Previous Position Competitions: OL (5/23)
Beyond veteran starters Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, there is not a single receiver on the roster who has caught an NFL pass. It’s a group that consists of five rookies and four young veterans who have played in a combined five games.
Johnson is not participating in OTAs because of recent arthroscopic surgery on his knee. That has left Walter as the elder statesman and opened the door for a lot more reps for the Texans’ young receivers.
“They’re young, I can tell you that,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Tuesday. “It’s exciting because we’ve got a lot of ability to work with, but obviously we’ve got a long, long way to go. It’ll be interesting to see how they sort themselves out.”
The Texans could keep five or six receivers on the active roster in the regular season. Third-round draft pick DeVier Posey and fourth-round pick Keshawn Martin should be locks to make the team.
That leaves one or two spots up for grabs among Lestar Jean, Jeff Maehl, Trindon Holliday, Juaquin Iglesias and undrafted rookies Jerrell Jackson, Dwight Jones and Mario Louis.
Jean, a promising undrafted rookie from Florida Atlantic in 2011, lined up opposite Walter with the first-team offense this week. Next week, that opportunity could possibly belong to Maehl or someone else as Johnson continues to sit out.
“It’s a great opportunity for them,” Kubiak said. “I mean, you look at (how) Lestar Jean is working as a starter right now. As a player, all you can ask for is to get on the field, and if you do it, you’re not coming off. That’s the way this thing works. I’m going to rotate them every week. I think I’ll change them up, change the depth chart and see who’s going to stand out, who’s going to help our football team. But they’re all going to get an opportunity.”
Asked about the young receivers after the final practice of the week on Thursday, Kubiak said he has seen “flashes” of talent.
“They’re all what we thought they were,” he said. “Getting a little fatigued right now. That bothers me; you’ve got to be able to run all day. Posey is out here pretty tired today. We’ve got to get those guys, condition-wise, to where they can do it all day long. But talent-wise, it’s exactly what we thought we were going to get.”
The competition should for playing time – and roster spots – should only heat up in the coming weeks and months.
Tags: Andre Johnson, DeVier Posey, Dwight Jones, Gary Kubiak, Jeff Maehl, Jerrell Jackson, Juaquin Iglesias, Keshawn Martin, Kevin Walter, Lestar Jean, Mario Louis, Organized Team Activities, Position Competition, Trindon Holliday
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