Camp Day 8 Notes: Tate’s groin; Hopkins’ strength

Camp Day 8 Notes: Tate’s groin; Hopkins’ strength
August 2, 2013, 11:00 am
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Kubiak: 'Our focus is on the young guys'

Ben Tate is the latest Texan to suffer an injury at training camp, although it doesn’t appear to be very serious.

Tate has a sore groin and was taken out of practice early on Friday.

“Our emphasis is on the young guys and when his groin got sore, we took him out,” head coach Gary Kubiak said.

Tate had been working with the first team offense because Arian Foster has been out with a calf injury he suffered during OTAs. It’s possible Foster will be back on Sunday.

Wide receiver Alan Bonner and tight end Adam Schiltz both tweaked their hamstrings. Bonner made a nice catch against the sideline during the team session of practice but came up limp.

Brian Cushing took another step toward forward. After the shells came off about halfway through practice, Cushing participated with the defense in 11-on-11s for the first time this camp. He has been doing 7-on-7s. Cushing is recovering from an ACL surgery last season.

“One of the reasons I took the pads off of ‘em for the second 45 minutes of practice, that way he could get a little more work,” Kubiak said. “He took anything that we were doing that was pass stuff. Try to keep him out of the banging right now, the run game. He’s gotten more reps, that’ll pick up more Sunday when we go back.”

J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Andre Johnson, Johnathan Joseph all had a day off on Friday. Starting OLB Whitney Mercilus is still out with a hamstring injury. He rode the stationary bike on Friday alongside Brennan Williams, Sam Montgomery and a few others.

Hopkins’ strength
DeAndre Hopkins had a fantastic week at training camp.

Wednesday was his best day until Thursday. Thursday was his best day until Friday. He just keeps getting better.

The best play of the day on Friday came on a 40-yard bomb that Hopkins caught around midfield over cornerback Brandon Harris. Those are the kinds of plays he’s been making frequently.

“They’re exceptional,” Kubiak said of Hopkins’ hands. “All the contested stuff is what he’s exceptional at, when it’s close and it’s him and another guy, he makes the play. He’s got big strong hands and he’s a very physical player but that’s what he was in college.”

Kubiak, when asked if Hopkins’ skill set makes him change play calling, said that it might make him put Hopkins in for different

Day 8 observations

  • Ray Graham had a nice day. The undrafted free agent running back from Pittsburgh showed some nice moves and acceleration. He has a long way to go to catch up to Dennis Johnson and Cierre Wood but Friday was a nice start.
  • Speaking of Johnson, he was walking around with his shirt up on his pads. He’s not big, 507, 193, but he’s built well. He’s like one big muscle. He did fumble the football in team drills but made up for it later with some nice plays.
  • After having a down day on Thursday, Willie Jefferson looked good on Friday. During team, the lanky OLB was stopped at the line and jumped up to bat down a pass from Matt Schaub.
  • Randy Bullock showed off a strong leg on Friday. He did miss a few from 50 but leg strength wasn’t the problem. He hit the left upright and the right upright, which is pretty impressive when you think about it.