The Houston Texans traveled to Richmond, Virginia for a joint practice with the Washington Redskins as the two teams were able to get after players in a different uniform for a change. As with any practice, reports were all over the place on who looked good and who needed to step up their game.
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For the Texans, one position group getting noticed was their inside linebackers. Throughout the weekend Mike Mohamed was drawing all the attention at middle linebacker, but in Richmond a couple of other guys wanted to announce that they were there to play as well.
"18. I mentioned linebacker Justin Tuggle yesterday and he had another decent day. He tipped a pass going down the seam that safety Corey Moore intercepted during the Redskins move the chains situation drill.19. Overall, I thought this was Benardrick McKinney’s best day. During one team drill, the first rep he was on the field, he destroyed an OL and then tackled the Redskins runner, forcing a fumble – the only one I remember on the day. He seems to be gaining confidence each day. He’s so much more confident playing the run as he flies from sideline to sideline looking to make tackles."
As good as both Mohamed and Brian Cushing have looked thus far, it would almost feel like excess if both Justin Tuggle and Bernardrick McKinney begin to take off. Although it wouldn’t be too surprising as Tuggle started eight games in 2014 and McKinney was one of the top linebackers in the draft.
Houston moved up to take McKinney in round two and it seemed as though he would be the starter next to Cushing from day one. It took him a few days into camp to show up, which is not abnormal for a rookie.
The sudden emergence of playmakers at middle linebacker for Houston is a welcome sign considering several players took turns starting at the position last year due to injuries. The added depth at the spot gives the team some great options as well as solid depth.