The Houston Texans look to build off of the momentum they had from OTAs going into mini camp. Mini camp was held this week for three days and gave coaches a chance to get another look into their team before training camp.
Last season, the Texans didn’t have much trouble scoring points from the red zone — they scored in some way nearly every time. What was more of an issue was scoring touchdowns rather than field goals. That’s an area of emphasis for the Texans this offseason, and the additions of Greg Jones and rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins could help in that respect.
“They got a great running game, a great O-line, a great blocking scheme and the two backs they have do a phenomenal job,” Jones said. “I’m just trying to come here and when we get down to the red zone, I want to gain yards and score some points.”
Speaking of the offensive line, Andrew Gardner has been trying to gain some footing in the NFL for the last four years. He is getting the chance to show the Texans what he can do as the starting left tackle. All-Pro tackle Duane Brown will miss about a month after having a bone spur shaved from his foot last Wednesday.
Gardner has played three seasons since being drafted by Miami in 2009. He did not play in 2010. He played three games for the Texans in 2012. “Reps are good always,” Gardner said. “You have to make the best of the reps you get. You’re always trying to show the coaches you’re a guy they can rely on.”
After his White House visit, safety Ed Reed said he planned to be back for week 1 but would be smart with his rehab. So he neither declared he wouldn’t be back nor closed the door on missing games.
“I know my rehab is going well,” Reed said. “I know I am probably ahead of schedule, but at the same time I still got to take it slow. We are in June right now. I’m usually full-throttle, running and everything right about now, but I’m not at that point to where I’m running. So it’s definitely been a challenge, but I’m always up for that.”
The absence of Ed Reed opened the door for rookie D.J. Swearinger to get plenty or repetitions in practice. Swearinger has not only relished it, he spent the Texans’ 10 organized team activity practices impressing his coaches and teammates.
To Swearinger the idea of how much he’s had to learn is exaggerated. “A lot of people have said a lot, but I don’t think it’s a lot because I think I have a high IQ,” Swearinger said. “Once you study and do the extra work it’s not a lot. You have to put in the extra hours and make sure you master everything they throw at you.”
Thursday is the last day of mini camp for the Texans. Next up will be Training Camp.