The Houston Texans wrapped up their day nine practice at the Methodist Training Center.
-The Texans the past two practices have worked their situational football under Head Coach Bill O’Brien. With no full contact, the Texans have taken more of a mental approach of the game. They have worked the two minute drill, turnovers, last minute field goals, red zone and even the hail mary situation. Both the offense and defense received work to make them think on the run and the staff is leaving no stone unturned on what could happen during the game.
-D.J. Swearinger continues to be a presence in the box for the Texans and he keeps intercepting passes and being around the football. He looks like he is seeing the field better and understanding offensive concepts coming his way. Still having issues in man to man coverage, Swearinger looks better suited as a zone coverage player.
-Chris Clemons has started to make some positive progress on the field for the defense, and his increased reps on the field has helped build his confidence. Clemons has been aggressive with the football in the air and is showing that the Texans have three capable safeties on the roster. The way the Texans are planning to play defense, three safeties that can play is a necessity, and Clemons is finally catching up to the rest of the defense.
-Tom Savage showed some life late in practice with some impressive passes in the red zone portion of practice. It was the first time since camp opened that he showed poise and touch in the pocket throwing the football. He dropped a nice pass in the bucket to a receiver streaking down the sideline with a defender in good position. Savage still has the presence to let the ball rip with no intended target, but his late success in practice brings some nice hope for the rookie who has been overmatched.
-Tight End Garrett Graham has quietly put together a nice camp and is developing a nice on-field relationship with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Graham is a technician on the field and does everything without the publicity like some of his other teammates. He is developing his game as a move tight end and is still the best pass option to catch the ball from the position group.
-Tight end coach John Perry was very complimentary of his position group and likes the versatility the group brings with Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz. According to Perry the tight end group is exactly what O’Brien wants to run the offense.
-Travis Labhart continues to impress but he might be in a numbers game as camp progresses. His body control is impressive and he showed he can elevate and tap two feet in when needed over defenders. Labhart shows a new part of his game from practice to practice and is moving in the right direction to keep his name in the discussion to make the team in some capacity.
-Offensive guard Alex Kupper has been called upon to fill some big shoes with Brandon Brooks out for the time being. Kupper has been with the Texans since 2013 and is going to be tested to see what he can do when the first preseason game arrives. The offensive staff is working him to get ready for a bigger role in the offense and time will tell if he can handle it. He has shown he can do some things at a high level but consistency will be key for the second year player.
-Rookie offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is not being treated like a rookie and he is learning majority of the offensive line positions at the moment. Su’a-Filo is going to be depended on sooner than later to produce for the offense, but his exact position is still up in the air. The rookie looks solid in his run game blocking and is still learning pass rushing looks from the defense. Expect some up and down with Su’a-Filo but the Texans have to get him ready now to be ready for week one.