Rookie Mini-Camp: Day Two Review

Rookie Mini-Camp: Day Two Review

The Houston Texans are wrapping up their rookie mini camp this weekend and the rookie are adjusting as best as they can at the moment. Days consist of three meetings with a walk-though on the field and a full practice of all three phases . After their initial introduction into the NFL the second day allowed some players to settle into what are the new expectations of the Texans.

Day Two Review

Louis Nix III Absent the Next Two Days

Head Coach Bill O’Brien let the media know that Nix III was returning to South Bend to attend his graduation ceremony from Notre Dame. O’Brien said,

“I thought it was important that we let him go back to Notre Dame and walk with his graduating class, so that’s what we did.”

Nix III is set to return to Houston late Sunday or early Monday morning to prepare of OTAs in two weeks.

Tom Savage With Plenty on His Plate

There is no mistake why there is not another quarterback in rookie camp and that is for Savage to get as much one on one time with quarterbacks coach George Godsey teaching the offense. Savage has been working on footwork and learning the offense at an accelerated rate. He was the first Texans rookie on the field today and started working early on his drops and getting snaps from his center.

There was not as much throwing today compared to day one, but Savage has another solid day on the field. Savage was efficient with the throws from the 20 yards deep and in, which majority of the passing game was focused on. In 7-on-7, Savage was getting rid of the ball at the top of his drop and making quick decisions. There is plenty of more room to grow for Savage, but the initial start to his Texans career has been a positive step.

Rice Kicker To Be Ready For OTAs

Chris Boswell has been slowed by an appendectomy he had prior to the draft and has been limited in kicking duties on the field. The reality of the situation he is here to compete with current Texans kicker Randy Bullock for the week one job when the season opens. The competition starts when OTAs kickoffs in two weeks.

Pagan Slowly Coming Along

Defensive End Jeoffery Pagan is slowly working his way back to the field after O’Brien said the rookie was recovering from an injury late in Alabama’s season. Pagan was slowed by a shoulder injury which led to his draft stock to slip, but he is the prototypical defensive end (6-3, 310 lbs.) for Romeo Crennel’s scheme.

Nathan Slaughter Settles In

Wide Receiver Nathan Slaughter looked much more comfortable with the offense and the NFL life on day two. He showed his ability in 7-on-7 drills to get into seams in the secondary and create when the ball is in his hands. He has good quickness in and out of breaks and made some nice catches pushing up the seams of the defense. Slaughter will be a name to watch especially with little settled in the wide receiver position besides the first three spots.

Ankrah and His Position Change

Outside Linebacker Jason Ankrah is making a position change from this Nebraska days as a defensive end to linebacker in Houston. He looks very natural in his position change, and at 6-3 and 262 pounds he fits the bill as a 3-4 outside linebacker under Crennel. He has good movement skills on the edge and it looks like he has been playing the position for some time. His real test will come when full pads start, but he has picked up on what Coach Mike Vrabel is asking from the rookie.

Alfred Blue Showing Why He Is a Bill O’Brien Running Back

There was some question on why Blue was taken by the Texans especially with his low workload at LSU. He showed today the part of his game that did not get enough credit, his pass catching ability. Blue showed he can lineup in the backfield, motion out and lineup in the slot or wide and be a true receiving threat. He has soft hands and caught the ball with ease with his big catch radius.

Blue’s big transition will be on how he handles pass protection and running the football, but seeing him in space catching the ball is a pleasant surprise.

Better Day for Andre Hal

The rookie cornerback has a better day two and looks like he has taken his play up a level. Hal played much more physical with receivers off the line of scrimmage and looked to be directing traffic on the field with his communication to his teammates. Hal will get his real test with bigger wide receivers arrive to camp and at the moment there is not a receiver over 6-0 in rookie camp at the moment.

Tight Ends in Camp

Labeled a tight end at Utah, Anthony Denham (6-4, 235 lbs.) has been learning the nuances of position from alignment to blocking from his hand starting in the ground. He showed today on the field what made him successful for the Utes and that is catching the ball in one on one situations and boxing out defenders. Denham has a big learning curve and at the moment he could be an H-Back or a wide receiver, but H-Back looks like his position for the Texans.

Arizona State’s Chris Coyle (6-4, 243 lbs.) has shown he is fast learner in regards to what tight end John Perry is asking from the position group and some ability to catch in the passing game. Not excelling in one skill compared to the rest, Coyle is a solid player who will have to work to make the Texans practice squad. He is a technician with what he does and is a solid all around player in terms of what the tight end position is asking in the Texans offense.

C.J. Fiedorowicz is a technician with everything he does and he just has the ability to move people with ease. He is able to display this in drills moving blocking dummies with ease and his arms a so long he can create space in a hurry. Fiedorowicz is as close to a what NFL teams want in their inline tight end and he has the mental makeup to power defenders instead of the finesse blocking used by the Texans tight ends in previous seasons.

Jadeveon Clowney Update

There has been plenty of speculation on what type of player Clowney would be at the NFL level and the term “lazy” was used often. The number one overall selection has been anything but that for the Texans. Flanked by linebacker Coach Mike Vrabel, Clowney has shown some leadership qualities with his teammates and most importantly asking questions to coaches. He is first in drills and there is a concerted effort on Clowney’s part to learn his technique needed to play outside linebacker.

Vrabel and Romeo Crennel make sure there is teaching going on all the time with their defensive players and Clowney is treated no different. They are teaching him from the ground up and seeing him take to the position and what Vrabel is preaching is a site to see.

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