After missing Sunday's camp, I was back at it this morning. My seat wasn't the greatest, but I had a decent angle on how things played out.
I payed attention to the defense, mainly because I assume our offense is fine (and because I'm a defense type of guy).
I left after 11 on 11 because I assume the rest is special teams and drills, and that doesn't really do it for me.
Well, here it is:
DE/DT J.J. Watt - This guy never ceases to impress. The thing that always jumps out is his ability to shed blocks. I remember on a running play, he shed the RG's block, then got past Vickers. Due to that disruption, Derrick Ward had to bounce outside, where he was chased down by LBs. Excellent, excellent camp so far for the 1st round pick.
NT/DT Earl Mitchell - Earl did not get blown up by Kasey Studdard today, so he's now on this list. Earl got great penetration all day. Whether it was getting by his man, or pushing him back, he was causing hell. I think he's going to flourish in this one-gap system.
CBs Brandon Harris/Jason Allen - Both Harris and Allen were solid in coverage today. I remember one play where Leinart was the QB, and Allen and Harris were on the left side of the field, with Harris in the slot. Harris gobbled up Jacoby Jones, and Allen covered up Dorin Dickerson. Leinart was forced to run out of the pocket and run out of bounds. Harris is definitely going to push for playing time. Very smart player.
RB Ben Tate - Tate has had a very good camp. Whether it was bouncing outside, or exploding through holes, he was gaining yards. Ward didn't look that great today, so it should be a good battle for the backup RB job in Pre-Season.
OLB/DE Mario Williams - Mario did his usual thing, which was shedding blocks and putting pressure on the QB. He's going to put up big numbers this year.
QB Matt Schaub - Schauby's play-action fakes are ridiculous. Faked out half the secondary one play and found OD on the outside for a 20 yard gain.
TE Owen Daniels - Speaking of OD, he was great today. Not only did he have the one great catch for 20-25 yards, but he was owning the middle as well. If he stays healthy, this offense will be the best in the NFL.
ILB Darryl Sharpton - Sharpton continues to impress. He's shooting gaps and making plays in the backfield. He did get burned though by OD on that 20-25 yard catch.
WR Kevin Walter - K-Dub was on his game today. His route running has to be flawless. He makes it look so easy, and no matter the CB, he was getting open. Hell, he even got past JJo a few times.
WR Andre Johnson - 'Dre was burning fools as usual. AJ ran a comeback route on K-Jax in man coverage and then turned around the opposite way and ran for a TD.
WR Dorin Dickerson - Dorin's route running has improved. Ran a nasty in-and-out route on Brice McCain and schooled him. But, Leinart made a piss poor throw to Dickerson on that play.
OLB Bryan Braman - Has a hell of a motor. Made some plays in the backfield.
OG Kasey Studdard - Studdard was his usual self today. He finally remembered that he was Kasey Studdard, and instead of kicking Earl Mitchell's ass, Earl Mitchell kicked his. Earl bull rushed the shit out of him and tackled Derrick Ward in the backfield. I don't know why we still have this guy.
Right side of the first team OL - Whether it was Winston or Caldwell or Brisiel on the right side of the 1st team OL, they were getting their asses kicked, particularly by Watt. Didn't see any problems on pass protection from that side, but they were fairly poor on running plays.
NT Shaun Cody - Cody didn't get abused, but he got pushed back pretty consistently. Never saw any type of penetration or disruption by him, which is a must for a NT. Mitchell's going to win this job in the Pre-Season.
CB Kareem Jackson - K-Jax was absolutely terrible today. AJ burned out him badly on a comeback route, and then Kevin Walter got him on a post route. He better be amazing in zone coverage this year.
CB Brice McCain - I think we've seen the last of Brice McCain, at least until after the Pre-Season. Dorin Dickerson got him on a double move, and Jacoby Jones burned him on a crossing route. This guy just straight up sucks.
RB Steve Slaton - Steve had a nice run early on, but then he fumbled the ball in front of the crowd, and got rightfully booed for it. He's a goner.
I hope these observations helped.