The newness has worn off and the team looks more comfortable with what Head Coach Bill O’Brien is asking from his team.
Players are moving with more confidence and purpose and the results are showing with crisper practices for the Texans.
Kareem Jackson Will Help Inside and Outside
The Texans had been working Kareem Jackson in his normal boundary position but now they have been working him at the slot cornerback position. Head Coach Bill O’Brien let the cat out the bag so to speak in his press conference on Thursday.
“I think that with our secondary we’ve moved guys around quite a bit. We’ve moved, with Johnathan (Joseph) out for the spring, we’ve moved Kareem (Jackson) into the slot.”
O’Brien continued on what is needed to be successful for the slot cornerback and expanded his thoughts on Jackson:
“A slot corner has to have quickness, has to have strength, has to have awareness and has to be able to, relative to the strength, be able to tackle because they can be a force player verses certain formations. Middle runs that they see they have to be able to tackle. It is a position that is very tough to play. When you have a guy like Kareem (Jackson) that is doing that for us right now, who can play outside and inside, he’s a guy that is playing inside for us to.”
Mike Thomas And Alan Bonner Emerging
With the discussion of who could be the slot wide receiver, Mike Thomas and Alan Bonner are looking like the best fits for the position. Both bring different skill sets to the position with Bonner’s short area burst and quickness and Thomas’ veteran understanding of defenses. From day to day at OTAs, they are understanding their roles within the offense and, with a position that appears to be a vital part of the offense, they could be key pieces to the new look offense.
Rookies Being Introduced Slowly
There is no rush to get rookies into the starting lineup at this point and this goes for all the drafted rookies. They have been worked in at spots but the coaching staff has made a concerted effort to make sure all the rookies understand what is being asked from them from their position coaches. The veterans are setting the tone for the rookies and there has been little chatter from them as a group compared to last season.
Work on the field and learning the system is what is being asked from the rookies, and it is being done.
Quarterbacks Are Clicking with the Offense
The difference was noticeable with the quarterback when the week opened and the understanding of the offense was evident. The passes looked better to receivers and the timing was much better than week one. Fewer footballs hit the ground and there was more direction given by the quarterbacks on the field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick looked much better this week and his passes had some snap to them when throwing to receivers. There has been an emphasis on getting the ball out quickly and Quarterback Coach George Godsey has been preaching this non-stop on the field.
Arian Foster Looks Healthy and Happy
The running back looks rejuvenated on the field and it goes with how Bill O’Brien is pushing him on the field. He is expecting Foster to be more focused on helping in the passing game and be the running back for 3rd downs. Foster is talking to his teammates and looks much like his old self of previous seasons and he is even having fun again, like when he asked Andre Johnson not to leave.
Even Duane Brown talked about Arian Foster:
“I know what kind of player Arian is. He’s a very special talent. He has a lot of tools that you can’t coach. His elusiveness, his vision, his ability to catch out of the backfield. He has everything. When he’s healthy, I think he’s definitely the best back in the league and I think he’s on track to show that this year.”
“I think he’s very excited about this year. I’ve gotten a chance to talk to him a few times just, you know, his role in this offense and I think he’s looking forward to it as I am too.”