Breaking down the Texans' kid receivers
August, 14, 2012
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesKeshawn Martin (82), DeVier Posey (11) and Lestar Jean (18) are being counted on to strengthen the Texans' passing game.HOUSTON -- One full-speed practice didn’t give me too much to judge the Texans' young receivers by.
But it’s not a secret that Keshawn Martin is the best of the three kids at this point, a notch ahead of DeVier Posey and Lestar Jean.
Houston’s counting on the three to give it options beyond Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter at receiver in the passing game.
Martin practiced with authority as the third guy Tuesday morning. He looks like he knows where to be and how to get there.
After practice, I spoke with quarterback Matt Schaub and defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, who’s coaching guys to defend these receivers.
They gave me mini-scouting reports -- all positives, of course -- on the trio.
Schaub: “He’s extremely quiet; he reminds me of Andre when I first got here. You couldn’t beat two words out of him. Same thing with Keshawn, but I like that about him. He’s just a worker. From the time he came in here, he doesn’t say anything -- a couple things here and there maybe -- but he does the right things, he’s in the right spots. It’s almost like he’s a third- or fourth-year veteran. He understands what we are doing. He gets lined up, he knows his routes, he knows his adjustments. He doesn’t have hardly any MAs [missed assignments], which is odd for a young receiver. You don’t see that because we ask our receivers to do some much in the pass and run game. We’re excited about what he brings after the catch. He’s got catch-and-run ability and an ability to separate from DBs. He’s got confidence with his hands, he attacks the ball with his hands; he’s not a body catcher.
Joseph: “From Day 1, he showed up to me. He’s got great feet, great quickness, great burst. It’s not too big for him, he’s a great worker. He can catch the ball in traffic. Keshawn Martin is an NFL receiver.”
My thoughts: That ability to find yards after the catch is big -- it fits in with Johnson, tight end Owen Daniels and running back Arian Foster as pass-catchers and is a big key for the Texans when the offense is really clicking.
Schaub: “He’s a big-body guy. He fits the mold for the outside type receiver in our scheme. He’s coming along with all of his adjustments and assignments. But he’s very bright. He’s one f the hardest working young players that we have. He’s out there early catching balls, he stays late catching balls. You like that about him, because he has that want-to, to achieve the most he can out of himself and he knows he can help us. We know he can help us. That’s why we play preseason and training camp, because we need to get him there.”
Joseph: “Posey’s got all the physical gifts you want from a guy. He hasn’t played football in a whole year, almost [because of a suspension at Ohio State[. He’s coming along. He’s playing so much faster than he did in the spring.”
My thoughts: It sounds like he’s making progress. I think when they took him the Texans knew he might not explode from the start because of the minimal playing time in his final year in college.
Schaub: “He was coming on last year and unfortunately has his injury that took him out for the year. He’s got such a bright future for us. He’s a deceptively fast receiver. When you see him run on tape, you don’t think, ‘Man, he can run.’ When you put him in a route and there’s coverage, he pulls away from guys. I think one of his strengths is his ability to go up and get the ball and attack it with his hands. You give him a chance one-on-one downfield, he’s going to fight back and go up and get the ball. Find it at its highest point and take it off the rim. He’s a big body, he’s willing to take a hit and he’s very confident in his hands. We really like what he brings in our outside deep game.”
Joseph: “He’s a big body who can catch the ball in traffic.”
My thoughts: The way Schaub speaks of Jean’s speed is very interesting. Sure, they want to have guys running after the catch, but they also want to find home runs over the top. If Jean can be a guy to do that, he'll earn some snaps.