10 observations from Day 5 of Texans camp

10 observations from Day 5 of Texans camp
July 30, 2014, 1:15 pm
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The Texans finished their fifth day of training camp on Wednesday and will have a much-needed one-day break before getting back to practice on Friday.

Here are 10 observations from Wednesday’s practice:

1. People might not want to hear this but Derek Newton has looked pretty good in camp. In 1-on-1 drills, he’s been more than holding his own.

2. The other guy they brought is veteran Tyson Clabo, who has been a starter for the past many years. Clabo, 32, hasn’t looked great since joining the team. He is clearly rusty or maybe just past his prime.

3. The one thing that stands out about Clabo are his skinny legs. He’s huge up top but has toothpicks for legs. It’s amazing he doesn’t just fall over all the time. He was standing next to Xavier Su’a-Filo, who has tree trunks as legs, and it was shocking.

4. Brandon Brooks still isn’t practicing. He is on the Active/Non-football Injury list and can’t practice until he’s removed from it. On Wednesday, he again had ice wrapped around his lower back. Bill O’Brien, earlier in camp, declined to disclose the injury.

5. Alfred Blue has looked really good in training camp so far but the rookie made a mistake on Wednesday and had to run a lap. To make matters worse, his father, Alfred Blue Sr., was on hand to watch him do it.

6. From what I’ve seen, the coaches really like rookie tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. He was in with the first team at least once on Wednesday. Fiedorowicz is impressive. We knew he could block but he can catch a little bit too.

7. Arian Foster practiced on Wednesday for the first time after injuring his leg on Sunday. He didn’t take all his normal reps but it appeared they were easing him back into things. He looked OK on the reps he did take and sort of talked to media after practice.

I had to go inside for a while to write about Bob McNair and the possibility of an NFL franchise coming to San Antonio, so the last three are courtesy of CSN’s Adam Wexler, who has been out in the sun sweating with the rest of us for the first five days of camp.

8. Johnathan Joseph is starting to look more like a guy who has no limitations at camp. In coverage, he blanketed Keshawn Martin and knocked a pass down easily with his left hand as he wrapped up Martin. On the very next play, he picked off a pass intended for DeVier Posey deep down the sideline. He played the ball beautifully and rose up to grab it before tumbling to the turf. He drew wild cheers from his fellow defensive backs.

9. There are 11 wide receivers on the Texans 90-man training camp roster. Three of them were off the field on Wednesday morning: Andre Johnson, Kofi Hughes and Anthony McClung. Taking advantage of every opportunity this camp has been, just like he did offseason workouts, is diminutive Travis Labhart. Labhart is listed at 5-9, 182 pounds making him the lightest offensive player in camp. But working in the slot, Labhart is doing lots of things right. He gets open. He catches the ball. He did a nice job late in practice in the redzone, getting the defender to bite on a quick inside move and hauling in a pass from Case Keenum and quickly turning it up field for the touchdown. The cornerback, Elbert Mack, was not happy after the play, firing his helmet into the turf.

10. Kareem Jackson turned in the signature play of Wednesday morning's practice. Playing in the slot, Jackson jumped a short out route by DeAndre Hopkins and slid in front to pick off the Ryan Fitzpatrick pass near the goal line and then he took off the other way. Nearly 100 yards later, he was in the end zone to complete the pick six. Many offensive players chased him the entire way, both Duane Brown and Mike Thomas did so, then walked slowly to one the trainer's cart and called it a day, leaving practice a bit early, getting driven back over to the stadium.