Winners and Losers from Week 2 of Houston Texans Training Camp
A second week of Houston Texans training camp has come to a close and much more has been revealed about the team.
Some players are rising, grabbing the coaching staff's attention and proving that they will contribute heavily once the regular season starts.
Others are losing ground quickly. Performing poorly in practice, they are damaging their chances of receiving consistent minutes and even making the final roster.
Which players have been great and which have disappointed? Read on and discover the winners and losers of the second week of Texans training camp.
Winner: Earl Mitchell
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Shaun Cody who?
After it became clear that the Texans were not going to re-sign Cody, who was the team's starting nose tackle last season, Earl Mitchell was immediately declared the starter.
This worried many fans; Mitchell had never really been that great of a player. But with another week of training camp and one preseason game under his belt, it is clear that Mitchell is ready to make big plays for the defense.
According to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com, Mitchell has been having an incredible training camp. His footwork appears to be much-improved, and his athletic ability appears to be off the charts.
Mitchell is getting into the backfield with ease; he has been a constant disturbance for Pro Bowl center Chris Myers.
Mitchell, by far, has been one of the most impressive players in Texans training camp.
Loser: Trevardo Williams
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When Trevardo Williams was drafted in the fourth round of this year's draft, his athleticism immediately jumped out to many.
Williams is a freak athlete; he is incredibly fast, and he absolutely dominated college offensive linemen by simply running right by them.
Unfortunately, in the NFL, pure speed is not enough to beat opposing linemen. One must possess a developed skill set to become a seasoned pass-rusher. And Williams certainly does not have a wide litany of skills.
This fact has been rather obvious at training camp, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com. Williams has struggled mightily throughout training camp; he simply cannot beat the Texans' offensive linemen.
And this will continue to be the case for Williams until he can find a way to pair his athleticism with a few go-to pass-rushing moves.
Winner: DeAndre Hopkins
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DeAndre Hopkins is a stud. His pass-catching talents, route-running ability and notable athleticism should make him a very dangerous receiving target for the Texans offense.
And, in the second week of training camp, Hopkins has proven time and time again why the above statement is beyond true.
Hopkins has simply dominated in camp, writes Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com. To make it even better, Hopkins has routinely made big play after big play against the Texans' best: Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson.
Hopkins will only continue to improve as his NFL career progresses, and that is a scary thought for opposing defenses who will be unfortunate enough to be matched up against the Texans.
Loser: Ez Nwachukwu
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Want a big-play wide receiver who can completely change the flow of a game with a single play? Look no further than Ez Nwachukwu, the fastest and most athletic player on the Texans' roster.
Nwachukwu has made jaws drop with his pure athletic ability all throughout camp. He runs solid routes, and he can speed past defensive backs with an ease unknown to most receivers.
Nwachukwu, though, is certainly not the perfect player. While his athleticism is startling, he has a lot of trouble consistently hauling in passes, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com. No matter how wide-open he is, his pass-catching ability is almost always a liability.
It is a shame, really. Nwachuwku has the physical ability to become a star in the league. But with his severe lack of consistency, it is unlikely he will even make the Texans' final roster.
Winner: Cierre Wood
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Cierre Wood is locked into a tight competition with Dennis Johnson for the third and final running back job on the Texans roster.
And after the second week of training camp, Wood has asserted himself as the favorite to claim the job.
Wood, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com, has proven to be a perfect fit for the Texans' zone-blocking scheme. His ability to use his vision to locate the open hole and hit it at the perfect time is very Arian Foster-esque.
Wood is also a natural pass-catcher out of the backfield, and he could certainly make an impact as a third-down back during the regular season.
If Wood continues to play at the same level he has been at the past week of training camp, the third-string job will almost certainly be his.
Loser: Dennis Johnson
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A major reason why Cierre Wood has suddenly become the favorite for the final running back job has been the sharp decline of Dennis Johnson, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com.
Johnson was incredible for the first half of Texans training camp, but for no apparent reason, he suddenly began to heavily struggle.
He appears to be thinking to much on the field, and he consistently looks uncertain as to what hole he should target and run through.
Due to this, Johnson has become a side-to-side runner, therefore eliminating his explosive playmaking ability that made him such a tantalizing prospect.
Johnson certainly has time to right the ship, but his situation is not looking too bright right now.
Winner: Derek Newton
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Last season, Derek Newton was one of the most hated players on the Texans roster. The starting right tackle was the harbinger of doom for the failing Texans' offensive line.
It was clear that Newton was not ready to assume the starting duties last season, but the Texans had no better options, so the young tackle was thrown into the fire. It did not end up well. He had a miserable season, leading many to believe that the Texans should have immediately found a replacement for him.
Newton, though, has been proving his doubters wrong so far this offseason, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com.
Newton looks much more confident in his abilities; he is letting his natural talents take over, and he is no longer overthinking his every move.
And Newton does have a lot of talent. He is big, strong and athletic. If he can let his skills take over, he could actually become a very effective lineman for the Texans.
Loser: Bryan Braman
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Bryan Braman has been the star of the Texans' special teams unit the past few seasons. He is a freak on the field, taking advantage of every opportunity to absolutely blow up opposing ball-carriers.
Braman, though, has never been granted a chance to contribute on defense.
This season, however, was Braman's greatest chance to finally receive the opportunity he had been fighting for. When Connor Barwin departed for Philadelphia, the Texans immediately became very young and very shallow at outside linebacker.
Although the team drafted both Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams to address the depth concerns, Braman still had a very good chance to receive playing time at outside 'backer, as neither of the two rookies were guaranteed to receive consistent playing time in their first season.
Braman, though, has been disappointing during the second week of Texans training camp, as he was during the first week, according to Pat Starr of stateofthetexans.com.
He simply does not possess the skills to contribute at outside linebacker. He has been unable to put it together and struggles to beat NFL-caliber offensive linemen.
It appears that Braman is destined to spend another season as only a special teams player.