10 observations from Day 1 of Texans camp

10 observations from Day 1 of Texans camp
July 26, 2014, 4:30 pm
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(USA Today Images)

The Texans kicked off training camp on Saturday morning. Andre Johnson attended his first practice. Jadeveon Clowney practiced but was limited. And Johnathan Joseph didn’t feel too rusty.

Here are 10 observations from Day 1 of training camp:

1. Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel looks like he could probably give the Texans a few snaps per game in the upcoming season. At the end of Saturday’s practice in the 90-degree-plus heat, Vrabel joined the team to run sprints.

Reporter to Whitney Mercilus: “Ever have a coach run sprints with you?”

Mercilus: “No, but I bet you Mike Vrabel would do that.”

Reporter: “He did today.”

Mercilus: “Oh yeah? I didn’t even see that. I was way over on the other end. He’s definitely an energetic guy.”

2. Rough day for rookie quarterback Tom Savage. He struggled to find any consistency and missed his targets several times. The good news for him: there’s a lot of camp left to impress his coaches. Case Keenum is working ahead of Savage with the second unit.

3. So much for Brooks Reed being an inside linebacker. After working inside all spring, Reed took all his reps outside on Saturday. The team did acquire Akeem Dent this spring; Dent is an inside ‘backer. Reed was told to be ready for either position and on Friday said he expects to take snaps at both spots during camp.

4. The heat took its toll on several players Saturday. D.J. Swearinger, Andre Brown, Kendrick Lewis and Keshawn Martin all seemed to struggle with the heat.

5. Speaking of Martin, he made the play of the day. He made a really impressive catch deep down the far sideline. But when he came down, he cramped up.  

6. Rookie sixth-round pick Jeoffrey Pagan practiced for the first time as a Texan on Saturday. Pagan, who was coming off shoulder surgery, missed all of the team’s spring workouts while he rehabbed on the side. He looked to be in pretty good shape Saturday.

7. Tyson Clabo was on the field after officially signing with the team on Friday. He’s a mammoth of a man, listed at 6-6, 315. Not a great first day but he’s understandably behind on his knowledge of the offense.

8. A.J. Bouye, an undrafted free agent from a year ago, continues to make an impression. He had a very good first day of camp. He has a real chance of not only making the team but also finding some playing time with the Texans in 2014.

9. Alfred Blue did some nice things on Saturday. He made one catch, in particular, that was impressive. Bill O’Brien wants his running backs to be able to catch the football and Blue showed off his hands, at one point fully extending to grab an errant throw. The more impressive Blue looks, the less the Texans will need Andre Brown, the veteran of the backups. Where we’ll really want to see Blue is when the team puts on full pads and has some live sessions. If he can block, he might win that backup job away from Brown.

10. Andre Johnson looked like Andre Johnson on Saturday. He didn't show any rust and looked to be in good shape. He got some huge cheers from the fans in attendance.

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