Houston Texans: Intense Friday practice and other observations


Happy Saturday morning Texans fans! Another practice is in the books and ‘Hard Knocks’ is merely days away! It is a great time to be a Texans fan, yes even as the team fights through a key player’s injury. Let’s get caught up on what is happening in Virginia as the Houston Texans continue their joint practice with the Washington Redskins.

24 observations from day two of Texans vs. Redskins – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com

"Another day is in the books from the Bon Secours (the r is silent, just so you know) Training Facility here in Richmond, VA. As a native of Richmond, TX, I’ve typed TX every single time, but then have to remind myself that I’m back here in Virginia for the weekend. A slight drizzle highlighted the day, but it could’ve been worse…like Thursday night when a gullywasher hit us on the way home from dinner.1. A number of Texans sat out practice as they rehabbed injuries or got the day off. As such, a number of threes and twos moved up the ladder a rung to the twos or the ones. It disrupted the rhythm of things throughout the day as Jonathan Grimesmentioned after practice. As always there were some good moments, but the Redskins returned the end of practice favor to the Texans, seemingly winning the last couple of drills.2. One of the great aspects of a shared practice is the fact that players get the opportunity to reunite with former college teammates, coaches and/or acquaintances. As practice was just about to start, nearly everyone was out on the two practice fields, but the last Redskin out of the locker room jogged out of the facility. It was Akeem Davis, a former Memphis Tiger. As he ran past, he made a beeline for Lonnie Ballentine, his former secondary mate with Memphis. The two exchanged a quick bro hug before Davis continued on to the practice field. That was one of the cool moments of the day to me for some reason.3. It was Ryan Mallett’s day with the ones and there were definite start and stop moments with that first crew. One of Mallett’s first throws during team was a laser across the middle to DeAndre Hopkins but he couldn’t make the catch. It was a ball Hop catches nine and half times out of ten. Washington’s defensive backs may have gotten a hand in on the ball but it’s still a catch he should, and typically does, make. Mallett did hook up with Cecil Shorts III again, but missed the mark to Nate Washington a couple of times during the day. Washington did make a catch during the ones’ Move the Chains team drill, one of the only catches during that period. As I said, it was an up and down day.4. The story for the Texans today was Brian Hoyer leading the second offense during the day. Since minicamp and OTAs when one of the two quarterbacks took snaps with the second group, it was a struggle at times. But, today, Hoyer lifted the two unit throughout the day. During the team’s first team period versus Washington’s nickel scheme, he threw a dart to Keith Mumphery for a first down. He then lofted one to Jonathan Grimes for another long gain."

“It got intense” at Friday’s Texans-Washington practice – by Drew Dougherty of HoustonTexans.com

"The second day of practice in Richmond was framed by gloomy weather. But the gray skies, cooler temperatures and periods of light drizzle did little to temper the enthusiasm on the field between the Texans and Washington.“It got intense out there which is good,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “That’s always good during training camp. It’s just been really good work with the Redskins.”After a day in pads on Thursday, both squads wore helmets and shoulder pads on Friday. Ryan Mallett got the reps at quarterback with the first team offense, flip-flopping with Brian Hoyer, who worked with the starters on Thursday. General manager Rick Smith was encouraged by what he saw from the Texans at the Bon Secours Training Center.“Obviously when you come out in pads one day and then you come back the next day follow it up with just shells, you might expect it to be a little bit of a drop off, but I thought our guys competed,” Smith said. “I thought they brought energy today and looking forward to another good day tomorrow.”"

Texans’ J.J. Watt wins fans, even in enemy territory – by Gene Wang of the Washington Post

"Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt doesn’t need to be pursuing the quarterback in order to command attention. The two-time NFL defensive player of the year received plenty from vocal supporters while simply standing and watching individual drills during this morning’s joint practice with the Washington Redskins.Even Redskins fans showered Watt with hearty cheers, which he acknowledged with gratitude during a thoughtful post-practice news conference in the media room. It was there a reporter asked Watt how he felt about his No. 99 jersey being sold in the Washington Redskins team tent. It’s the only Texans item available for purchase.“My jersey’s in their store? Jeez Louise, that’s pretty cool,” Watt said. “I mean it’s incredible. Fans in Houston are incredible. I’m so, so fortunate to play for Houston and have the incredible fans, but one of the biggest compliments I can receive is when people come up to me, and they say, ‘I’m a fan of this team, but I love the way you play.’ For me, that’s why I work so hard.”"

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