Tight hamstring forces Williams to miss practice

Houston Texans: Mario Williams sat out of Texans practice Thursday with a tight right hamstring, but both he and coach Gary Kubiak said it isn't serious. Williams watched practice in his jersey and shorts with a large bandage wrapped around the top of his right leg. The problem began Tuesday morning and he was pulled from the field halfway through the workout.

Williams, the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, said he was sitting out mostly as a precaution and that he isn't worried about it lingering.

"No, that's the point is that it doesn't get to be something more serious," he said. "That's the reason why the coaches have taken me out and kind of let me relax."

Coaches have been impressed with his work in practice recently as he makes the transition to playing right defensive end full-time after moving around the line last season. He's much more relaxed since arriving in Houston amid the Reggie Bush/Vince Young controversy a year ago. Kubiak was encouraged by his work ethic throughout the offseason and said Williams was disappointed about missing practice on Thursday.

"He actually wanted to go," Kubiak said. "He had his pads on. I made him go in and take them off this morning."

After thinking about it, Williams realized sitting out for a bit now would be better than risking injuring himself worse.

"I just don't want something to happen right now in training camp," he said. "This is a very important season coming up for the team and I want to be a part of that. So I'm going to try to be as cautious as possible."

Elsewhere in AFC camps:

Denver Broncos: Dre' Bly got burned and then he got booed. One thing he didn't get was bullied.

"It happens, it happens," the Broncos cornerback said Thursday after getting beaten for big receptions by backup receivers David Kircus and Brian Clark. "Shoot, I'm human, you know what I'm saying? You're entitled to give up a pass here and there, it happens, even though the fans might be disappointed. I'm new. But it happens.

"I'll tell you what, you won't make a living doing that on me," Bly added. "You're entitled to have a day where them guys make plays, and that's what it is."

Bly even had to handle some heckling from a fan who hollered, "Go back to Detroit!"

Bly spun and looked at the man but then shook his head and shook it off.

"They paid me money to come here," he said. "Everybody's been talking about me and Champ [Bailey] making plays and they see me give up a play or two, they don't want to see that. It's understood. They have expectations just like I do, but everybody is competing just like I am, and they're going to make plays from time to time."

Oakland Raiders: After seven knee surgeries in nine years, Jeremy Newberry knows eventually his knees will begin to ache as he grinds through the rigors of training camp. Raiders coach Lane Kiffin understands it, too, which is why he's being selective with how much work the veteran center is getting in practice.

Newberry was given the day off Thursday, the first time since camp began that he sat out consecutive practices. When he has been on the field, however, he's shown flashes of the form that made him a Pro Bowl pick in 2000 and 2001.

Provided his knees can hold up underneath him, the 31-year-old Newberry is also putting himself in position to supplant Jake Grove as the Raiders' starting center. The two shared reps during the first week of training camp as Oakland tries to strengthen a struggling offensive line that allowed a league-worst 72 sacks last season.

"I feel so good right now," Newberry said. "The physical part's not that bad. I've dealt with pain and a lot of different things before. I'm just excited to be out here feeling healthy. I haven't been able to do that in a long time."

Warren Sapp found that out early in camp. The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle went head-up against Newberry during a team scrimmage and took a shot to the ribs that left him shaking his head.

"I had to remind him that we're teammates now," Sapp said. "I told him, 'This ain't the 49ers and the Raiders anymore, big boy.' He's a beast. He lets you know that he's been around for a while. I told him, 'I'm going to know where you are from now on.' That boy can play, that's for sure."