The summer pollen and sweltering heat aren’t the only things popping off in Houston. Houston Texans training camp is underway and there’s plenty to discuss in the opening days. With so many new faces, the depth chart and is beginning to settle like a new house into its foundation.
It’s been one month since our first edition Rosterology. The front office has been shuffling the deck as they finally see their accumulated talent. Amari Rodgers gets the boot to allow for several players on PUP to return to the practice field. The Texans then turned around this weekend to sign OT George Fant who will be a fantastic rotational piece for the tackle position.
We are hearing that Jerry Hughes, Roy Lopez, Malik Collins, and Jonathan Greenard are the starting defensive line. Blake Cashman has been a pleasant surprise in a crowded linebacker room. All signs point to the defense out performing the offense while C.J. Stroud continues to slowly develop.
On the offense, Xavier Hutchinson, a personal favorite in the pre-draft process, has proven to be a fantastic addition with his combination of size and speed. The interior offensive line continues to be a Rubik’s cube and is quite undefined.
LAST FOUR IN:
FIRST FOUR OUT:
ANALYSIS: The addition of Fant and release of Rogers complicates the offensive line position and clarifies the wide receiver group. Fant’s addition could knock out two players, Charlie Heck and Greg Little due to his versatility. Hinish is in the fight of his life; last year’s training camp wondered has been passed up by Sheldon Rankins and Hassan Ridgeway. The Last Four In features players with injuries putting them behind the 8-ball to start the camp.
C.J. Stroud, Davis Mills, (Case Keenum as QB-reserve)
ANALYSIS: With the NFL’s new rule allowing teams to have a third QB on hand without using a roster spot, the Texans don’t need to keep Keenum on the 53-man roster. No word yet if rookie C.J. Stroud has won the starting role, but I can’t imagine him not being the starter week one. There’s film of poor passes from both Stroud and Mills this training camp.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Dameon Pierce, Devin Singletary, Xazavian Valladay, Andrew Beck
ANALYSIS: The news surrounding Valladay has been few and far between thus far. I’m afraid he has yet to make an impact and is purely lost in the shuffle at the moment. It’s early. It’s a bold prediction. I just want to be on the right side of history. Beck swaps in for Troy Hairston as the fullback is out with a possibly severe injury. Beck’s positional versatility at tight end amplifies his chances of making the roster while the tight end position flounders with injuries.
Dameon Pierce leads off a RB drill on Sunday am. pic.twitter.com/m9HBMGQcyV— Drew Dougherty (@DoughertyDrew) July 30, 2023
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Noah Brown, Robert Woods, Nico Collins, John Metchie III, Tank Dell, Xavier Hutchinson
ANALYSIS: This group has solidified nicely due to the release of Amari Rogers. Plus, John Metchie returned to practice for the first time. The biggest highlight I saw on Twitter was Xavier Hutchinson BURNING Derek Stingley Jr. - great sign for the rookie receiver. I’m also hearing big things out of UDFA Jared Wayne - his 6’3” frame stands out amongst our more petite WR group
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Dalton Shultz, Brevin Jordan, Teagan Quitoriano
ANALYSIS: Safety Jimmy Ward put the tight end position on notice with a hard hit on Dalton Shultz. Shultz should be fine, but his absence from practice displayed the importance and leanness at the position. Both Jordan and Quitoriano are battling for TE2 in a tight-end heavy offense, but are hurt and not practicing. Andrew Beck can sub in at tight end, but don’t be surprised if a new face enters this locker room via free agency.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN (9)
Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Kenyon Green, Juice Scruggs, Jarrett Patterson, Shaq Mason, Michael Dieter, George Fant, Charlie Heck
ANALYSIS: Juice running with the second team. Addition of George Fant is an intriguing addition. So intriguing he knocks out both good ole Austin Deculus and Greg (not so) Little. Heck is several offensive line coach’s removed from his original team and could be on the chopping block if he can’t get healthy.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (5)
Will Anderson Jr., Jerry Hughes, Jonathan Greenard, Dylan Horton, Jacob Martin
ANALYSIS: Chase Winovich landing on the PUP list and Jacob Martin’s fast start swaps the two ends on the depth chart. Martin brings something unique. Anderson Jr. is also impressing fans with his tenacity and skillset to start his promising career.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (5)
Sheldon Rankins, Roy Lopez, Maliek Collins, Hassan Ridgeway, Thomas Booker
ANALYSIS: Rankins returned to practice on Sunday and his health is vital to improve this woeful group. Roy Lopez continues to impress and develop, he’s wedged a strong rotational role for himself. Booker has yet to impress or show signs of development. He could be cut to shift a roster spot to the DB positions soon.
Christian Harris, Denzel Perryman, Christian Kirksey, Cory Littleton, Henry To’oTo’o, Blake Cashman
ANALYSIS: Kirksey running with second team. I’m hearing that Blake Cashman is making himself indispensable. Perryman is proving to be a leader on the defense thus far. This group is the most competitive and possibly talented on the roster. Neville Hewitt, Jake Hansen, and Garret Wallow could all make other team’s rosters, but aren’t present here. .
Steven Nelson, Derek Stingley Jr., Shaq Griffin, Desmond King, Kendall Sheffield, Travierre Thomas
ANALYSIS: I always doubt Thomas, but he seems to always have a part to play on this team. Sheffield returns from an early PUP list and will need to compete to earn a roster spot against injured rookie Brandon Hill. I’m ecstatic Steven Nelson got over himself and will be a featured player on the defense.
Jimmie Ward, Jalen Pitre, M.J. Stewart, Eric Murray
ANALYSIS: News and notes from camp comment that Stewart runs with first team. Pitre continues to develop as a vocal and focal point on this new secondary. Jimmie Ward brings a new demeanor to this defense and has set the tone at training camp.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Ka’imi Fairbairn, Jon Weeks, Cameron Johnston