Texans morning huddle: Hard Knocks tonight, Blue’s skill set


Well today is the day many of us Houston Texans fans have been waiting for as “Hard Knocks” kicks off tonight on HBO. Here are the times for each showing, courtesy of HBO (Eastern zone).

Episode 1, August 11, 10 p.m.
Episode 2, August 18, 10 p.m.
Episode 3, August 25, 10 p.m.
Episode 4, Sept. 1, 10 p.m.
Episode 5, Sept. 8, 10 p.m.

But before we get to the show, let’s check out what is going on in the land of the Texans! Oh and if you want to take a quiz to find out which player you are (compliments of HoustonTexans.com) click here! 

Football 101: Alfred Blue’s skill set – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com

"It’s not often that rookies selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft make a significant impact in year one. A handful of players selected in 2014’s sixth round were released and have moved on to another team. Some spent the year on the practice squad. Some are out of football altogether just one year later.That was not the case with the Texans’ second sixth round selection in 2014. With the pick the Texans acquired from the Oakland Raiders in the Matt Schaub trade, they selected a running back from LSU that had long been overshadowed by a group of talented skill players down on the bayou.However, it didn’t take long for Alfred Blue to make his presence known in Houston. Just one quarter into the opening game of his rookie campaign versus the Washington Redskins, the former LSU product knifed through the line, blocked a punt, recovered the loose ball and ran it in for the first touchdown of his career. It was one of his four touchdowns on the season – the aforementioned blocked punt return, two rushing touchdowns and one receiving. He was one of only two Texans players to record a touchdown in three different ways. What kind of company did he keep as a rookie?J.J. Watt was the other Texan who found three different ways to score a touchdown.When Arian Foster injured his groin early in training camp, the debate began whether Blue was ready to step into the starting role for a significant period of time. In 2014, Blue was forced into Foster’s shoes in a couple of games, including the team’s win over Cleveland. In that game, Blue ran the ball a whopping 36 times, more than half of his senior season rushing total at LSU. Blue got stronger with more carries as the game wore on; he eventually finished with 156 yards on those three dozen carries."

Filming HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is just as fast-paced and unpredictable as the game itself – by Aaron Dodson of The Washington Post

"By 8 o’clock Saturday night, Ken Rodgers had yet to see it — the footage that had already been tweeted about, analyzed in stories and covered on the 6 p.m. local news.At the time the supervising producer for NFL Films squeezed in a moment to talk during what would ultimately be a 16- to 18-hour work day (which is normal, Rodgers assures), the film was still on its way to the production company’s offices in Mount Laurel, N.J.Around 11:30 a.m. that day, a joint practice between the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans yielded a vicious plot twist after a fight broke out between the two teams and their 180 players.An ESPN cameraman stationed in a raised, hydraulic cherry picker on the far sideline of the adjacent practice fields captured the action, which was broadcast by the network live."

Houston Texans preview (No. 13): Hoyer, Mallett winner must bolster offense – courtesy of Fox Sports

"TRAINING CAMP QUESTION: Who emerges at wide receiver following Andre Johnson’s release?Since his arrival in 2003, no other wideout had led the Texans in receiving until last season when DeAndre Hopkins surpassed Johnson. While that torch was passed, Houston needs some complementary targets to emerge and take some of the heat off Hopkins. Cecil Shorts is the frontrunner to start opposite Hopkins provided he can stay healthy, which is an issue that marred his time in Jacksonville. Another free-agent newcomer — 11-year veteran Nate Washington — and the returning Keshawn Martin will try to hold off Arizona State rookie Jaelen Strong as Houston’s No. 3 receiver. More support from a tight end group that produced only 32 catches all of last season also would help the winner of the Brian Hoyer-Ryan Mallett quarterback duel.IF EVERYTHING GOES RIGHT:The Texans could have the best defense in the NFL. Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Cushing rebound from their injury-shortened 2014 seasons and join the newly signed Wilfork and the already fearsome JJ Watt to form a suffocating core up front. Hoyer, considered a front-runner for the starting quarterback job, keeps the mistakes to a minimum as Houston leans on its running game to snare a playoff spot.IF EVERYTHING GOES WRONG:Clowney doesn’t live up to his expectations, the Texans get shoddy quarterback play and the offensive line continues to struggle. Houston could also run into problems if it can’t find a reliable receiver to replace the departed Johnson opposite Hopkins. The Texans are hoping to find a winner among rookie Strong, veteran Washington and Shorts. If none of those options work out, Houston could be staring at another middling season with its final record ending up between 7-9 and 9-7."

Next: Wide receiver makes it look EZ