Texans morning huddle: Clowney returns, Hard Knocks episode 2 tonight


The Houston Texans were back at practice on Monday and had one of their biggest draft picks of recent years back on the field. There is also a video to get fans hyped for the second episode of “Hard Knocks,” which airs tonight!

14 observations from Monday’s #TexansCamp – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com

"As Sunday was a day off for the squad, many players squeezed in a trip to the movies, got some rest or got much needed sleep. Or in Christian Covington’s case got some Game of Thrones reading done. But, the time off was much too short as the team got back on the field on Monday in shorts and jerseys, welcoming back a couple of familiar faces on each side of the ball.Here are a few things from today’s workout.1. Everyone had been anticipating the arrival of OLB Jadeveon Clowneyand by everyone, I mean nearly every TV and Hard Knocks camera followed his every move during the early part of practice. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d see this day when it was announced in November that he was having microfracture surgery. But, consider the work he put in to get back to this point and the work that Geoff Kaplan and his training staff to motivate JD to keep pushing himself. It all paid off to get him back into camp at this point. But, it’s going to be slow going and that’s by the team’s design. JD feels ready but as I’ve said a few times, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so he’ll get the call in due time.2. He wasn’t the only one to return to the practice field today. Akeem Dent worked out with the team for the first time since the win over the Jags in early January 2015. A lower leg injury kept him out of workouts until today and his return only serves to muddy up the ILB waters. In a good way, of course. So, Clowney and Dent returned on Monday; it was a good day.3. Not to be left behind, the offense saw the return of Ryan Griffin to the tight end group. He had a stellar week of practice prior to getting nicked up in Richmond, so here’s hoping that he can pick right up where he left off.4. I noted in my game observations that the 49ers long run of the night was unfortunate, but correctable. One aspect that I know riled up secondary coach John Butler was that the receiver cracked on the safety and it appeared that safety Eddie Pleasant had no idea it was coming. Sure as shootin’, what was the first thing I heard today when the Texans defense did their walkthrough this morning? “CRACK!” Audible and heard all the way to the sideline where we were standing. Message. Received.5. Players throughout time have made the transition from being a special team stalwart to key offensive or defensive contributor. As such, the special teams reps often get pushed off to another player. Not so for Alfred Blue. He’s the first guy in line for all the special teams reps, even though if the season started tomorrow, he’d be the starting running back. As a former coach, I notice little things like that and love it."

Jadeveon Clowney leaned on supporters during rehab – by Tania Ganguli of ESPN

"On the days when he felt like he just couldn’t drag himself out of bed for another day of grueling rehab, Jadeveon Clowney’s support system gave him the extra push he needed.His teammates, the Houston Texans’ training staff, his mother, Josenna Clowney, and his girlfriend, Najah Martin, reminded him that he needed to — and that he could — get through another day.Clowney was glad he did it every single time, because it led to Monday’s practice.“More than I’ve worked my whole life probably,” Clowney said. “It was worth it just to be back out here. It was all worth it.”Clowney returned to practice with the Texans on Monday for the first time since undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee in December. The former No. 1 overall pick participated in the walk-through with the first-team defense, the Texans’ “dynamic stretching” period and individual drills, working against teammates and linebackers coach Mike Vrabel.Each day, as his knee allows, the Texans will add more to Clowney’s plate.“I’m very anxious, man,” Clowney said. “It’s going to be great to be out there, rushing the passer, putting my hands on guys. I’ve been hitting these dummies for so long. Nobody hits back.”After practice, Clowney said he didn’t feel soreness and that his knee felt significantly better than it did after practices last year. For most of last year’s in-season practices, he tried to play with a knee that wasn’t fully healed."

With bevy of receivers on roster, Texans try to share the wealth – by Dale Robertson of The Houston Chronicle

"The Texans’ three quarterbacks completed passes to 13 players Saturday night, including seven of the 12 receivers in camp and three other wideouts were targeted, too. So Bill O’Brien was trying to share the wealth and give everybody a chance to show his stuff.“It’s a very competitive group,” O’Brien said. “There are 12 guys and, knock on wood, they’ve all stayed pretty healthy. It’s a competition every day. We feel good about that group. They’re a bunch of good guys that work extremely hard – some good route runners, some good veterans, some good younger players.”"

Hard Knocks: Episode 2 Preview – video via HoustonTexans.com

"Looks like you’ll be getting a heavy dose of Brian Cushing on the second episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks."

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