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Texans-Panthers Snap Counts: Jaelen Strong "Needs To Practice Better" And Hasn't Played A Snap So Far

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Here's how the Texans' roster was deployed in their loss against the Carolina Panthers.

"Oh, no you didn't!"
"Oh, no you didn't!"
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line was a wreck, the receivers didn't look like they were on the same page with quarterback Ryan Mallett, but, hey, Garrett Graham made a sweet touchdown catch! Let's take a look at the Texans' snap counts last Sunday. Rather than just show everyone (it's not that interesting that J.J. Watt came off for 1 play, for example), I'll try to focus on specific position groups week to week.

Offense

Tight Ends Rec / Yards Targets TD Snap Count / Pct
Garrett Graham 1 / 7 5 1 60 / 68%
C.J. Fiedorowicz 1 / 19 1 0 25 / 28%

The tight end group suffered the loss of Ryan Griffin, leaving just Graham and C.J. Fiedorowicz available, and it stayed that way for Week 2. We were eager to see if Watt would get any snaps there, but the offense was such a clusterkitten that they rarely made it into the red zone, much less the goalline.

After being third in snaps, Graham goes back to the top. He and C.J. had just two catches between them on six targets, but one of those catches was quite impressive, and worth watching again.

You often hear about young, inexperienced quarterbacks relying on their tight end early on in their careers. Mallett isn't young but he's definitely inexperienced, and some solid tight end play (as in: get open and catch the ball) could do him wonders.

Wide Receivers Rec / Yards Targets TD Snap Count / Pct
DeAndre Hopkins 5 / 53 11 0 87 / 99%
Nate Washington 3 / 63 8 0 84 / 95%
Cecil Shorts 6 / 34 12 0 73 / 83%
Chandler Worthy 2 / 15 2 0 8 / 9%
Keith Mumphery 0 / 0 2 0 15 / 17%

Chandler Worthy made his 2015 debut after getting promoted from the practice squad, trotting out for eight snaps on offense and just one on special teams. He drew two targets, catching both for 15 yards. I mention this mostly because it highlights just how poorly Jaelen Strong, a third-round pick, must be practicing in order to get left off the active roster all together. Bill O'Brien had this to say about him yesterday:

Oh, that doesn't remind me of Louis Nix needing to "learn how to become a professional" at all. *Sigh*

Sean Pendergast of Sports Radio 610 wrote about Strong and the curse of the Texans' third round draft picks. Here's a snippet:

This is the latest touchpoint in what's been an underwhelming tenure with the Texans thus far for Strong, who showed up at rookie minicamp out of shape (recurring third rounder theme!) at around 20 pounds over his playing weight, then celebrated on Twitter when he lost the weight over a matter of just a few weeks. (True story: When we interviewed Jaelen Strong on my radio show after the Texans drafted him, he was doing the interview from a Cheesecake Factory. Fact.)

Defense

Benardrick McKinney saw some playing time on defense this week, at the expense of Brian Cushing. McKinney saw seven snaps on a drive that Cushing missed completely, presumably because of Cushing's offside penalty on the drive before.

Jadeveon Clowney's pitch count increased to at least 49, and he turned them into two tackles and two passes defensed at the line. Slow and steady.

Kevin Johnson might as well be considered a full-time starter now, getting a boost in snaps (53 snaps, 68%), getting two tackles and a pass defensed. Pro Football Focus noted how much success he's had so far:

Rookie Kevin Johnson has a yards per coverage snap of 0.04, the best for all cornerbacks. In 52 coverage snaps, he has only allowed one catch, and it was for 2 yards.

That's... outstanding. We've all noticed Johnathan Joseph's clumsy performance these first two weeks, and I think it's only a matter of time before we see K-Jo edge out J-Jo on the depth chart.

Rookies

Snaps / Pct ST Snaps / Pct
Kevin Johnson (CB) 53 / 68% 9 / 28%
Benardrick McKinney (LB) 7 / 9% 24 / 75%
Christian Covington (DT) 8 / 10% 2 / 6%
Keith Mumphery (WR) 15 / 17% 15 / 47%
Kendall Lamm (OT) 46 / 52% 0 / 0%
Greg Mancz (C) 1 / 1% 3 / 9%

That's all I got to say about that.  What are your thoughts?  Sound off down below.

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