-The Houston Texans wrapped up their training camp week with the last day of practice with the Atlanta Falcons. It seemed both teams have had enough of each other by the time practice was in full swing. There were skirmishes all over the field and some tension on the field that resulted in players being separated. The most notable altercation was between DeAndre Hopkins and the Falcons Josh Wilson after a play in the endzone. While walking back to the huddle, Wilson had some choice words for Hopkins which made the wide receiver stop for further discussion. Hopkins pushed Wilson, then Wilson came with a swing upside Hopkins' helmet and before they were separated, Hopkins got in two quick hits to Wilson.
To make matters more interesting, Hopkins became a target for the Falcons after he had a peel back block on Desmond Trufant to spring Uzoma Nwachukwu on
catch and run across the middle. Trufant called immediately for a substitute after the play. The Falcons took notice and sent a linebacker the next play
at Hopkins and flattened him when he was not looking. Hopkins also had some choice words for the linebacker, but it was quickly stopped by other players
before it got out of hand.
-Kareem Jackson had one of the best days for the Texans today and he was all around the football. Matt Ryan’s first pass of the day was batted down by
Jackson and almost had another one intercepted by Jackson who couldn’t control it before he could get his feet inbounds.
During the team session, the Falcons were having their way with the Texans moving the ball, but Jackson, playing the slot cornerback position, Jackson came up with
a diving interception in the middle of the field to end the Falcons threat.
-LaCoaltan Bester had a strong showing as a receiver and made a big catch for a score against the Falcons. He worked one to the back corner of the
endzone where he had a defender draped on his arm but was able to get his left hand free to catch the ball at the corner pylon for a score. Then Anthony McClung in the
last team session, he went up the sideline and caught a deep ball in the corner of the endzone to give the Texans some excitement to end practice.
-Rookie tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz had a slow start to his practice after a strong showing yesterday. He had a bust in the run game and dropped a pass that
did not sit well with his coaches. He started to hit his stride as practice carried on and became a dependable target throughout practice.
-Tyson Clabo may look like he has trouble walking at times, much less moving in general. Despite these issues Clabo is slowly coming into form at right
tackle. Today Clabo pulled and pancaked rookie defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman on a run play. The seasoned veteran has shown he has enough football
smarts to make things happen on the field and he did just that against the Falcons the past two days.
-Newly signed Junior Mertile made some nice plays in coverage today and made a nice break on the football to get a pass breakup. Meanwhile rookie Andre Hal had
a mixed day at the office and was run on by a Falcons wide receiver who scored on deep ball over him. Hal had really stepped up with the Falcons in town
and was very active in coverage and filling in on the run.
-Xavier Su’a-Filo received a taste of NFL football when he went head to head with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Soliai had his way with the rookie
and moved him with ease in run defense. If Su’a-Filo is going to get better, he is going to have to handle talent like Soliai, but the rookie could not do
it on a consistent basis during practice.
-Ryan Fitzpatrick had a questionable day with the offense and his inconsistent play did not help the offense. He was erratic with his throws and forced the
Texans offense into 3rd and longs during the practice. He had a nice ball to DeAndre Hopkins in the team portion of practice that gave Chris Boswell a
chance to win the game with two seconds left on the clock (situational football). That was a positive sign for a Texans offense that had struggled with the
Falcons coverage schemes. For the most part, the offensive line gave Fitzpatrick ample amount of time to survey the field.
-Case Keenum showed his best throws are outside the numbers as he hit wide receiver Travis Labhart in stride down the sideline for a big gain.
Keenum also received some limited work with the first team offense, looking the part and ending the drive with a touchdown in Garrett Graham’s hands.. Keenum’s struggles come with his inconsistent work in the middle of the field and holding the ball too long at times. If he can improve this
part of the game, it could mean that he can start pushing for a bigger role in the offense.
-Tom Savage can go from looking like he has no clue in the pocket to hitting a light switch where he makes some impressive throws on the field. Early in
the day, he struggled locking onto wide receivers and running them into defenders waiting on them. Then he goes out and hits Alfred Blue on a rail route
while dropping it in a basket in stride with tight coverage. Savage is starting to have more moments of success but he is still far off from where he needs
to be to contribute.
-Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Brian Cushing participated individuals drills but did not join in on group and team drills. They are all working and
moving well but the Texans are playing it smart trying to keep them as healthy as they can up to week one of the season.