The first week of Texans’ training camp is in the books. It’s time to recap just who and what stood out during this batch of time.
Outside linebackers have been impressive so far, with Brennan Scarlett, Ufomba Kamalu and Dylan Cole all having strong showings. As John Harris notes, Cole in particular has been starring in coverage duties:
I don’t know that I’ve seen a linebacker run stride for stride with running back Akeem Hunt down the field...deep. Cole did that and knocked away a pass intended for Hunt in 1-on-1s. I wrote in my notes that “51 just seems to be in the right spot all the time."
Scarlett and Kamalu starred in one-on-ones. Scarlett in particular is knocking fools around:
Fellow outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett had some juice today as well. He was strong at the point of attack and nearly knocked out rookie linebacker Gimel President on a kickoff return 1-on-1 drill. I mean, Scarlett caught him good, but President got right up and won the next rep.
Meanwhile, on Kamalu:
Linebacker Ufomba Kamalu was tough as all get out to block. He was one of my overall standouts on the day. He fired into tight ends and powered them back off the ball. He held his ground when he had to bump inside to play against guards and tackles. He looked like a different dude than this time last year. He was as physical as anyone on the field.
Harris also noted the play of backup cornerback Denzel Rice, who has been impressing with his ability to create turnovers.
Cornerback Denzel Rice kept his streak alive of forced fumbles as he, and the rain, combined to knock the ball out of a ball carrier’s hands late in the drill.
Center Nick Martin’s return has been a welcome sight. He has impressed everyone at camp. Harris in particular noted Martin’s fantastic technique:
His first pass rush rep was against D.J. Reader who can bull rush the best of them. Martin anchored against the bull then got his hands in position to keep Reader from throwing an arm under to get free. I’ve said for a while that Martin is a technician at his craft and it’s great to see him healthy again.
Martin has been sparring quite a bit with the Texans’ young nose tackle, D.J, Reader. The battles between the two have been must see, Harris states:
What is becoming one of my favorite battles on a daily basis to watch is center Nick Martin against defensive tackle D.J. Reader. Those two get after one another and it only serves to make each one better. On one play, Reader wins the rep, then the next one, Martin takes victory. Either way, I love to see the competition from those two who can be significant players for this organization for a while.
What do you all make of some of these reports? Do you think Dylan Cole is going to have a chance at making the roster with Scarlett and Kamalu already there? What do you make of Nick Martin’s progress heading into the season?