Minicamp notes: Impressive young guys

Minicamp notes: Impressive young guys
June 12, 2013, 3:15 pm
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By the time minicamp practice started on Wednesday, most of the Texans’ veterans were already off the field.

That’s just the way Gary Kubiak runs his minicamps – he treats it as a chance for the rookies and younger players to learn the system. He said he’s already seen enough of the veterans over the 10 days of OTAs.

But from what he’s seen of the young players throughout OTAs and now into the minicamp has impressed the head coach. And Kubiak praised those guys on Wednesday.

“I think our young guys have probably come as far this offseason as we’ve ever had a group of young guys come,” he said.

One of the younger guys who has certainly made this draft class and crop of rookies look good is safety D.J. Swearinger, who the Texans took with their second-round pick in April.

Swearinger, whose nickname is Swag, has been very impressive throughout the first few weeks of workouts with teammates. With the full team, Swearinger wasn’t a starter in the base defense (Shiloh Keo and Danieal Manning were) but Kubiak said Swearinger acted like a starter because of the way the Texans use their Dime package.

“I wouldn’t say I feel like a vet but I feel like a second- or third-year player,” Swearinger said. “I’m catching on fast. Today I think I had a real good day.”

Swearinger is very active at practice, often talking to teammates and he’s been flying around. At one point on Wednesday, he even sort of skipped back to the defensive huddle. There’s just always a little something extra with Swearinger.

“He’s very confident,” Kubiak said. “You see how he handles himself. Feels like he belongs and he does.”

Montgomery’s struggles

Sam Montgomery started off slow during rookie minicamp but seemed to start picking things up much quicker during the early stages of OTAs.

But it’s a process for him to learn a new position in the NFL and it’s taking some time.

“He’s doing OK,” Kubiak said. “It’s a big change to go from hand down to hand up in this league but Wade (Phillips) and Reggie (Herring) have done a good job of settling him down at one spot and making it pretty simple to get better at certain things.”

Johnson’s burst

One of the pleasant surprises during OTA and minicamp has been Dennis Johnson

The undrafted rookie free agent running back out of Arkansas has been pretty impressive over the last several weeks.

“It’s a lot of guys out there that didn’t think I had the speed that I’m possessed with,” Johnson said, “so I just want to show that off. Speed and then power.”

Johnson is listed as 5-7, 193 and is built really well. He might not be tall, but he’s not small. He’s stout.

Texans waive Dwight Jones

The Texans waived wide receiver Dwight Jones from the reserve/did not report list.

Jones signed as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina last offseason but quit football about a month after he signed.

As a senior at UNC, he caught 85 passes for 1,196 and 12 touchdowns.

Stupid observation of the day: Here’s some important (just kidding) news about headwear from minicamp. First, Case Keenum was the only player on the field wearing a helmet on Wednesday.  

And after wearing a hat that kept falling off on Tuesday, DeAndre Hopkins wisely switched to a visor for Wednesday’s practice. Important things.