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Old 07-31-2005   #1
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Default Practice - Saturday July 30th

I am always amazed when I read this board of the people who follow the Texans and post messages here but live in far away places. I feel like I'm lucky to live in Houston and have the opportunity to attend Texans practices. With this in mind I give you my impressions of the Texans first open practice of 2005.


Hot evening, No wind, Humidity down slightly

First Impressions: Both lines look more fit. Only Victor Riley and guard Brandon Evens look fat. McKinney, Pitts, Wiegert and Wade are in better shape. Gary Walker, Robair Smith and Jerry Deloach have reduced body fat. Babin and Peek both look trim but strong.

The evening started out with special teams drills. Impressions: Chad Stanley is a first team NFL punter when healthy. He looks healthy. Punting from the endzone during a punt protection drill he was routinely pounding out 55-60 yard punts with impressive hang time. Buchannon looks like the best punt returner if they decide to risk a starting corner returning kicks. He is quick like JJ but with SPEED.

After stretching they broke into some position drills. I was able to get a good view of the backs who were the same end of the field. Impressions: Morency looks the part of an NFL running back. Wearing #34 he has a compact muscular frame. He's not much taller than DD but is noticibly thicker. Hollings looks like he added some bulk. Wells looks fit but his size makes him look like a FB. Norris and Baxter both look bulked but with low body fat.

After the position drills they ran some offense vs defense in short yardage situations. Impressions: DD looked quick and showed good vision. Morency looked nervous and seemed to be trying hard to impress as a rookie. Hollings showed good speed to the outside but remember this was a short yardage drill.

The Texans broke up into some more position drills with the OL against the DL on the end of the field I was standing. This was the best action of the night for me as I got a close up look at the OL and DL squaring off in one on one drills. Impressions: The DL killed the OL. They started with Guards and Centers. Wiegert went first and was promptly driven back over the QB marker the coach placed in an imaginary pocket. Wiegert was immediately given a second chance only to be overcome by a bull rush by Sears again. Mickinney was then soundly beaten by Jerry Deloach , who by the way looks very good. Robair Smith then ran through Chester Pitts like he was a high school player. At this point I was torn between being impressed by the play of our DL or terrified by the play of our interior linemen. I'm afraid the latter is more likely the truth. The Tackles did look a little better. Todd Wade looked great. He did not get over powered and moved very well with his trimmed down frame. Wand held up to the bull rush but struggled when the DL went to quick techniques. He got beat on a spin move and obviously held when he horse collared Smith. Jason Davis caught my eye. He is a big strong DE that was able to push the pocket with a very effective bull rush.

The Texans then moved to the center of the field and worked the offense agianst the defense in a 11 on 11 drill. Impressions: The inside LB's are still working closely with the coaches on assignments. Greenwood is not a big guy but he looks quick and intstinctive. Greenwood looks smaller next to Wong on the inside because he is much bigger. Mathis is fast. He was able to get behind Daunte Robinson once but the ball was overthrown. He later ran by a backup DB but when the ball was underthrown he slowed and out jumped the
DB for the ball. He later made another nice catch on Demarcus Faggins. Mathis impressed me with his hands but when I watched him run routes I could see how much work he needs. He isn't very fast in and out of his breaks. I watched Dre a couple of times being covered by Buchanon. Once Buchannon new he had deep help so bounced around in front of Dre before the snap then tried to press him at the line. Dre took a couple of quick steps to his right and Buchannon mirrored him moving to his left. Dre turned quickly up field and ran right by Buchannon. At first I thought he would get the ball but when the ball went somewhere else I notice Glenn Earl on top of Dre. Dre was wearing a long sleeve undershirt during the practice. With the heat I'm not sure if he was trying to sweat off a few pounds or there was some other reason.

Non-Football Impressions: The Texans removed almost half the bleachers from previous seasons and replaced them with VIP tents. This in addition to fewer public practices is dissapointing. Many of the fans last night could not see the practice at all. Many stood because the stands were full before the practice even started.

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Old 07-31-2005   #2
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thx. i wish i could go myself but have to settle for any info i get from u guys.
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Old 07-31-2005   #3
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Thanks for the good post. I have posted in another thread. Sounds like our impressions of the O-line might be on the same page. Using the D-line against the O-line has got to help the O-line get better. Apparently the O-line has been off limits along with David until this year. We have got to see what's wrong if we are going to fix it. You can wait til the season starts. I wonder if we will invite back any of the young O-line guys we cut? I think Mathis is going to be a player. He can be taught route running. He has the skills that can't be taught and he is blazing fast. We know that Carr can reach him no matter where he's at on the field.

The potential of this reminds me of years ago at FSU(Fresno State) when the wide receivers were Henry Ellard and Stepan Page(Yes, they played together at the same time) and the QB was Tedford(Cal Coach). Other teams would play a deep zone and watch two receivers go streaking past them. It looked like they thought no one could throw the ball that far. Tedford could and did and it was a circus to watch. Then when he was able to throw to them under the coverage it was still a race, because once they got the ball they were you know what to catch. Ellard was a high hurdler in high school and he did go over more than a few people. I think that was one of the most under rated small college teams ever to play the game. They also had a 50 plus yard field goal kicker.

Anyway, to have someone like a Hayes, a Page, or an Ellard on this ball club could be a valueable asset and change the coverage that Carr is seeing. If the defense relaxes at all it can be 6 in a hurry. That potential of the few seconds going all the way play changes the defense and puts tremendous pressure on the other team and opens up the field for other players. AJ may not be as fast as Mathis, but I'll bet he's close enough to be a living nightmare for the other team. If you see them line up on each side heading down the field, I bet the middle opens up. That becomes a good place for receivers like Gaffny, Armstrong and Davis out of the backfield.
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Old 07-31-2005   #4
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Thanks for the post TPIMP. Pretty much tracks with what others have posted about the practice. I actually like the idea that the Dline is smacking the Oline around. Hopefully it will make them work harder and get better. Lord knows, they need to.
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Old 07-31-2005   #5
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TPIMP, good post, thanks for the update. It surely makes me crazy that I can't go to any of these practices. I'd be at every one if I was just a little closer

I hope the work between the OL and the DL will make the OL stronger. As of now they are giving me an ucler!

I just washed my Texans flag. . . She's all ready to go out for another season and support her team from here in Colorado!


GO TEXANS!!!
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Old 07-31-2005   #6
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Quote:
Non-Football Impressions: The Texans removed almost half the bleachers from previous seasons and replaced them with VIP tents. This in addition to fewer public practices is dissapointing. Many of the fans last night could not see the practice at all. Many stood because the stands were full before the practice even started.
I was told that the two new tents were for "Football Fiesta" only and would be removed for tomorrow night's practice. We will see.
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Old 07-31-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
I was told that the two new tents were for "Football Fiesta" only and would be removed for tomorrow night's practice. We will see.
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Old 07-31-2005   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPIMP
I am always amazed when I read this board of the people who follow the Texans and post messages here but live in far away places. I feel like I'm lucky to live in Houston and have the opportunity to attend Texans practices. With this in mind I give you my impressions of the Texans first open practice of 2005.


Hot evening, No wind, Humidity down slightly

First Impressions: Both lines look more fit. Only Victor Riley and guard Brandon Evens look fat. McKinney, Pitts, Wiegert and Wade are in better shape. Gary Walker, Robair Smith and Jerry Deloach have reduced body fat. Babin and Peek both look trim but strong.

The evening started out with special teams drills. Impressions: Chad Stanley is a first team NFL punter when healthy. He looks healthy. Punting from the endzone during a punt protection drill he was routinely pounding out 55-60 yard punts with impressive hang time. Buchannon looks like the best punt returner if they decide to risk a starting corner returning kicks. He is quick like JJ but with SPEED.

After stretching they broke into some position drills. I was able to get a good view of the backs who were the same end of the field. Impressions: Morency looks the part of an NFL running back. Wearing #34 he has a compact muscular frame. He's not much taller than DD but is noticibly thicker. Hollings looks like he added some bulk. Wells looks fit but his size makes him look like a FB. Norris and Baxter both look bulked but with low body fat.

After the position drills they ran some offense vs defense in short yardage situations. Impressions: DD looked quick and showed good vision. Morency looked nervous and seemed to be trying hard to impress as a rookie. Hollings showed good speed to the outside but remember this was a short yardage drill.

The Texans broke up into some more position drills with the OL against the DL on the end of the field I was standing. This was the best action of the night for me as I got a close up look at the OL and DL squaring off in one on one drills. Impressions: The DL killed the OL. They started with Guards and Centers. Wiegert went first and was promptly driven back over the QB marker the coach placed in an imaginary pocket. Wiegert was immediately given a second chance only to be overcome by a bull rush by Sears again. Mickinney was then soundly beaten by Jerry Deloach , who by the way looks very good. Robair Smith then ran through Chester Pitts like he was a high school player. At this point I was torn between being impressed by the play of our DL or terrified by the play of our interior linemen. I'm afraid the latter is more likely the truth. The Tackles did look a little better. Todd Wade looked great. He did not get over powered and moved very well with his trimmed down frame. Wand held up to the bull rush but struggled when the DL went to quick techniques. He got beat on a spin move and obviously held when he horse collared Smith. Jason Davis caught my eye. He is a big strong DE that was able to push the pocket with a very effective bull rush.

The Texans then moved to the center of the field and worked the offense agianst the defense in a 11 on 11 drill. Impressions: The inside LB's are still working closely with the coaches on assignments. Greenwood is not a big guy but he looks quick and intstinctive. Greenwood looks smaller next to Wong on the inside because he is much bigger. Mathis is fast. He was able to get behind Daunte Robinson once but the ball was overthrown. He later ran by a backup DB but when the ball was underthrown he slowed and out jumped the
DB for the ball. He later made another nice catch on Demarcus Faggins. Mathis impressed me with his hands but when I watched him run routes I could see how much work he needs. He isn't very fast in and out of his breaks. I watched Dre a couple of times being covered by Buchanon. Once Buchannon new he had deep help so bounced around in front of Dre before the snap then tried to press him at the line. Dre took a couple of quick steps to his right and Buchannon mirrored him moving to his left. Dre turned quickly up field and ran right by Buchannon. At first I thought he would get the ball but when the ball went somewhere else I notice Glenn Earl on top of Dre. Dre was wearing a long sleeve undershirt during the practice. With the heat I'm not sure if he was trying to sweat off a few pounds or there was some other reason.

Non-Football Impressions: The Texans removed almost half the bleachers from previous seasons and replaced them with VIP tents. This in addition to fewer public practices is dissapointing. Many of the fans last night could not see the practice at all. Many stood because the stands were full before the practice even started.

Derek Uzzle
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