Thursday, June 12, 2014
Clowney misses voluntary practice
By Tania Ganguli
Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney missed Thursday's organized team activities practice.
It's the ninth of 10 voluntary OTAs, with next week's minicamp a mandatory portion. The Texans did not address Clowney's absence on Thursday. Coach Bill O'Brien will address Clowney's absence on Friday. Quarterbacks coach George Godsey was available to media on Thursday in lieu of O'Brien.
Clowney signed a four-year deal worth more than $22 million last week, one full month earlier than any of the other three first overall picks signed their new deals under the current collective bargaining agreement. He has attended all of the Texans' voluntary workouts with the exception of those that fell during the NFLPA's rookie premiere. He and Texans quarterback Tom Savage were invited to that and were not allowed to be at the Texans' facility on those days.
"He’s really worked hard," O'Brien said of Clowney last week. "That position has worked extremely hard just like all the positions. I think he’s a guy that’s come in here and really put in extra time so far. He needs to keep doing it. He’s put in extra time in the training room to work on his flexibility. He’s put in extra time on the practice field. He’s being coached very well by [linebackers coach] Mike Vrabel and [defensive coordinator] Romeo Crennel."
The Texans have had pretty strong attendance so far at their programs, which have all been voluntary. One notable absence has been of Andre Johnson, the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver who is unsure if he still wants to remain in Houston. Johnson said last month that he would not attend OTAs or mandatory minicamp.
Rookie offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo, whom the Texans selected 33rd overall, has not been able to participate yet because of NFL rules. He went to UCLA, which is on the quarter system, so Su'a-Filo can't join the Texans for voluntary workouts until after his school's graduation.
Several players have also been working through injuries that have limited or prevented their participation so far -- most notably inside linebacker Brian Cushing and cornerback Johnathan Joseph.