By Cody Stoots

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Texans completing their 4th OTA practice of the offseason. Here is what you need to know from today.

-The Texans joint practices with the Saints may have been a casualty thanks to Hard Knocks but O’Brien mentioned today they are talking with other teams about getting another joint practice going. Read more here.

-The quarterback battle rages on between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. Both had some nice moments and both had some passes that weren’t impressive. Mallett looked much better today than last week. Most of the work was 7-on-7 work with a little team mixed in.

-Hoyer had a pass picked off on a bad pass. Mallett had an interception because Andre Hal took it away from Ryan Griffin. As Hal returned it, linebackers coach Mike Vrabel ran down the field with him showering him with congratulations and fist bumps. Both quarterbacks displayed frustration on plays where things didn’t go their way.

-Mallett looked better than Hoyer today. Tom Savage looked good today as well. O’Brien noted he is getting a lot of reps in practice as well. Read more about Savage here.

-O’Brien said all the quarterbacks are getting a lot of reps and he likes it that way. They split the reps today with Mallett taking reps as the one while Hoyer took snaps with the second unit.

-The rookies have to get in better shape according to Bill O’Brien. That was what he said he wanted the most from the rookies.

-Jaelen Strong didn’t practice today. O’Brien agreed that his issue is “minor.”

-The safety situation is something to watch. Rahim Moore is part of the equation without a doubt but the other spot should be an interesting battle. Eddie Pleasant showed off today and O’Brien mentioned he liked his makeup. Andre Hal is helping out at safety as well. He mentioned he is trying to do whatever he can to make the team. Lonnie Ballentine is certainly a candidate as he was injured last year but O’Brien mentioned him as a player who is healthy and is showing off hard work from the offseason. Read more about the safety spot here. 

-Ballentine and Hal both look more imposing physically than their first year in the league.

-Name to watch: Terrance Parks. He was a on the team’s practice squad last year. He played at Florida State. He is large listed at 6’2″ 218 lbs. Long and lengthy like some of the Seahawks larger defensive backs. Had a nice pass breakup today.

-John Simon is filling in Brooks Reed’s old spot as the linebacker opposite Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus called him a “great” player and said he knows the assignments and knows where to be on the field.

-Nate Washington is much more than a veteran presence on the team. He will factor into the wide receiver situation.

-Alfred Blue and Jared Crick both look different physically from last year. Crick is a little more lean than he was last year as is Blue. Blue is much more fluid in his movements.

-Vince Wilfork is easily the largest person on the field. The Texans haven’t had anyone quite like him maybe in the franchise’s history. O’Brien mentioned the team is very happy to have him manning the middle. Read more about the new defensive tackle right here.

-Louis Nix is healthy and able to do much more this year than last year according to O’Brien. He mentioned that is the main point with Nix and he worked hard in the offseason and it shows. Read more about Nix and O’Brien here.

Follow Stoots on Twitter – @Cody_Stoots