Training Camp: Day 1

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Vinny, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Vinny

    Vinny shiny happy fan Staff Member

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    Here we go
    By Carter Toole
    www.HoustonTexans.com

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    Different players at different positions dotted the landscape as you scanned the Texans' practice fields Saturday morning. But one constant remains in this, the club's fourth training camp. It's hot. Very...very...hot. "I know one thing," defensive end Robaire Smith said. "If you get in shape here in Houston, you can go anywhere and play without a problem."

    That's the idea. Houston kicked off training camp with the first of eight two-a-days and 27 total practices with a two-hour session. And while the heat was certainly a story, the Texans' reaction to it was not. This team is healthy, hungry and fit. And it showed. "I thought it was a good start," head coach Dom Capers. "I think the guys have been anxious to get out on the field. You always want to see what kind of carry-over you have from your off-season work. And I see that there has been some good carry-over. "We had quite a bit of offense and defense in for the first day. But when you have guys that have been in the system, you can do more of that. And we're a more healthy team starting out than we've been." Indeed, everybody was out there, save for one player (more on that later). Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who missed most of the team's coaching sessions with a shoulder injury, participated in drills, albeit with the precautionary red jersey.

    But most eyes were focused on Houston's revamped defense, which features new players at four different positions. Kailee Wong was calling the plays in the huddle as the new buc linebacker. Morlon Greenwood showed off the speed that the Texans feel will make him an upgrade at weakside linebacker. Antwan Peek lined up at right outside linebacker opposite Jason Babin. And then there's the Texans' "new" No. 31, Phillip Buchanon, who looked sharp at right cornerback and shagged some punts during special teams. "I think I can make a big impact," Buchanon said. "I truly know I can but we have to win as a team."

    Up front, the Texans look a little leaner along the defensive line. Smith reported yesterday 14 pounds lighter (309) than last season. Fellow end Gary Walker and nose tackle Seth Payne also met their target weight. "All of our linemen have done a good job with what we've asked them to do," Capers said. "We gave them a weight very early to give them a chance to do it right. You try to lose a bunch of weight in the last week or two and then try to come out here and go through the type of practices we have and these heat conditions, it isn't going to work. You're going to pull a muscle or have another problem." Smith can see a difference, both in himself and his linemates. "This is the best shape shape our defensive line has been since I've been here," he said.

    Houston's one coaching change is also on defense, as Mike London replaces Todd Grantham as defensive line coach. But Capers envisions a smooth transition there. "Mike had worked in a system at the University of Virginia where they were in a 3-4 defense very similar to our. He's a very good teacher and an outstanding technique guy. He's got a good background in teaching this kind of defense."

    One player that London wasn't able to tutor Saturday was first-round draft pick Travis Johnson, who has become the Texans' first holdout in their brief history. "It's hard for me to really comment," Capers said. "I know we're still working on it, but I don't know where we are. When he comes in here, we'll put him on a crash course."

    Houston's offense returns intact, although the Texans experimented with some shuffling along their offensive line during coaching sessions. Seth Wand remained at left tackle during the first training camp practice with Chester Pitts to his immediate right. Running back Domanick Davis was his same old elusive self, perhaps due to his new, aerodynamic mohawk. Andre Johnson was gliding around the field and Corey Bradford made some nice grabs, including a spectacular one-handed snare of a ball behind his head during drills.

    All in all, the mood was bright, as it is with most teams on the first day of camp. Every team is undefeated in July, right? But you also get the sense the Texans feel their on th verge of something. "I'm actually pretty excited," Payne said. "There have been some changes so there's some new blood in here. Guys are excited. We feel we're ready to take that next step forward."

    That next step? Extending the season past New Year's Day. The playoffs may seem a long way off but the work towards that goal begins in earnest today. Johnson, for one, is ready. "That's all I keep thinking about. I don't like losing and having to go home and watch the other games on TV. I want to be one of those teams playing at the end of the year." For Texans fans, that would be the best change of all.
     
  2. rdakers28

    rdakers28 Rookie

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    Anyone seen any pictures of Domanick Davis with the new mowhawk they say he is sporting?
     
  3. ATX

    ATX Hall of Fame

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    remember the thread back a few months ago? "which texan will hold out first?" sounds like Travis Johnson is the one. lets just hope he gets signed really quick, so he can get in the mix.
     
  4. 12Gage

    12Gage Rookie

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    Are the practices open to the public? Do they sell tickets or something? I'm not in Houston much, but I will be there next weekend, it would be great to see the team practice.
     
  5. LikeABoss

    LikeABoss All Pro

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    Robaire Smith went from weighing 328 to 309. I look forward to seeing big things from him this season :thumbup
     
  6. F-minus67

    F-minus67 Hall of Fame

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    Were is the pick of DD with the mohawk? Has anyone else noticed that Fred Weary looks extremely jacked in the conditoning pictures?
     
  7. Vinny

    Vinny shiny happy fan Staff Member

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    Practice report
    By Kris Krikes
    www.HoustonTexans.com

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    Back to work: There’s something to be said for starting work on a Saturday.

    Hitting the field at 8:45 a.m. for their first preseason practice, the Texans looked like a group of men with a purpose rather than a team suffering from back-to-school blues. Pleased with his team’s conditioning test on Friday, head coach Dom Capers got things rolling straight away, opening practice with plenty of action on both sides of the ball.

    After only two hours, it was apparent that the Texans committed to their off-season regimens and reported to practice ready to work. “Well, I thought it was a good start,” Capers said after the first of two practices Saturday. “I think our guys have been anxious to be out here on the field. You always look to see what kind of carry-over you’ve had from off-season work, and you can see there was good carry over.” Last season, 12 players either missed practice or were limited the first day of camp. This year is a different story, as every player participated in Saturday’s practice.

    Weight watchers: The defensive line looked trim, and hungry, at the first team practice. At the request of the coaching staff early in the off-season, every lineman reported to camp much lighter than a year ago. “That’s just something they wanted us to do,” veteran defensive end Gary Walker. “I think everybody came in and made it. It’s part of disciplining yourself and having to get out and do a little extra stuff…I definitely didn’t get to eat a lot of the stuff I wanted to eat. So I had to go make up for that yesterday after the weigh-in.”

    Aside from Walker , defensive end Robaire Smith lost approximately 30 pounds and tackle Seth Payne showed up trimmer as well. Capers knows that, to keep his line healthy and injury free, lighter is better. After 10 years in the league, Walker agrees. "(As a rookie) I was just worried that I wasn’t going to make it,” Walker said. “I was like four deep (on the depth chart) and behind some noticeable guys. The difference now is that you don’t worry about making the team, you just worry about making it through training camp healthy.”

    Outside the lines: Linebackers coach Tom Olivadotti pulled aside Kailee Wong and Morlon Greenwood during the morning practice to help them with their new positions inside in the Texans’ 3-4 defense.

    Wong, who has played outside linebacker in his three years in Houston , was a little fazed by the heat and the extra neck padding he’s wearing. However, he likes the change of scenery so far. “I do feel comfortable,” said Wong, who will play strongside. “I didn’t practice too well (this morning). I was a little sloppy but, you know, with that being said, this evening I’m going to have a much better practice. I just had to really get the pads on, get a feel for it…it’s still a little different just in terms of your anticipation of contact.”
     
  8. TEXANS84

    TEXANS84 Moderator Staff Member

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    Good practice out there today. Here are a few things that I gathered from tonights camp practice:

    *Player that was impressive: Jermome Mathis, caught a deep pass that was thrown behind him.
    *Biggest bulked up: Moran Norris is huge. Linebacker size as a fullback. Honorable mention: Antwan Peek, definintley put on some weight.
    *Best in punt return: Hands down Phillip Buchanan as he juked a couple times after the catch en route to a sizeable gain.
    *Thing that caught my eye: How small Morlon Greenwood is. He almost looks like a running back out there, extremely short. As a couple people stated, 6-0 on the profile is being generous.
    *Limited action: Gary Walker and Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney was redshirted, but still played in a few drills, Gary was minimal throughout practice.
    *Best QB: Carr, still has the zip. BJ Symons was unimpressive as a few passes he threw were severely underthrown.

    Line of the night: Zach Weigert. As the offensive lineman and the defensive lineman were doing one on one's, a fan yelled "stop letting them to the quarterback!", and Zach replied "He (defensive lineman) didn't get through ****".
     
  9. F-minus67

    F-minus67 Hall of Fame

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    Did anyone notice how Wand looked?
     
  10. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

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    Sorry, I should have taken a picture. He stopped for a few autographs after.

    It is a mohawk, but it is very very tight. Like an aerodynamic mohawk. The sort that would work OK in a helmet.


    Agreed that Mathis looked intriguing. He has some quick initial speed, and then it is like afterburners.


    BTW, Charley Casserly was the only person who was signing official autographs tonight. So those who weren't there, dint miss any player autographs.

    Is it September yet?
     
  11. TEXANS84

    TEXANS84 Moderator Staff Member

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    He got bulleyed a few times by Robaire on the one on one's.
    Victor Riley looked like he was hurting out there (out of shape). Corey Sears pushed him back into the pocket fairly easily.
     
  12. Texans Pride

    Texans Pride Hall of Fame

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    I'd like to know what the **** word was that he said! Did he call the fan a name?
     
  13. TEXANS84

    TEXANS84 Moderator Staff Member

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    No, he was just having fun with us. The fan was giving him a "friendly" (but funny) hard time.
     
  14. Texans Pride

    Texans Pride Hall of Fame

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    Ok, glad I asked then lol

    I didn't know tonights practice was open. Which players signed tonight?

    You guys are so lucky. . . I'd love to go to a practice...soon enough, soon enough!

    This is the time I miss living in Houston the most.
     
  15. F-minus67

    F-minus67 Hall of Fame

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    What did the artical mean by "Wong, who has played outside linebacker in his three years in Houston , was a little fazed by the heat and the extra neck padding he’s wearing." Is he wearing something like what Chris Samuels wears or something like what Zach Thomas wears?

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    or

    [​IMG]
     
  16. TEXANS84

    TEXANS84 Moderator Staff Member

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    Neither. I didn't see either brace on Wong this evening.
     
  17. El Tejano

    El Tejano Hall of Fame

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    I just didn't like hearing him say his point of contact is off. That sounds a little scary to me. Than again, that is what preseason is for.
     
  18. F-minus67

    F-minus67 Hall of Fame

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    If you want to see DD's new mohawk, there is a picture up on the website. It is under the Training camp day 1 slideshow.
     
  19. Dionysus22

    Dionysus22 Veteran

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    The mohawk looks cool...just needs to hit with the clippers on the sides again. :thumbup
     
  20. aj.

    aj. Hall of Fame

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    Maybe it's just me but I see no fire. What I do see is negative body language - shuffling around between plays and hanging his head. Contrast that with guys like Wiegert who strut around like a rooster with the look of confidence - just waiting to take someone's head off - including obnoxious fans. Maybe Wand was just tired. Steve Marshall was in his face a lot on those protection drills. Guys like D.D. Acholonu were eating him up. As 84 said, Riley doesn't appear to be ready to start anywhere on the OL, especially left tackle. He needs to stay away from the alfredo sauce.
     

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