Camp Confidential 8/9: Hopkins Steps His Game Up With Randy Moss Watching

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. 9.

>> The team wrapped up this initial phase of camp with a detailed focus on unit drills. There wasn’t as much 11-on-11 action despite the team jetting off to San Francisco later this week in advance of Sunday’s preseason game against the 49ers.

READ MORE: Texans Players Ready To Face Different Opponent

>> INJURY UPDATE: Jadeveon Clowney and rookie center Nick Martin did not practice for a third consecutive day. Head coach Bill O’Brien said neither is dealing with “anything serious,” and team sources confirmed that. Veterans Whitney Mercilus and Ryan Griffin each got the day off.

>> Defensive lineman Christian Covington returned to practice after missing four days while being in the NFL’s concussion protocol. The former Rice standout will get valuable opportunities in the joint practices vs. San Francisco to make his case for the starting right defensive end spot.

>> PLAY OF THE DAY: We’ve been waiting for it. DeAndre Hopkins had been solid all camp long, but he finally broke out the theatrics on day nine. Hopkins channeled his “Hotling Bling” catch from the Jacksonville game last year, beating Kareem Jackson in man-to-man coverage on a deep out route and cupping the ball with one hand along the sidelines.

>> While Brock Osweiler and the Texans starters looked sharp, the backups left something to be desired. Brandon Weeden and the No. 2 offensive linemen struggled on some calls, leading to a pair of fumbled snaps early in practice. O’Brien rebooted the full-squad drills in exasperation.

> Some celebrity sightings highlighted the relatively short two-hour camp session. Longtime NFL scout Gil Brandt and beloved local rapper and notorious Houston sports fan Bun B roamed the practice field. But the biggest name was former NFL star Randy Moss, who played for O’Brien in New England. Moss talked to the team on Monday night, coached the receivers up during Tuesday’s practice and personally mentored Hopkins.

>> O’Brien, on Moss: “Obviously the talent speaks for itself, but one of the things that always impressed me about him was his knowledge, his knowledge of coverages and his knowledge of different DB’s. He really brought a lot to the table last night for our team and for our receivers. It was good to have him.”

READ MORE: Texans Wideouts Learn From Former NFL Star Randy Moss

>> Jaelen Strong joined In The Loop after the second-year wide receiver turned in another, well, strong effort. He’s arguably cemented himself as the No. 2 receiver heading into the preseason opener. The biggest difference? He didn’t show up to training camp 15 pounds over his playing weight like he did last season, and it shows in his crisp routes.

LISTEN: Jaelen Strong: ‘I Am In The Best Shape Ever’

>> Undrafted rookie tight end Stephen Anderson made a sensational leaping grab across the middle in full-squad work. He’s been a camp crush since OTAs and this week’s action against the 49ers will be a homecoming of sorts for the former Cal receiver, as he grew up near San Jose, Calif. approximately 15 minutes from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Follow Chris Abshire on Twitter: @ChrisAbshire

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