Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
HOUSTON -- My intended focus was the Texans' young cornerbacks, but Drew Brees has not rejoined the Saints yet after the recent death of his mother.
So at Wednesday morning's Texans-Saints joint practice, I turned to the pass rush with a specific focus on rookie second-round end Connor Barwin, whom I've heard a lot of good things about.
He's technically behind Mario Williams on the right side, and gets in when Williams kicks to the left in pass-rush situations.
I felt like Barwin got good, consistent push and was high-energy on all his snaps.
He took consecutive snaps against Stinchcomb in one-on-ones, beating him around the left edge to get to the stand-in quarterback on the first, but winding up blocked to the ground on the second.
"I think I did all right," Barwin said. "Obviously you're always going to want to get better and make a couple different plays looking back immediately. But I think I played fast and that's what I need to do every day, I think I ran around a little bit so I was happy with that."
I also asked him about his role:
"They are still sorting it out. It's just about me coming out here and proving myself. I need to prove I can be the fourth best guy to put on the field to rush the passer if I want to play on third down. I need to show that every day. If I do I'll be out there.
"I know I am not going to go out there for Mario or Antonio [Smith] on first down, those are the guys, that's not going to change. But if I can prove I'm the fourth best pass-rusher, they'll move Antonio inside or something else."
Other notes on the pass-rush period:
Smith went against starting left guard Carl Nicks and didn't do much on his first try, then got around him off the right edge on his second try.
Williams ran right though Jammal Brown, leaving the starting left tackle flat on his back.