Texans morning huddle: Analysts weigh in
By Randy Gurzi
Thursday morning is here Texans fans, and I hope the morning has been good to you all so far. Today’s ‘huddle’ brings us stories about what to expect from the rookies this year as well as a glimpse into what the NFL analysts think about the upcoming season.
#TexansCamp Top 5: The Rookies – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com
"People want nothing more than a bright shiny new toy. I mean, c’mon, who didn’t want a brand new toy every time you went to the mall?The new toys ALWAYS get more attention.Well, the same applies, to a degree, for rookies. Everyone wants to see what the new guys bring to the organization. The unknown always piques interest, right? So, heading into training camp, here are the five new toy, errr, rookie storylines I’ll be watching starting on Saturday.5. A rookie starter?I haven’t done the crack research on all 32 teams, but I’d make an educated guess that of the 32 teams in the league at least half of them start a rookie on opening day. The Patriots started a rookie at center in 2014. The Texans started Jadeveon Clowney and C.J. Fiedorowicz in week one v. Washington. On paper, the Texans would appear to be in the “not going to have a rookie starter” in week one, but, again, that’s on paper.First rounder Kevin Johnson has two excellent vets in front of him. Benardrick McKinney is amongst a gaggle of inside linebackers competing for one of two spots.Jaelen Strong might seemingly have the most opportunity given the remodeling at the receiver position. However, he didn’t get to work out much during the spring (more on him later), so the rookie that truly opened eyes was Michigan State WR Keith Mumphery. In OTAs and minicamp, he got a ton of reps and grew seemingly more comfortable with those reps. That said, he’s still a 5th round rookie and needs to make the team before becoming a starter. A rookie will emerge during training camp to start v. Kansas City but which one will it be?"
DeAndre Hopkins is the Houston Texans’ next great receiver – by Danny Kelly of SB Nation
"Despite a shaky situation that saw Hopkins catch passes from four different quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage and Case Keenum), he emerged as arguably the team’s top receiver, grabbing 76 passes for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns.He joined Andre Johnson as the only Texan ever to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark, and set the franchise record with his 15.9 yards per catch. His six scores paced the 9-7 Texans, and his 127 targets were second only to Johnson. He became a focal point for a run-heavy attack in his second season.I watched every Hopkins target from last year and a few things stood out. He’s a physical player — he plays to his 6’1, 218-pound frame — and his hands are very good. I saw him drop a couple passes that he should’ve caught, but overall he was very consistent catching the ball. His hands technique was fundamental; he always framed the ball well, focusing in on it through the catch, and displayed the ability to go up high or crouch low.These are two consecutive targets on separate third-and-4’s for Hopkins, in Week 13’s matchup against Tennessee. Both were extremely low, inaccurate passes, and he came up with both:"
Texans 2015 season: The analysts weigh in – by Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com
"With just days before the start of training camp, we had a panel of our Texans analysts, Andre Ware, Spencer Tillman, and John Harris weigh in on the major topics surrounding this year’s team.The panelists:Andre Ware – ESPN college football and Texans Radio broadcast analystSpencer Tillman – NFL and college football analystJohn Harris – Texans football analyst and sideline reporterOn the quarterback competition:Ware: “I’ll actually start with Tom Savage. I think he’s made a tremendous jump from Year 1 to 2. You can see that he’s a reactionary player more so than thinking his way through the process. He knows where to go.“You can tell he’s put the work in during the offseason to really study the offense and know it, and not just out there thinking about, ‘Where I need to go with the football?’ He’s reactionary. And that’s a plus, because it pushes everybody else when you’ve got a hungry No. 3 that has put the time in during the offseason, showing up at 5:30 in the morning. That means now that Ryan Mallett and (Brian) Hoyer have got to get in the building. They can’t allow this guy to be the first in here.”Tillman: “I think Brian obviously has the edge there as the starter. Pencil him in there but, that’s because it’s demonstrated ability. I think that stretch he was on, 6-3 with Cleveland before he was unseated as a result of that 1-3 stretch he went on. He had eight turnovers during that run. That’s the reason why Johnny Manziel was able to unseat him. It wasn’t anything that Johnny was doing necessarily.“(Hoyer) has the advantage over Ryan Mallett because of demonstrated ability. The QB position is great because it’s a competition context. Hoyer’s going to be the guy, but there’s going to be quite a bit of pressure if he slips up the slightest bit to get Ryan Mallett in there to make good on those physical assets that everybody’s seen.”"