HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Texans had a clear goal for Tuesday’s OTA practice: rest the starters and focus on red zone plays. With the veterans out Tuesday, the Texans’ young wide receiver corp got its chance for more reps with the first team.
“Case worked with the first team today. What was impressive was how he practiced. Lestar (Jean) worked like a starter today and practiced very well. Those are the things you’re really looking for. Are those guys getting ready? Are they getting themselves into position? So, it’s exciting to see some of them doing that,” head coach Gary Kubiak said after Tuesday’s practice.
Wide receiver Lestar Jean, who was placed on injured reserve in 2011 for a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason of his rookie year, is entering his third season with the Texans. Kubiak was clearly also impressed with his second-year receiver Keyshawn Martin.
“Lestar and Keyshawn are probably two of the most improved players out here,” Kubiak said. “They’re very important to what we’re doing. They see their opportunity. They’re also smart enough to know that the young kids got thrown in there as a starter and they got to keep their minds straight and keep going and if they do that, they’re going to be on the field a great deal for our team and their handling their business well.”
The Texans first-round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins, already heralded for his big hands, ability to fight for the ball, and make catches in traffic, is even getting attention from veteran defensive players like Daniel Manning.
“Hopkins, man even though he’s our first pick, he stands out a lot. It’s because he’d been getting a lot of reps or he’s just making plays. He’s made a ton of plays in this offseason,” Manning said Tuesday.
Texans play-by-play voice Marc Vandermeer thinks that Martin and Hopkins will be contributing to the Texans’ offense in different ways.
“I could see Martin potentially having more catches than DeAndre Hopkins but I see Hopkins having bigger plays, more touchdowns, that kind of thing,” Vandermeer said during Texans All-Access Radio on SportsRadio 610.
The young receivers have been working hard at making the most of their reps during and after practice. According to Drew Dougherty, host of Texans TV, Martin, Jean, and DeVier Posey, have all been putting in extra work after practice, taking catches from the machine.
“There’s young guys that, when those older guys are practicing, aren’t getting a lot of reps. I like to see guys work,” Kubiak said.
The Texans continue their final week of OTAs with two more practices. The team has moved Wednesday’s OTA practice to 8 a.m. (from 11 a.m.) so that players and staff can attend a public memorial service for the fallen firefighters. The service, honoring the four firefighers killed in Friday’s five-alarm fire, will be held at Reliant Stadium 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.