J.J. Watt Drops Bombshell DJ Reader – He Doesn’t Believe in Dinosaurs

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Sometimes during training camp you find things out about your teammates that you just can’t believe when you hear them.

For Texans stud linebacker J.J. Watt, a player he has known for quite awhile dropped a bombshell on him regarding – of all things – the existence of dinosaurs.

Reader responded after a rather funny tweet about the subject came in regarding the original tweet:

To which Watt responded:

Texans OT Duane Brown Already Out $250,000 for Missing Offseason Workouts

USA Today Sports

Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown had better be strong in his convictions about missing camp for the Texans, because it’s costing him quite a bit of cash.

The tackle, who is not happy with his deal and is expected to miss the start of camp, is out $250,000 according to Field Yates of ESPN as missing offseason workouts has triggered a clause in his contract dropping his salary.

As a big name on the Texans O-line, the team and tackle had better get their ducks in a row and get him into camp by hook or by crook, or this could turn into an ugly holdout as the summer goes along.

Texans LT Duane Brown Not Expected to Report to Camp On Time

HoustonTexans.com

The impasse between the Texans and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown hasn’t been resolved. Barring a change, he’s not expected to report for the start of camp, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Brown skipped the entire offseason due to unhappiness about a contract that has two remaining years, including a non-guaranteed base salary of $9.65 million this season.

He’s subject to fines of $40,000 for each day of camp that he holds out.

Among all left tackles, Brown ranks 11th in cash compensation this year. He’s playing under a six-year, $53.4 million contract that includes $22.081 million guaranteed with a $12.5 million signing bonus. The deal has become outdated with time as new tackle deals have surpassed those numbers.

Brown’s potential leverage stems from the Texans’ lack of an adequate replacement at left tackle.

Brown, 31, has remained in Los Angeles for most of the offseason. It’s unclear if a compromise will be reached during camp. There’s been no talk of negotiations as the Texans have an unofficial policy to not renegotiate deals with two years left with the only exceptions being for J.J. Watt and Andre Johnson. At this point, Brown isn’t expected to miss regular-season games.

Could It Be a Breakout Season for Texans Nose Tackle D.J. Reader?

As a rookie, Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader built a reputation for versatility, toughness and a willingness to accept coaching, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Besides being mentored by five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork, Reader soaked up knowledge from defensive line coach Anthony Weaver and defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

Reader flashed enough ability to shed blocks as a run-stopper and pass rusher that the Texans have no concerns about his ability to replace Wilfork in the middle of the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

Reader started seven games as a rookie and finished with 22 tackles and one sack. How Reader continues to develop is a critical element for a front seven headlined by Watt, Clowney and linebackers Benardrick McKinney and Whitney Mercilus.

“We have very high expectations of D.J.,” said Weaver, a former defensive end for the Texans and Baltimore Ravens. ” I think you saw just a glimpse of what he’s capable of a year ago. He’s another guy that since he’s been back, you can tell he’s, and I think I speak for the whole defense, they all have a little bit of a chip (on their shoulders).

“Were we happy with what we did a year ago? Sure. But we all know what the ultimate goal is and I think everybody that walks into this building day-in and day-out, they come with the mindset of like, ‘How are we going to get over this hurdle? How are we going to get to where we want to be?’ And D.J., I think, he epitomizes that every time he walks in this building.”

Texans Coach Bill O’Brien Impressed Thus Far with Rookie QB Deshaun Watson

During a lengthy interview this week on the state of the Texans after their offseason program, coach Bill O’Brien talked about how impressed he’s been with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Houston Chronicle reports.

O’Brien praised the Clemson coaches for Watson’s development in college, providing him with a solid foundation for the NFL.

“He had to learn a pretty sophisticated offense at Clemson,” O’Brien said. “He had to do a lot of things at the line of scrimmage. I think he was trained really well. That’s a credit to the Clemson staff.

“He’d already been in some big games when he got here. When he came here, he put his head down and came to work every day.”

Not only has O’Brien been impressed with Watson’s talent and ability to excel in big games like the national championship victory over Alabama, but he loves the quarterback’s demeanor, including his confidence.

“He’s a very poised guy,” O’Brien said. “I like the way he carries himself. I like the way he operates. He’s a rookie, and he’s not nearly where he needs to be to be a full-time starter in this league, but you can tell he’s got a lot of qualities you like.

“For being a rookie, he’s wise beyond his years. He asks great questions in the morning meeting, and you can tell he’s studied the night before. Every practice isn’t perfect. He knows he needs to get a lot better. And he did get better every day during the spring. It’s no pads, of course. It’s not real football, but he did improve in his knowledge of the offense.”

“We put a lot on his plate during the spring, and he handled it very well,” O’Brien said. “He made mistakes, and he corrected them. You don’t see him make the same mistake twice.

“He can do a lot of things. He can operate our running game and in our passing game. He’s got a lot of athleticism. I don’t think we’ll have to limit him. Training camp and preseason games will be a big test.”

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins Still Looking to Get a Long Term Deal Done

Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is expected to eventually cash in with a blockbuster contract this offseason. What remains to be determined is the approximate timing for a deal to culminate and how rich a payday it will be, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

No deal is imminent, but Texans general manager Rick Smith has reiterated several times that securing Hopkins on a long-term deal is a major priority for the AFC South franchise. Hopkins is entering a fifth-year option season and is due $7.915 million this season.

“Those talks are between the Texans and my agent, but this city has embraced me just like my hometown in South Carolina has,” said Hopkins, who’s represented by Creative Artists Agency. “I love being here. I love playing for this team, great organization. Bob McNair and Cal McNair, they do a great job at having an organization that speaks for itself. I thank those guys all the time for picking me 27th when nobody knew who DeAndre Hopkins was.”

The most significant wide receiver deal of this offseason was signed by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown received a four-year, $68 million deal that included a $19 million signing bonus for an average annual salary of $17 million.

The financial stratosphere for a wide receiver like Hopkins is a rich neighborhood, including upper echelon deals for the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones (five years, $71.256 million, $12 million signing bonus, $47 million guaranteed), the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant (five years, $70 million, $20 million signing bonus, $45 million guaranteed) and the Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas (five years, $70 million, $11 million signing bonus, $43.5 million guaranteed).

Hopkins has 317 catches, 4,487 yards and 23 touchdowns for his career, the most by any Texans player in franchise history through their first four seasons.

He has the sixth-most catches and fifth-most receiving yards by a player at age 25 in NFL history.

Hopkins emphasized that he’s not concerned with his numbers other than how many games the team wins.

Texans Ink Veteran OL Breno Giacomini

The Texans added some reinforcements for their offensive line Tuesday, signing veteran offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Giacomini, 31, is a former New York Jets starter who played for Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin in New York.

Giacomini could wind up competing for the starting job at right tackle, with former starter Derek Newton out for the entire season after tearing both patellar tendons last season. Chris Clark struggled in a starting role last season when Newton got hurt.

A former Green Bay Packers fifth-round draft pick from Louisville, Giacomini was cut by the Jets in February.

He started every game in 2014 and 2015, but a back injury last season forced him to be placed on the physically unable to perform list. He was placed on the active roster in October, but hurt his back again in December and was placed on injured reserve after starting five games.

Sounds Like the Texans are Very Open to Deshaun Watson Being the Starting QB in 2017

Texans see Tom Savage as their starting quarterback, but general manager Rick Smith said rookie Deshaun Watson will get a chance to compete for the job as well, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.

“We want to provide a competitive environment across the board. So [Watson will] compete,” Smith said Thursday on the Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio. “[But] like I said, we feel good about Tom and his abilities to manage the offense. But yeah, [Watson] will come in, and just like every other guy on the roster, he’ll have time to play.”

The Texans traded up to the No. 12 pick on Day 1 of last week’s draft, giving up two first-round picks to the Cleveland Browns to ensure they could select Watson.

Throughout the offseason, Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien have stressed how difficult it is for a rookie quarterback to play right away in the NFL because there is so much to learn. Because of this, the Texans hope to give Watson time to develop before he becomes a starter.

“Our mentality is that we try to create the most competitive environment possible, at every position,” Smith said. “So there are some things that Deshaun has to come in and learn — all these rookies. They’ve got to come in, and there’s so much that they don’t know about pro football.

“So he is in the class with the rest of those men when they report next week. There’s a lot for him to learn that way.”