Texans Training Camp: Monday's News and Notes

Watt, Jordan Thomas return to practice, retirement isn't worth thinking about for Crennel

August 12, 2019 - 4:10 pm

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – J.J. Watt and Jordan Thomas returned to the practice field on Monday after both missing time due to their respective injuries.

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Watt tweaked his groin during joint practices last week in Green Bay and Thomas was out for about a week due to a hamstring injury.

With an off day on Tuesday and the Detroit Lions heading to Houston for joint practices on Wednesday, the Texans spent all of Monday inside the bubble and gave DeAndre Hopkins and Matt Kalil each a veteran’s day off.

Much has been made this offseason on how the Texans can improve at cornerback. Newcomers Bradley Roby and Lonnie Johnson Jr. are getting the most buzz and have impressed Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel.

“They’ve got good attitudes, they work hard, they’re good in the classroom and I think they’re understanding how we do things, our system and we’re coming along.  We’re getting better every day,” Crennel told the media following practice on Monday.

Johnson Jr. made the most news last week in Green Bay.  Whether it was big hits, tweets or being on the receiving end of social media trash talk, the rookie out of Kentucky introduced himself to a lot of people.  Though, some of that noise didn’t sit well with his defensive coordinator.

“I had a couple of choice words for him,” Crennel said with laughter.  Despite the rookie learning some lessons, he has also impressed.  “He’s like most rookies, they don’t know what they don’t know.  He learns something new every day.  He’s a competitive guy, he’s got some size, he’s got some length and if he continues to improve then we will have a decent guy,” Crennel added.

Another player that could help the secondary is Aaron Colvin, who is looking to have a bounce back year after an injury plagued first season with the Texans.

“Last year coming in to a brand new system, different to the one he had been in, was a little shock to his system and it took him a while to adapt.  He’s adapted much better now and I think he’s going to make a contribution,” Crennel said.

Crennel also said on Monday that he wants to maximize what Whitney Mercilus can produce for the Texans in 2019.  While still a highly productive player in 2018, his sack totals took a dip because he was being asked to do more things on the defense.  This year, Crennel wants him to hunt the quarterback a bit more.

“Whitney is one of those guys that, had 12 sacks a couple of years ago, is the ultimate team guy.  He’ll do whatever we ask him to do,” Crennel said.  “I think we’ll try to move him around a little bit more this year than last year and see what that does for him.”

With all the talk about the defense, you know what you’re going to get out of Romeo Crennel.  A well prepared defense that will more times than not be one of the better defenses in the league, but how much longer will Crennel keep coaching?  Crennel is 72-years-old and started coaching in 1970.

“As long as I’m having fun, and I’m still having fun, as long as J.J. is here and guys like that, I’ll keep going.  What good does it (giving thought to retirement) do?” Crennel asked.  I’m having fun, so that’s the main thing.  As long as I got my health and enjoy what I’m doing. Let’s keep going.”