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Minicamp report: Hoyer QBs Texans first team, looks good

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HOUSTON — After struggling throughout OTAs, Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer finally impressed on the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday.

With the Texans practicing inside a bubble because of a tropical storm, Hoyer efficiently ran the offense and completed several strong passes.

Hoyer ran the Texans’ first unit, while Ryan Mallett led the second.

“We mix and match those guys,” coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday at NRG Stadium. “We’re looking at a lot of different guys at different positions.

“Today, you saw some younger players in there with Hoyer and Mallett. … I wouldn’t read too much into that. It’s really all about, like I said a couple weeks ago, when the ball is snapped and the decisions that they’re making and how they’re communicating and things like that.

Like I said last week, both guys have really competed hard and done a good job this spring.”

When he makes the decision between Hoyer and Mallett, O’Brien is going to be looking for one thing first and foremost: consistency.

“The guy that makes the most consistent, correct decisions,” O’Brien said. “Consistently completes the ball to the right guy and gets us into the right play. The most consistent guy.”

Running back Arian Foster sees a smoother, stronger team compared to where the Texans were at this point last year under O’Brien, who was in his first season as the team’s coach.

Foster’s early performance during offseason workouts has also been encouraging. A season removed from back surgery, the veteran running back has been a full participant in workouts and stood out again Tuesday, during the first day of a three-day minicamp.

“We’re more efficient,” Foster said.

The Texans are also younger and more inexperienced at key positions.

With Andre Johnson now in Indianapolis and Chris Myers released, the seventh-year back is one of the few remaining Texans from the heights of the Gary Kubiak-era.

“It’s weird,” said Foster, referring to Johnson’s departure. “But that’s the league, man. People come, people go. Everybody’s gonna get the axe one day.”

–Jaelen Strong was back in action Tuesday. The third-round pick returned to the field for the first time after recovering from a minor hamstring pull.

“Jaelen’s got a long way to go, so it was good to see him out there (Tuesday),” O’Brien said. “He’s got a big stretch here in front of him where he can work on getting his hamstring better.”

Strong mostly ran with the second unit during the first day of a three-day mandatory minicamp. Cecil Shorts and Keshawn Martin were the main receiving options, with No. 1 wideout DeAndre Hopkins still on the side.

“Cecil has done a good job. … Cecil is a very bright guy,” O’Brien said. “I remember Cecil when he was coming out of Mount Union when I was in New England taking a looking at him. He’s a professional and he’s done a good job coming in here.”


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