Texans Camp Confidential 8/2: Goal-Line Work Highlights Defensive Dominance

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — Editor’s Note: Camp Confidential will feature daily news and notes throughout Texans training camp. See All Other Camp Confidentials

Here are the notes, quotes, and need-to-know information from Texans training camp on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

>> Defense ruled the roost all day, and nowhere was that exemplified more than in the early goal-line work. The Texans offense scored just once in 10 tries from the one-yard-line and even that was with fullback Jay Prosch against half of the second-team defense.

>> PLAY OF THE DAY: Speaking of goal-line defense, second-year linebacker Benardrick McKinney looks ready to be a leader in the front seven. He stuffed Lamar Miller with extreme force, causing a fired-up ruckus led by Brian Cushing and McKinney’s own position coach.

>> As good as the defense looked, the offense took an equally striking step back after a promising second day of training camp. There were at least five fumbles and the quarterbacks were out of rhythm with the young receivers. It showed. It may just be facing a great defense, but the offense may be a significant work in progress all August.

> That being said, the first day of pads meant the running game was the priority for much of the morning. Lamar Miller took most of the edge carries, while Alfred Blue squeezed between the tackles. That seems to be the formula, dating back to OTAs and minicamp, but seeing them face live tacklers confirmed those roles.

>> Brock Osweiler did look good in isolated work with the receivers. The coaches put him on the move, rolling him out on the pocket and forcing him to throw on the run. Some of his throwing issues from minicamp were nonexistent, and he hit the tight ends and running back in stride out in the flats. He seems to be settling in as this team’s leader.

>> The defensive backs also played like a standout unit, and they got plenty of work. Andre Hal, Quintin Demps and Charles James locked down the Houston wideouts and earned praise from coach Bill O’Brien. James, in particular, was everywhere, as the Hard Knocks fan favorite swatted a pair of passes away from Jaelen Strong.

>> Derek Newton was still out of practice after suffering a hamstring injury in practice on Sunday. Technically, O’Brien said Newton is still “day-to-day” but there is concern it could be longer. That’s a problem given the Texans’ potential lack of depth on the offensive line.

>> The full pads made for a brutally physical practice in the morning heat. The heat index was above 100 degrees by 9 a.m., but the players were too amped to just be hitting each other in pads. The goal-line work was just the beginning, and even the DBs took advantage of the lack of officials with some shoving and grabbing in 7-on-7 drills.

>> The practice had some local star power, as Texas A&M brought a sizable contingent to Tuesday’s practice. Head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone were among the dozen or so Aggies out at the Houston Methodist Training center. Mazzone was also there to check on his former star pupil. Mazzone coached Osweiler for two seasons as the OC at Arizona State.

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