Talk That Talk: Texans hit the grass for the first time with intensity. #TexansCamp2020
“Y’all can’t do anything against us,” a voice from the defensive side of the ball yells towards the offense. “We shutting it down today out here,” the voice says louder as the offense walks up to the ball.
The barking is coming from none other than defensive back and three-year veteran Keion Crossing. It is his job to do whatever he can to stop the offense from completing their task in the situational portion (down-distance-time) of Texans training camp.
Before backup A.J McCarron can call out the signals to his receivers, a vivacious and more boisterous voice bellows out. That voice belongs to none other than Texans head coach and general manager, Bill O’Brien.
“You doing all that yapping let me see you do something. Show me what you got,” O’ Brien says.
Coach O’Brien laughed during his press conference about the interaction after practice with the media as he loves this time of the year as much as his players do.
“They like to jaw back and forth to with me,” said O’Brien. “That’s good banter. That’s training camp. That’s fun. I think that was Keion Crossen. He always has something to say. He has a lot of energy.
“It was good to be out on the grass, too. I think practicing on the turf, that can wear on you a little bit. I think it was good to be outside. I think we’ll keep it that way. I think it was good. The guys came today with a lot of energy.”
That was the type of intensity that was displayed at the Methodist Training Center as the team took the field for the first time in full pads outside of the bubble. What has impressed the Texans coaching staff so far is the attention to detail the players are taking from the meetings to the field.
Here are a couple of things I observed from Texans Camp 2020:
Zach Cunningham Is Focused
Rumors are circulating that the Texans will offer the 57th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft a contract extension before the season starts and if I was them, I would lock up the “Tackling Machine” to a long-term deal. Cunningham led the team with 137 total tackles last year (95 solo). That was good enough to lead the AFC and he finished seventh in the NFL in that category.
He was all over the field today and brought a lot of intensity to every drill he participated in. It was interesting to see how he has grown in this Texans system and what the future holds for him.
David Johnson Looks Explosive
The television does not do this young man any justice. Johnson is a physical specimen. He is in great shape coming into the season and barring injury he is going to bring a lot to the Texans running game. During an 11-on-11 drill he took the handoff from Deshaun Watson and what looked like it would be a tackle at the line of scrimmage ended up being a dart out of the traffic and into the open field. That brought a rare smile to the face of his head coach.
Steven Mitchell Jr. Is Ready
Everyone is vying to be the number one target for quarterback Deshaun Watson since the departure of DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason. With a plethora of veteran wideouts already in place, the starting positions are already secured. But if one was to go down with an injury, Mitchell Jr. is ready to step-up.
During a scrimmage against the first team defense, Mitchell Jr. made his way to the middle of the secondary and caught an absolute strike from Watson that would have easily been a score with his speed.
The Texans will be back at practice on Tuesday before taking a much-needed day off on Wednesday.