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ObsiWan
07-11-2013, 09:56 AM
LINK (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/22649373/nfl-training-camp-preview-houston-texans)
(please merge if this has already been posted)

2013 NFL training camp preview: Houston Texans

by Ryan Wilson | NFL Writer

July 5, 2013 2:24 PM ET
http://sports.cbsimg.net/u/photos/football/nfl/img22649372.jpg
The Texans won the AFC South last season, amassing a 12-4 record.

A year after making the playoffs for the first time in team history, it has become habit-forming for the Texans. We've gone from wondering if coach Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat to celebrating back-to-back 10- and 12-win seasons, division titles, and postseason appearances.
Next up: Getting to the Super Bowl.

Key changes

Despite losing key contributors to free agency -- DE/OLB Connor Barwin (Eagles), S Glover Quin (Lions), RB Justin Forsett (Jaguars), FB James Casey (Eagles), and WR Kevin Walter (Titans) among them -- the Texans remain one of the AFC's best teams. Their biggest need heading into the offseason was at wide receiver, finding someone to not only make things easier for Andre Johnson, but to also open things up for a running game that sputtered at times last season.

To that end, the Texans selected wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the first round. Entering the draft, the knock against Hopkins was that he wasn't a burner. But he doesn't need to be in Houston's precision West Coast scheme. His size (6-1, 215) and his ability to catch anything thrown in his direction fits exactly with the Texans' need, which explains why he'll enter training camp as a starter.

The offensive line has quietly developed into one of the best units in the league. That said, right tackle is a concern. Derek Newton, a seventh-round pick in 2011, started 14 games last year had offseason knee surgery. Brennan Williams, a third-round pick this spring, injured his knee in minicamp. That leaves veteran Ryan Harris and rookie David Quessenberry, although Kubiak expects everyone to be healthy for training camp.

On defense, Barwin will be replaced by outside linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed, former first- and second-round picks. There are concerns about depth, however; Bryan Braman was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, and Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams are rookies, though both have gobs of potential.

Brian Cushing, who returns at inside linebacker after suffering an ACL injury last season, solidifies the middle of this defense, and Tim Dobbins was re-signed this offseason to back him up.

While it would have been nice to keep Quin in the secondary, the Texans landed future Hall of Famer Ed Reed. The team also drafted Reed's eventual replacement, hard-hitting safety D.J. Swearinger in the second round of the April draft.


More here (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/22649373/nfl-training-camp-preview-houston-texans)

ObsiWan
07-11-2013, 10:02 AM
Some of the rest....


Position battles
Kubiak expects Derek Newton, the team's starting right tackle from a year ago, to be fully recovered from knee surgery by training camp. But if he's not, rookie Brennan Williams and veteran Ryan Harris could compete for the gig. Kubiak admitted that Brennan Williams, like most rookies, struggled in OTAs. Harris, meanwhile, started two games last season in Newton's absence.

The starters are pretty much set at other positions, and any position battles will likely be for backup roles. For example: Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams at outside linebacker, and which backup running back -- Ray Graham, Cierre Wood, or someone else -- will earn a roster spot.

New schemes
Kubiak brought the West Coast offense to Houston with him from Denver, where he served as Mike Shanahan's offensive coordinator, and the Texans have never had problems scoring points. On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has solidified a once porous unit. The centerpiece remains defensive end J.J. Watt, one of the NFL's best players. But the hope is that Ed Reed will bring experience to a secondary that is young and talented. The plan, once Reed recovers from offseason hip surgery, is to use him in a center fielder role rather than have two high safeties, which was often the case with Quin and Danieal Manning.

“He's a great player, but he's also a great communicator,” Phillips said of Reed back in March. “Part of his great playing skill is he's able to help other guys by letting them know where he's gonna help 'em, how he's gonna help 'em. His experience in that area is beyond most players. It is like a coach on the field, except it's a player on the field that has great anticipation for what's gonna happen. He studies the game. He knows what's happening from each formation, those kind of things, and then he's able to communicate those things to where he's gonna help people. That's over and beyond what players can do, but he is over and beyond what most players are.”


Bubble watch
There shouldn't be many surprises as August gives way to September, at least near the top of the Texans' roster. Due to salary cap issues or production, the team let plenty of veterans walk during free agency and several -- Shaun Cody, Stanford Routt and Barrett Ruud -- are still looking for work.

The Pencil Neck
07-11-2013, 10:07 AM
Thanks, man. MSR.

ChampionTexan
07-11-2013, 10:13 AM
My problem in this article was the part where he said "Kubiak admitted that Brennan Williams, like most rookies, struggled in OTAs".

Struggling like most rookies (at least to me) doesn't mean hurting your knee on the second day of rookie mini-camp, and missing everything from that point on. Doesn't give me warm fuzzies about the insight the author might be providing.

HOU-TEX
07-11-2013, 10:33 AM
My problem in this article was the part where he said "Kubiak admitted that Brennan Williams, like most rookies, struggled in OTAs".

Struggling like most rookies (at least to me) doesn't mean hurting your knee on the second day of rookie mini-camp, and missing everything from that point on. Doesn't give me warm fuzzies about the insight the author might be providing.

Yep, it's hard to "struggle" when you aren't even on the field.

Playoffs
07-11-2013, 10:58 AM
Wow, overall a well written and informed piece you'd expect more from a local beat writer. MSR, Obi.... somebody get him for me.

Hervoyel
07-11-2013, 11:13 AM
Thanks, man. MSR.


Got him. Good read. It's getting close and this kind of stuff starting to appear just gets the football "need" all stirred up.

It's football time. I don't care what the calendar says.

ObsiWan
07-11-2013, 11:51 AM
Got him. Good read. It's getting close and this kind of stuff starting to appear just gets the football "need" all stirred up.

It's football time. I don't care what the calendar says.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen any news on where we can get training camp passes? They ARE still gonna do that, right?

Back to topic...
I thought under "Biggest Concerns" or "Something to Prove" there might be a sentence or three about Matt Schaub taking his game to the next level. Those of us around here - mostly - seem to think that would be in order.

b0ng
07-11-2013, 12:58 PM
Speaking of which, has anyone seen any news on where we can get training camp passes? They ARE still gonna do that, right?

Back to topic...
I thought under "Biggest Concerns" or "Something to Prove" there might be a sentence or three about Matt Schaub taking his game to the next level. Those of us around here - mostly - seem to think that would be in order.

I would've thought that it would've been done by now but looking at this page:

http://www.houstontexans.com/tickets/camp-ticket-info.html

it seems that something will happen soon?

eriadoc
07-11-2013, 01:15 PM
From the link:

Biggest concerns

Ed Reed's health. The team admitted that Reed's offseason hip surgery came as a surprise, and in May, Phillips admitted to being a "little concerned." While Reed will eventually end up in Canton, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco isn't convinced the Texans are better off by signing him.

“The bottom line is does Ed Reed bring street cred, football cred? Yes, he does," Prisco said in late May. "He's won a Super Bowl, but so what? What's it matter? If you can't play, you can't play and I just don't think he was very good last year. Now I will say he was hurt and he didn't tackle.”

Prisco's words are bolstered by ProFootballFocus.com's numbers -- Reed graded out well below Grover Quin, who left the Texans in free agency.

Porky
07-11-2013, 02:18 PM
Roughly two more weeks of wandering the football wilderness, and then we start it up. I need a hit! :swatter:

False Start
07-11-2013, 02:43 PM
Roughly two more weeks of wandering the football wilderness, and then we start it up. I need a hit! :swatter:

I feel ya man.

http://www.sherv.net/cm/emo/smoke/passing-joint-smiley-emoticon.gif ;)

Norg
07-11-2013, 06:47 PM
there is going to be some battling this TC for the backup QB role Yates Kennum and MCgee 3 way LOL

Sharpton vs Reed

Keo vs WHoever LOL

Brandon420tx
07-11-2013, 07:19 PM
Keo vs WHoever LOL

Eddie Pleasant

Porky
07-12-2013, 12:21 PM
Keo vs a box of shipley donuts. I know he is decent on ST, but it's not like he is good enough there to make it solely on ST skills. And on D he is just bad. Maybe slightly better each year, but I have no earthly idea why he is anywhere close to being a guy that plays real snaps on Sunday's for a winning team. He's got to have something on Wade. :kitten:

TexanSam
07-12-2013, 03:36 PM
Keo vs a box of shipley donuts. I know he is decent on ST, but it's not like he is good enough there to make it solely on ST skills. And on D he is just bad. Maybe slightly better each year, but I have no earthly idea why he is anywhere close to being a guy that plays real snaps on Sunday's for a winning team. He's got to have something on Wade. :kitten:

Was he good on special teams? That unit was such a joke last year. I don't remember anyone standing out besides Braman.

HOU-TEX
07-12-2013, 03:48 PM
Was he good on special teams? That unit was such a joke last year. I don't remember anyone standing out besides Braman.

No, iirc, he and Forsett were the one's involved (or not involved I should say) in the Karim KO return for TD. Dude ran straight up the middle while both Keo and Forsett were pushed to either side.

That's one big bugaboo that sticks out to me. The camera even showed Kubiak pointing blame at someone after the return. Wish it would've shown who it was, but by watching the return you can tell it was on the two middlemen

thunderkyss
07-12-2013, 05:55 PM
there is going to be some battling this TC for the backup QB role Yates Kennum and MCgee 3 way LOL



I honestly don't think there's going to be any battle. Yates is & will be the back up. Kubiak will say things like, "Keenum is going to challenge..." but that's just coach speak for, "We're giving Keenum a shot to make the roster. It's going to be him or McGee. Keep in mind, McGee went to my alma mater."

EllisUnit
07-12-2013, 08:09 PM
Does it matter we all know where the story ends

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3796/9271029473_676e72ec36_b.jpg

AngryNateFTW
07-12-2013, 09:26 PM
Keo had a lot of high praises from coaches coming out of college because of what he did in the off-season leading up to the draft. He was actually one of the players that Deion Sanders was blown away with at the Combine and one of the players that the NFL Draft crew loved watching at the Senior Bowl. He was all over the place and was all around the ball.

He obviously wasn't as advertised but he was only a 5th round pick. We didn't really invest much in him.

EllisUnit
07-12-2013, 09:39 PM
Keo had a lot of high praises from coaches coming out of college because of what he did in the off-season leading up to the draft. He was actually one of the players that Deion Sanders was blown away with at the Combine and one of the players that the NFL Draft crew loved watching at the Senior Bowl. He was all over the place and was all around the ball.

He obviously wasn't as advertised but he was only a 5th round pick. We didn't really invest much in him.

No but still when they kept him over troy nolan it left me scratching my head. i would feel better with, manning, reed, nolan and DJ, than i do with manning, reed, keo and DJ