Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans’ Voluntary Veteran Mini-Camp Day 2. Credit: HoustonTexans.com
Not much new in Day 2 of the 3-Day Voluntary Mini-Camp but there were a few tidbits from the Texans and Bill O’Brien.
Receivers behind Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins
A couple weeks back Bill O’Brien had said that he didn’t really feel that there was slot receiver on the Texans’ roster and that the position would have to be addressed in the draft. When O’Brien had said this I was surprised and a little confused because the Texans have a bevy of receivers, including Devier Posey who is 16 months removed from an achilles tear, but had a tremendous recovery and should be close to his old self by now. Posey showed a lot of flashes at the end of 2012 and a few in 2013, and is a former 5th pick of the 3rd round in the 2012 draft. Also Keyshawn Martin who was a late 4th round pick in 2012 is on the roster, and Kubiak had high hopes for him as a slot receiver.
Not to also mention that Kubiak placed three receivers Alec Lemon, Andy Cruse, and Alan Bonner on Injured Reserve last year. Out of those 3 guys that went on Injured Reserve Alec Lemon impressed the most during preseason, Andy Cruse had a few good plays, and Alan Bonner wasn’t able to get on the field due to a hamstring injury during Texans’ training camp.
So with all that said I was scratching my head about the fact that O’Brien didn’t feel good about the Slot receiver position on the roster. Today post practice Coach O’Brien was asked about the Slot receiver position and how he felt Mike Thomas could fill that role (Mike Thomas was signed shortly after season). O’Brien acknowledged what he had previously said and today said after seeing the players on the field these past two days that there are a few guys that have the skills to fill both the slot/outside receiver role.
Personally I like DeVier Posey a lot, and feel that he would best fit the 3rd receiver spot. Posey probably has the best combination of size and speed on the Texans’ behind Andre, and based off the little action we have seen from Posey, things just seem to happen when he gets the football in his hands. I’m really excited to see what O’Brien does offensively with all the options at wide receiver and I think that O’Brien will see all the talent and will find a way to utilize it. I just feel that the passing attack has a chance to be very explosive.
Texans will use analytics under O’Brien
It was brought up to O’Brien that the Astros and Rockets rely on heavily on the use of analytics, and was asked about his view towards the use of analytics. I really liked that O’Brien said that a bit of it will be used in the draft process and will surely be used in season when game planning for opponents. He is really open to any information that will give an edge on game planning or any additional knowledge, and thinks it is important to have as much knowledge as you can.
Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel
In the two days of the voluntary mini-camp there has been a lot of praise over linebackers coach Mike Vrabel. He is well respected by the coaches, including O’Brien, and all the Texans’ players that are asked about Vrabel speak very highly of him. He is said to be very smart, a great teacher, and cares about whether the linebackers understand what they are supposed to be doing on the field. Brooks Reed today on Vrabel said, “He’s probably the perfect guy to be our position coach”. Mike Vrabel played 14 years in the NFL, 8 of those with the Patriots and was a part of the 3 Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Ted Johnson who has been doing radio on Sports Radio 610 in Houston for the last two years, spent 10 years with Patriots, was captain of the defense and was also a part of the 3 Super bowls. Ted Johnson on a number of occasions, even before Mike Vrabel was signed to the Texans had said that in his time in the NFL, Vrabel was the smartest teammate football-wise he ever had. Hopefully Vrabel’s knowledge does indeed translate to the linebackers on the Texans rosters, as they need to start seeing a returning on Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus.
- Coach O’Brien’s iPod playlist at practice
There were giggles shared surrounding the music that was being played at practice because O’Brien admitted it was his iPod playing the music. The music selection was said to have ranged from 80’s music, country, pop, and even some rap. O’Brien said he likes a wide variety of music but made sure it was relatively clean. Also said that the music being played and played loudly served a purpose so that the players can be forced to communicate loudly during practice. O’Brien was asked where he got the idea to play music during practice, and said that didn’t know but it was done in New England so he cited that he probably got it from Bill Belichick.
- Garrett Graham not going to watch draft either
I find it odd that some players say that they aren’t going to watch the draft. With the Texans holding the number 1 pick, there is a lot of importance surrounding that pick and will have a large impact on the team. Graham said he does not know what he will be doing during the draft and said he will probably be grocery shopping, but also said he would check his twitter feed to see who the Texans get.