After a players' day off on Thursday, the Houston Texans resumed training camp practices on Friday in full pads once again. Head Coach Lovie Smith called it "hump" day, with the team in the midst of a week of padded practices.
Here are five things to know from Day 6 of practice:
1. O-Linemen out
Offensive linemen Tytus Howard and Kenyon Green were not at practice. While the team has been relatively healthy through the start of camp, Smith says a few bumps and bruises are starting to pop up but nothing serious that would cause either to miss a lot of time. Smith says he expects both to be back in a short amount of time.
2. Must-see TV
Rookie safety Jalen Pitre made a diving catch on a tipped pass for an interception in 7-on-7 drills.
As camp rolls on, the Texans second-round draft pick looks more and more comfortable each day, calling out plays and anticipating the ball. Smith has consistently praised him but did he hint at Pitre being a Day 1 starter at safety?
"What we should notice about Jalen (Pitre) is he's just blending in now," Smith said. "Of course, he's one of our starting safeties. We aren't giving out any starting spots, but he's been working with the ones. But he's intelligent, smart, everything we're looking for in a safety, he has. Can't wait for him to actually play his first game."
3. Special guest!
Houston Rockets Head Coach Stephen Silas was a special guest at Friday's practice. He chatted with Lovie Smith, Nick Caserio and even spoke to the media afterwards. Silas said he reached out to Smith and wanted to attend a practice.
"It's very special," Smith said. "Stephen (Silas) is doing a great job. I'm a big basketball fan. I see what he's doing with our Rockets. A young football team developing, a lot of great young talent, can't wait to see them play next year. He's H-town like we are, so it's good for us to compare notes but good to see him at practice."
4. JG in full swing
DL Jon Greenard also seemed in full form, tipping a pass to himself and catching it during team drills in the redzone.
"That was a great play he made today," Smith said. "But we expect great players to make great plays. Last year he had limited amount of time on the field, but he was productive, so it's time for him to take a step. We need a few of our guys to take that next step to where you're really talking about them, and Jonathan (Greenard) has the ability to do that."
5. Return of the Mack
(Sorry, couldn't resist)
RB Marlon Mack is ready for a fresh start in Houston. Now in Year 5, the former Indianapolis Colt is getting plenty of reps in the run game as well as catching passes. Mack even did work on special teams, showing off his skills as a kick returner.
"I definitely feel like I'm there again," Mack said. "Last year, I didn't get that chance to show myself, but in the few games that I did, I felt that confidence in myself. But now, I've actually just got to go out there and do it again, once again. I feel good, man. Every day I'm showing that explosion. I feel it in my cuts, and every day I keep going out there and keep doing it."
The Texans will open the regular season at home against the Colts on Sunday, Sept. 11. Browse tickets here.
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