Your Houston Texans don't take the field until this evening for the third of their open practices, so I'm going to take this opportunity to draw your attention to John Harris' excellent summary of what he saw yesterday during the second day of 2015 Houston Texans training camp. I'm cherry-picking a few of his observations as a launching pad for further discussion in the Comments.
2. Mallett responded on Sunday with a solid day, a better day than day one. He threw it well at nearly every level on the field, with touch when needed, completing a number of different throws in various drills throughout the day. More than once, he connected with DeAndre Hopkins (more on him in a bit) and got the Texans two wide receiver free agents Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington consistently throughout the day.
4. Alan Bonner is one of those guys that has injected himself into the receiver competition and he’s had two solid days getting open, catching the rock and running after the catch.
6. Last year, I made a habit out of going down and watching the inside/outside linebackers under the leadership of linebackers coach Mike Vrabel. Day in and day out, Vrabel aggressively counseled Whitney Mercilus on being violent with his hands, hand placement and execution. This year is a completely different story. Mercilus has learned under Vrabel’s guidance and Whitney’s hard work has paid off handsomely. I saw him face the tight ends in a leverage run blocking drill and it was the type of drill that Whitney would’ve struggled with early last year. But, that’s not the case at all any more and Mercilus is a different player, in a good, very good way.
10. Brian Cushing started off the 1-on-1 period with a pass break-up on a flat route thrown to Alfred Blue. Then, during one of the team’s 11-on-11 periods, Cushing forced another PBU on a pass to Foster. JJ Watt got pressure up the field and forced Mallett to check down to Arian, but Cushing made the hit (well, without pads obviously) and broke up the pass. It’s been refreshing to watch 56 run, move and strike with the alacrity that he has. He’s been much more sudden than I can remember and I can’t wait to see him when the pads go on.
21. I haven’t watched the linemen much without pads but I did head down to watch some pass rush 1-on-1. One guy who stood out, just based on how quick he appeared to throw hands and work his moves, was Jared Crick. Mercilus looked much more adept and quicker off the edge, while John Simon is a pass rushing tasmanian devil. I wouldn’t want to step in front of that joker when he has a QB in his sights.
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