HOUSTON -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Houston Texans training camp.
Defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan, one of the Texans' three sixth-round picks this year, has appeared to catch on pretty well after missing the entire spring while recovering from shoulder surgery. His position coach, though, is not ready to assess Pagan's progress. "He's been out [here] for less than a week," Bill Kollar said. "Right now I really don't have an opinion one way or another. He's getting a little bit better technique-wise, but again, like everybody else he has a long way to go right now." What does a rookie fall the most behind on when he misses practices? "You fall behind on everything. Conditioning, technique, everything. Football is a sport, it has got to be hands on. You can watch all the film you want and stuff, but you have to be out there actually playing the technique to improve."
Two new players were at Texans camp on Tuesday: offensive lineman Mike Farrell, a Penn State alumnus, and running back Tim Cornett . Cornett went to UNLV but attended high school in the Houston area. The rookie running back made his presence felt during a team drill in which he bulldozed a defensive back. The Texans also released Ricky Sapp, according to the league's transaction list.
Once the pads came on, fullback Jay Prosch's blocking ability really began to stand out. He'll be a boon in the running game.
I've really liked watching running back Alfred Blue. He's very talented as a runner, a hard worker and coachable. The aspect of the game that young running backs struggle with the most is pass protection. It'll be interesting to see his ability there.
Head coach Bill O'Brien said offensive guard Brandon Brooks is close to returning. Earlier in the week he declined to share what had landed Brooks on the active/non-football injury list. Safety Lonnie Ballentine was not practicing with an injury he suffered during camp. On Ballentine, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, O'Brien used the same line: "I don't think it's life threatening."
And since I mentioned the offense struggling in an earlier post, I should also mention this. The receivers continued looking terrific. EZ Nwachukwu is making a serious case for himself.