervillan Fram Okam already plotting his demise, and now he's battling pelvic inflammation. I'll just let your imagination take it from there.
On a less sarcastic note, it's starting to look like the front four is going to be Williams, Okoye, Okam and Weaver.
(on how he feels) “I’m feeling good. Just trying to get through this, because this is more getting used to the new plays that (Alex) Gibbs is putting in the run game and trying to learn what he wants us to be and some of the new changes that coach (Kyle) Shanahan made, too, to the passing game. That’s what these OTAs are for, and for all the rookies to get broken in a little bit and for us to get to know them and for all the veterans to get to know them and each other once again and start to build that glue between every teammate so we can make a good run in the midseason.”
I can only think of this as a great, proactive move. The Texans have solid WRs that carried the team last year. I think Shanahan is looking to get even more production out of the passing game. This is definitely something to keep an eye on in preseason games.
(on if he’s had any conversations with Johnson or Schaub about that) “Yes. Me and Andre had that talk probably about two or three weeks ago, right before the first mini-camp. It was crazy. We kind of just joked around and just said with myself and then he went down basically the same week, and it was weird that we still were able to fight and get eight wins and (imagine) if we could’ve possibly been healthy. And that’s our plan now this year. Hopefully, if we can stay healthy, we can do some things.”
It's good to know that they know their importance to the team and that they make each others' game better. It's also good to know that they're not approaching this season with any fear.
Some things to think about...wish there was more to chew on after this first practice...13 more to go...should be some intriguing subplots and story lines to talk about.