Texans OTAs Day 3 Review: The Progression

Texans OTAs Day 3 Review: The Progression

The Houston Texans wrapped up their first week of OTAs and produced plenty of news and notes for people to digest over the weekend. There were some noticeable absentee players on Thursday, but that did not stop the team from moving forward.

Day Three Review

Absent Rookies

Rookies Jadeveon Clowney and Tom Savage were absent today from training camp due to the invite they received from the NFLPA to attend the 20th Annual Rookie Premiere. If the rookies receive an invite they usually attend and if they chose not too they are required by the NFL to sit out OTAs until the event is over.

Brandon Brooks is an Emerging Star

Offensive guard Brandon Brooks is turning into one of the top guards in the NFL. At 6-5 and 335 lbs., Brooks is everything you want in an offensive lineman and he has learned what it takes to be good at this level to be good. Only 24 years old, Brooks can move defensive lineman when he needs to and has improved on his pass protection from year one to entering his 3rd season.

He is a quiet force for the Texans offenses and he will be one of the staples of the offensive line.

Tim Jamison is Still Here


The defensive end was forgotten for whatever reason last season, but this year Tim Jamison is still making himself a factor. Jamison’s best part of his game is his ability to rush from the interior and he looks like he has his step back from an Achilles injury suffered in 2011. Through these three days he has been a silent worker and has looked like himself once again with the way he has handled his pass rushing duties.

He has issues against the run but he should not be asked to be a primary run defender this season.

Alan Bonner Still Impressing

Second year wide receiver Alan Bonner is convinced this offense reminds him of what he was able to do in college, create out of the slot. Bonner is making an impression with his play coming out of the slot and has shown some explosion when he plants and gets up field. Completely healthy from a hamstring injury from last year Bonner made it clear that he did not get healthy until mid way through last season.

He is putting his best foot forward with his speed that he displays on the field and is looking like a one to watch to make a mark from the slot position.

Brooks Reed on the Inside in Not an Experiment

The front seven of the defense is slowly taking an identity as the week has progressed on, and linebacker Brooks Reed will be counted on to make the move to the inside. Reed has moved well from the inside and is doing his best to understand his run fits. His real work will start when the pads get put on and he will have to work on becoming more sudden inside the box. Also playing downhill will be an adjustment for Reed who has spent the majority of his NFL career on the edge, so it will be imperative for Reed to not waste anytime heading into training camp.

D.J. Swearinger Taking a Big Step in Year Two


Safety D.J. Swearinger will be depended on to be a leader in the back half of the defense. Head Coach (Bill O’Brien) called Swearinger “passionate about the game” and last season he played out of control at times. This season he has shown a focus in learning the defense and been very active at safety. He looks like he has a better grasp on what to do in coverage in one on one situations and will be called upon to be a more physical player inside the box.

The focus for Swearinger has been apparent, keep quiet and learn the defense.

Quarterbacks Learning the Finer Points

Today was about drops and working on timing with their receivers and minus Tom Savage the quarterbacks are learning the finer points of the offense. The quarterbacks are leaned on more than before to call protections, understand the coverage and learn the new playbook that has been handed to them.

The quarterbacks have been trying to get what quarterbacks coach George Godsey has been asking from them day to day and there has been a steady progression. Footwork has improved from the quarterback group and that has helped with placement of the football to receivers.

The group has been fairly accurate on the field and there have been very few misses on the field. There has been a high concentration on quick timed passes and hitting the receivers on the move.

Alec Lemon Catches Everything

The second year wide receiver went from a rookie free agent last year to finding a spot on the practice squad last season. This year Lemon is still a technician and is a crisp route runner and is one of the best hands receivers in the wide receiver group.

He makes catching the football look easy, but he has a tough road ahead to make the team. He is the ultimate possession receiver and seeing how he fits moving forward will be something to note.

Quick Hitters

- There have been a few Texans players who look much more focused this offseason especially the way they have come into OTAs. There has been some weight loss, for the better, from Derek Newton, Brooks Reed, A.J. Bouye, T.J. Yates and Jared Crick. All players who have a chance to contribute in big ways and the way they have handled their offseason shows the increased focus on the season.

- Rookie wide receiver LaColtan Bester continues to make some solid catches on the field and the degree of difficulty on some have been impressive.

- Inside linebacker Jeff Tarpinian is still the best coverage linebacker from the inside for the Texans. He makes life tough on tight ends and running backs in the passing game.

- Despite Johnathan Joseph and Brian Cushing sitting out of OTAs both are very much active in talking to their position coaches and other teammates keeping in upbeat.


- Safety Chris Clemons has been very quiet in terms of flashing on the field. Competing for the starting free safety position with Kendrick Lewis, he has been passed up by Lewis.

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