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Old 08-04-2007   #1
Kaiser Toro
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Default 8/4 Training camp observations

I went to my first TC session today. Woke up at 4:45 am this morning, hit the road at 5:30 and was in the facility at 7:50 am. Got back around 2 pm and took a nap.

These are not all 100% of my observations as my buddy, Lucky and Double Barrell were there with me so I cannot say they are not influenced.

The morning practice was a lot of 11 on 11. I mostly watched the WRs and the RBs.

WR
AJ has to stop catching the ball with his shoulder pads and chest as this is year 5.

Mathis stood out today as a WR. Not that he was doing anything miraculous, but mostly behind the backdrop in dealing with staying healthy and the logjam at WR. In my opinion the guy I saw today was how I wanted to see him develop as a speed guy in this type of system as he blew past the CB a couple times on a deep pattern. The first time he was underthrown and just waited for the ball to go into his bread basket, not good. However it was the second time that made us smile as he was underthrown again but made the adjustment to come back to the ball. Although he did not do a great job of using his body in a box out type way, I was pumped that he learned from the previous situation, but who knows if that will scale into a game time situation. But that is what practice is all about. His hands were better than I imagined as he reached out to catch some balls that were not on the numbers. Our WRs were not good today (outside of a TD catch by AJ that was a bit acrobatic) so this may have helped Mathis in my eyes as well.

Jacoby is what I expected and has been written by many. He also had a deep pattern where he blew by Fred Bennett, but that ball was not there. He also had an opening in the end zone from about 20 yards but Sage just overthrew him. From my vantage point it almost looked like Jones had alligator arms on the play as well.

Walter was unimpressive to me as he dropped some balls, that were in tight spots, but I expect him to be a chain mover and did not see a hint of a chain mover today.

McCardell better get well if he intends on being on the Texans roster, because at this point I think we really need his hands. As Lucky pointed out Jerry Rice was cut when Kubiak was the OC for the Broncos, so Kubiak will retain those who will add value to this team.

RB/FB
Green is who I thought he was - in excellent shape and looks it to. He just has that look of a great RB with his fluidity, his vision and demeanor out there.

Dayne looks like he is in the best shape I ever recall seeing him in.

Gado looks good as well.

I do not see Lundy or Walker making the 53. It does make me wonder what kind of shape Taylor was in since everyone looked crisp.

I like our FB's a lot. Leach is the starter, but I sure did like watching Abbatte out there with his reckless and relentless fortitude in executing his charge - find your man, stick your helmet in his chest and take him to the ground. He scrapped with Danny Clark one time, tried to take Babin down and another time lost his helmet. I really am not sure if I just am blinded by his energy and his story, but his attitude and hustle seem to be contagious, well at least to this fan

Some other random thoughts-
Stanley and Turk both took snaps as the holder for Kris Brown.

Brown is awful.

Schaub does not have a laser for an arm, but he places the ball well and actually goes through progressions.

Zach Diles is a fireplug. Did not do much, but I would hate to be on the recieving end of a hit.

Mario was exlcusively at RDE not strong side or weakside. Mario got chewed out (I am assuming by Franklin because it was not Smith or Bush) due to over running a play. This did happen a number of times last year as I recall.

Dunta looks good. He was the one guy that looked to ooze swagger, which is something I want from my top CB.

DC Richard Smith was working the WRs in a breakout situation. It looked like he was trying to explain techinque on jamming, but it really looked like he was trying to teach them how to hold. Regardless I like when coaches share best practices with other units.

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Old 08-04-2007   #2
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

Thanks KT . I was wandering if Mario was a beast or did he lose his one day momentum after the hamstring problem .
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Old 08-04-2007   #3
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34 View Post
Thanks KT . I was wandering if Mario was a beast or did he lose his one day momentum after the hamstring problem .
I did not see a lot of energy from him, but what I did notice was him attempting to use different techniques with his hands. He may have had instructions to ease back and work on his techinque, but he was not a beast today.
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Old 08-04-2007   #4
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

Thanks, Kaiser.

That was the best TC report I have read this year: Informative, full of details on the situtations of each play you recalled seeing, etc. Great job.

Thanks again for sharing it.
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Old 08-04-2007   #5
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
I did not see a lot of energy from him, but what I did notice was him attempting to use different techniques with his hands. He may have had instructions to ease back and work on his techinque, but he was not a beast today.
Makes sense. One thing golf has taught me is that technique is best learned at less than full speed.

Good info KT....thanks for posting.
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Old 08-04-2007   #6
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

I saw him on the 28th doing drills . I don't know if I buy the ... he does'nt have fast twitch muscle thing , he looked explosive to me .

I think Jethro Franklin is going to drive Mario into being the player he should be , just to shut him up .

Mario needs to watch film of Ed "Too Tall" Jones .

http://www.databasefootball.com/play...lkid=JONESED01
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Last edited by Honoring Earl 34; 08-04-2007 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 08-04-2007   #7
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

I may have a few more recollections as I shake the cobwebs from my nap.

Weaver took a couple of snaps at LDT.

Mario dropped back about ten yards into coverage on one play. There was no one near him in a Jackie Smith in Super Bowl XIII like way. It looked odd. I realize he will be dropping into some type of zone coverage, but I did not see his head swiveling to recognize a reciever coming into his zone. I feel those small things are important in space.
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Old 08-04-2007   #8
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
I went to my first TC session today. Woke up at 4:45 am this morning, hit the road at 5:30 and was in the facility at 7:50 am. Got back around 2 pm and took a nap.

These are not all 100% of my observations as my buddy, Lucky and Double Barrell were there with me so I cannot say they are not influenced.

The morning practice was a lot of 11 on 11. I mostly watched the WRs and the RBs.

WR
AJ has to stop catching the ball with his shoulder pads and chest as this is year 5.

Mathis stood out today as a WR. Not that he was doing anything miraculous, but mostly behind the backdrop in dealing with staying healthy and the logjam at WR. In my opinion the guy I saw today was how I wanted to see him develop as a speed guy in this type of system as he blew past the CB a couple times on a deep pattern. The first time he was underthrown and just waited for the ball to go into his bread basket, not good. However it was the second time that made us smile as he was underthrown again but made the adjustment to come back to the ball. Although he did not do a great job of using his body in a box out type way, I was pumped that he learned from the previous situation, but who knows if that will scale into a game time situation. But that is what practice is all about. His hands were better than I imagined as he reached out to catch some balls that were not on the numbers. Our WRs were not good today (outside of a TD catch by AJ that was a bit acrobatic) so this may have helped Mathis in my eyes as well.

Jacoby is what I expected and has been written by many. He also had a deep pattern where he blew by Fred Bennett, but that ball was not there. He also had an opening in the end zone from about 20 yards but Sage just overthrew him. From my vantage point it almost looked like Jones had alligator arms on the play as well.

Walter was unimpressive to me as he dropped some balls, that were in tight spots, but I expect him to be a chain mover and did not see a hint of a chain mover today.

McCardell better get well if he intends on being on the Texans roster, because at this point I think we really need his hands. As Lucky pointed out Jerry Rice was cut when Kubiak was the OC for the Broncos, so Kubiak will retain those who will add value to this team.

RB/FB
Green is who I thought he was - in excellent shape and looks it to. He just has that look of a great RB with his fluidity, his vision and demeanor out there.

Dayne looks like he is in the best shape I ever recall seeing him in.

Gado looks good as well.

I do not see Lundy or Walker making the 53. It does make me wonder what kind of shape Taylor was in since everyone looked crisp.

I like our FB's a lot. Leach is the starter, but I sure did like watching Abbatte out there with his reckless and relentless fortitude in executing his charge - find your man, stick your helmet in his chest and take him to the ground. He scrapped with Danny Clark one time, tried to take Babin down and another time lost his helmet. I really am not sure if I just am blinded by his energy and his story, but his attitude and hustle seem to be contagious, well at least to this fan

Some other random thoughts-
Stanley and Turk both took snaps as the holder for Kris Brown.

Brown is awful.

Schaub does not have a laser for an arm, but he places the ball well and actually goes through progressions.

Zach Diles is a fireplug. Did not do much, but I would hate to be on the recieving end of a hit.

Mario was exlcusively at RDE not strong side or weakside. Mario got chewed out (I am assuming by Franklin because it was not Smith or Bush) due to over running a play. This did happen a number of times last year as I recall.

Dunta looks good. He was the one guy that looked to ooze swagger, which is something I want from my top CB.

DC Richard Smith was working the WRs in a breakout situation. It looked like he was trying to explain techinque on jamming, but it really looked like he was trying to teach them how to hold. Regardless I like when coaches share best practices with other units.

This was my first TC practice as well, and if you don't mind, I'd like to piggy back on some of your comments Kaiser. I was not happy with our receivers today. There were a lot of balls dropped that should have been caught. Especially the one by Walters in the end zone. That was six pts. He was not impressive, hopefully, it's a different story come the season. Mathis was looking pretty good. I'm just happy that he was on the field and actually making plays. At one point, he was lined up on the right with Jones in the slot, and I could only imagine the speed advantage that will cause many mismatches in the future. I was very happy with our RB's as well. They were
hitting the holes quickly and were looking sharp in picking up the blitzes. And yes, Kris Brown was awful. During special teams with the field goal unit on, he must have went at least 5 for 9, and they were within 40-45 yds. Not a good percentage. I cannot wait to see the DL against an opponent. They were getting in the backfield a lot today, although, it does cause me some concern about our OL. Either the DL is that good, or the OL is still that bad. I guess we'll see soon enough. Overall, I had a good time and I'm excited to see what this team can do. By the way, I got an autograph from Vonta Leach and that dude is huge. He's got the perfect body for a fullback.
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Old 08-04-2007   #9
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

KT ... how does this camp compare to others ? I've only been to this years so I don't know .
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Old 08-04-2007   #10
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34 View Post
KT ... how does this camp compare to others ? I've only been to this years so I don't know .
That was the first session I have ever been to, but totally dug it. I may try to do a Friday-Saturday next year. Got a T-Shirt and a light bulb.

BTW, digging the new cheeseburger bites at BW3.
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Old 08-04-2007   #11
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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You must spread some Reputation......
That's exactly the kind of TC report that I've been wanting to read. Thanks for the rundown.

Great read.
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Old 08-04-2007   #12
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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Originally Posted by TexMexVato View Post
This was my first TC practice as well, and if you don't mind, I'd like to piggy back on some of your comments Kaiser. I was not happy with our receivers today. There were a lot of balls dropped that should have been caught. Especially the one by Walters in the end zone. That was six pts. He was not impressive, hopefully, it's a different story come the season. Mathis was looking pretty good. I'm just happy that he was on the field and actually making plays. At one point, he was lined up on the right with Jones in the slot, and I could only imagine the speed advantage that will cause many mismatches in the future. I was very happy with our RB's as well. They were
hitting the holes quickly and were looking sharp in picking up the blitzes. And yes, Kris Brown was awful. During special teams with the field goal unit on, he must have went at least 5 for 9, and they were within 40-45 yds. Not a good percentage. I cannot wait to see the DL against an opponent. They were getting in the backfield a lot today, although, it does cause me some concern about our OL. Either the DL is that good, or the OL is still that bad. I guess we'll see soon enough. Overall, I had a good time and I'm excited to see what this team can do. By the way, I got an autograph from Vonta Leach and that dude is huge. He's got the perfect body for a fullback.
I have to totally agree with that. Leach bobbled and dropped a couple of dump offs. So did Abbate. Steele was hit between the numbers on a rollout and couldn't hold onto the ball. And Walter was a TOTAL disappointment. I'm trying to recall if he caught anything all morning long. I don't remember him making a single catch.

It could be that after the DBs stuck Jeb Putzier, the WRs were looking to see who was coming. And no one was really wide open all day.
This play by Mathis was as open as anyone got all morning long. And then Sage under threw him.... :o(
http://www.texansbullpen.com/07photo...s/DSC_0387.JPG

A.J. made some catches in traffic. And O.D. (I think) scored in the red zone drill.

All the backs, Green, Dayne, Gado, Lundy, even Walker, looked like they were on their game. There were times -lots of times- when the D-line got the better of the O-line and the RBs got caught in the backfield, but if there was a hole, they came thru with authority.

But for the most part, IMHO, the defense just flat out-played the offense most of the morning.

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Old 08-04-2007   #13
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

One thing I noticed was that all of the QBs seemed to have a hard time finding open recievers. There were numerous times the play looked like it would have resulted in a sack. A couple of times Sage could find noone, and had to run with the ball upfield. Also, I saw a ton of dink and dunk passes.

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Old 08-05-2007   #14
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

Very nice report KT.

I wasn't there.....Walter, Walters whatever....isn't going to run away from anyone. He's in there for the hands, seems and routes.

"Brown is Aweful"

yep. Not taking anything away from the two Brandons, nor Bennet, but I was realy shocked that they didn't pull a FS off the board in day two last April. Might work out.

Need o-line reports guys. Takes an effort. Keith had a tid bit on Houston Profootball talk.
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Old 08-05-2007   #15
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

Good review, KT!

Green looks like he's going to have a monster year. Dude is looking intense and ready to play. And I think it's rubbing off on the rest of the RBs, because we noticed Gado and Dayne both looked slimmer and ripped. Our running game might be surprising some folks out of the gate.
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Old 08-05-2007   #16
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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Not taking anything away from the two Brandons, nor Bennet, but I was realy shocked that they didn't pull a FS off the board in day two last April. Might work out.
I wasn't able to go to the Saturday practice, so thanks KT and all for your thoughts.
But I was at the Thursday night practice and got to met Brandon Harrison and
he said the position they were grooming him for was FS. So guess they did have that position in mind during the Draft.
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Old 08-05-2007   #17
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

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I really am not sure if I just am blinded by his energy and his story, but his attitude and hustle seem to be contagious, well at least to this fan

Blinded by your own perceptions? NEVER admit that. You are reporting TRUTH. Nothing more, nothing less.

Otherwise, nice report.

It will be nice if Mathis can hold his hammies together, since he looks like he's turning into a reciever.
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Old 08-05-2007   #18
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

The dropped passes are killing me. I thought we got rid of Bradford.

Why must we have a team of "stonehands"?
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Old 08-05-2007   #19
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

GO Mathis!
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Old 08-05-2007   #20
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Default Re: 8/4 Training camp observations

It's encouraging to hear about Mathis. If someone is a Texan, I'm rooting for them to succeed until they aren't a Texan.

That being said, the workload of doing special teams and receiving can take its toll.

For example, Devon Hester has had to sit out some TC practices recently with.....a hamstring problem. link One of the biggest risk factors for hamstring injuries is being fast.

It's the old phrase, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered. You want that blazing fast speed in your offense, but if you overwork a guy with both receiver and ST reps, you run the risk of wearing a player down. I'd be interested to hear how the Texans are trying to avoid that while still prepping Mathis for the season and seeing if they can rely on him.
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