Swearinger eager to learn
The Texans’ spring workouts are almost over.
The team wrapped up their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) last week and they have their mandatory minicamp this week. After that, they’ll have a nice layoff before training camp in late-July, early-August.
Here are three things to watch from the three-day minicamp, which runs from Tuesday through Thursday:
1. Everyone’s in town
While the minicamp will focus on getting the rookies and young players even more reps, there will be two veterans that we haven’t yet on hand. Ed Reed and Tim Dobbins should be at the mandatory minicamp.
Reed won’t participate this week – he won’t be ready until training camp or possibly later – but somehow his presence in Houston seems oddly monumental.
Dobbins is completely healthy but chose to not show up to OTAs, which irritated plenty of fans. The Texans continually said the OTAs are voluntary when asked about Dobbins. But “voluntary” in the NFL seems to mean something different than it does in the rest of the world.
2. Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean
These two receivers were really good during OTAs. Head coach Gary Kubiak seemed to be thoroughly impressed with both of them.
Andre Johnson will probably be taking it easy this week, so these two – along with DeAndre Hopkins – have a chance to get a ton of reps for another week. They know they’ve been getting praise, now they need to make sure they keep it up.
3. Right tackle … still
I sound like a broken record. I’m well aware.
But the right tackle spot is still the biggest question surrounding the 2013 Houston Texans. Derek Newton was expected to miss the entire spring but the team is hopeful he’ll be healthy by training camp. Newton had offseason knee surgery.
Third-round pick Brennan Williams doesn’t think he’ll be ready this week, which means he won’t be on the practice field with the team until training camp too. The rookie was supposed to challenge Newton for the starting RT job but has missed weeks of reps, which could have helped him greatly. So now, Williams is making a jump from college to the NFL, the move from left tackle to right and missed almost the entire spring. That’s asking a lot of a rookie.
Ryan Harris has been getting first team reps, but he wasn’t brought back to be a starter; the team would rather him be the backup tackle. David Quessenberry has some promise but is an unproven rookie from a small school. These reps will likely help him close the gap between him and Williams.
The right guard spot belongs to Brandon Brooks, which is probably the right move. He seems to be a better guard than Ben Jones right now, although Jones is probably the center of the future.
But right tackle is very much up in the air and we’ll be watching that position all the way through training camp and probably into the season.