On a team full of nagging holes, the defensive back duo of Brice McCain and Brandon Harris were among the most consistently infuriating parts of the 2013 Texans. Slot receivers not only had success against the Texans, they downright flourished. Kendall Wright, T.Y. Hilton, Eddie Royal, and Julian Edelman eviscerated the Texans over the middle throughout the season, and it became clear as time went on that the Texans needed to make a change for 2014. If the start of this year’s training camp is anything to go by, that necessity for change has not gone away.
Struggles for Brandon Harris today were real. The offense picked up the pace and tested him and won. Harris needs to respond tomorrow.— PDS (@PatDStat) July 27, 2014
Enter A.J. Bouye and Andre Hal.
Bouye, who had an impressive camp last year before losing his rookie season to injured reserve, has forced himself back into the conversation with another strong start in 2014.
Bouye picking up where he left off yesterday. Breaks up a pass in 1 on 1s. #Texans— PDS (@PatDStat) July 27, 2014
CB AJ Bouye, an undrafted rookie FA so impressive in camp last year, spent season on IR but has picked up where he left off. Great plays.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) July 27, 2014
AJ Bouye just made a tremendous breakup on an out route stripping with perfect timing against WR EZ Nwachukwu.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) July 27, 2014
Good matchup between Bouye and Nwachukwu today. EZ has the upper hand today. #Texans— PDS (@PatDStat) July 27, 2014
Bouye’s main competition for a roster spot likely comes in the form of rookie corner Andre Hal. Hal, who I profiled in detail in the spring, was a personal favorite of mine throughout the pre-Draft process. Quick footed, instinctive, smart, and as hard working as anyone could ever want, the former Commodore is a perfect fit for a team in need of a reliable slot defender. If Hal carries his momentum from practice with him for the rest of camp, he may yet earn himself a roster spot this September.
Play of the day: rookie CB Andre Hal made a spectacular interception on a deep route, taking away the ball from Andre Johnson.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) July 27, 2014
Andre Hal has picked it up since a slow start today. Breaks up a deep pass Intended for McClung. #Texans— PDS (@PatDStat) July 27, 2014
Draft pick CB Andre Hal held his own today in team drills. Covered Andre Johnson a bit. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 27, 2014
What do you think, BRB? Is slot corner about to turn from a weakness into a strength, or will our optimism once again turn into despair when the regular season lights come on? Sound off below.