Texans morning huddle: There is life after Arian Foster, camp observations


Good morning Texans fans, and a happy Wednesday to you all. Another episode of “Hard Knocks” is in the books and I am sure all of the Houston Texans faithful are anxious to see more of their favorite team. To help hold you over for the next game and then episode, we here at the Toro Times bring you the Morning Huddle for your reading pleasure. Enjoy;

23 observation’s from Tuesday’s #TexansCamp – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com

"It’s another Hard Knocks Tuesday, but more importantly Tuesday was essentially the middle of training camp. It’s ALL downhill from here, right? Well, not really, there’s a lot of work still on the docket with two weeks and change remaining.Here are some observations from Tuesday’s full pads practice.1. Coach O’Brien started the day with a “going out” drill. The ball was placed inside the offense’s five-yard line as it was forced to maneuver. Hoyer, taking first team reps today, hit Cecil Shorts for a short gain and following a five yard run from Alfred Blue, Hoyer hit his fullback Jay Prosch for a first down. The offense looked efficient against a strong rush from the front seven on D.2. When Ryan Mallett took over on offense, he hit Damaris Johnson in stride. That was where the good start ended as following a false start, Coach O’Brien colorfully told his 2nd team offense to “take a lap.”3. Tom Savage made a couple of accurate throws leading to a 1st down but it appeared that the slow start frustrated Coach O’Brien and the staff. That would change throughout the rest of the day as the team picked up the intensity and execution.4. During individual drills, rookie defensive tackle Christian Covington consistently flashed with effort and intensity. There’s rarely a time when he isn’t going all out at every time."

Alfred Blue-Led Backfield Proves Texans Can Survive Without Arian Foster – by Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report

"The good news is the Houston Texans know as well as anybody that you don’t need a highly-touted running back to have a good one.Arian Foster went undrafted in 2009, but has been to four Pro Bowls in six seasons and has rushed for more yards over the last five years than every other back in football except LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch.But Foster underwent groin surgery earlier this month and could be out half of the year, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.So it works out that as the Texans look for a temporary replacement for Foster, they’re left with four backs who either weren’t drafted or were selected beyond the fifth round.In their preseason victory over the San Francisco 49ers Saturday night, three of those backs rushed for 127 total yards on 32 attempts, carrying the Houston offense in the team’s first rehearsal for the 2015 season.The leader of that pack was Alfred Blue, a second-year LSU product who ran for 59 yards, 32 of which came on a one-cut first-quarter gallop against San Francisco’s first-team defense."

Houston Texans training camp: Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett? – by Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com

"Don’t be surprised if the battle between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer goes down to the wire. Both quarterbacks are splitting reps in practice, and head coach Bill O’Brien wants to make sure they face similar situations — whether against nickel packages, blitzes or base defenses — in preseason games. Since O’Brien worked with both players when he was an assistant in New England, there isn’t a definitive edge in familiarity here. But Hoyer could be the favorite, simply because he has more experience (17 career starts to Mallett’s two) and a higher salary (his two-year deal is worth $10.5 million, while Mallett’s two-year pact is valued at $7 million). For what it’s worth, Hoyer also started the preseason opener against San Francisco. (Though O’Brien has indicated that Mallett will start this weekend’s game against Denver.)2) The Texans are hoping second-year pro Alfred Blue can be an effective Plan B at running back, as injured star Arian Foster could miss the first half of the season after undergoing groin surgery. They also aren’t asking Blue to be the only backfield option for a team that wants to pound the football. Chris Polk, Jonathan Grimes and rookie Kenny Hilliard are all vying to be part of the rotation. Even with Blue’s experience — he ran for 528 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie last season and gained 59 yards on just nine carries in Saturday’s preseason win over San Francisco — the Texans coaches prefer a committee approach until Foster returns. “We don’t feel good about losing Arian,” O’Brien said. “He’s a 1,300-yard rusher and a 60-catch receiver. You don’t replace that with one guy.”"

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