Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt warms up. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:23:25 PM
Pregame personnel update
By Jim McBride/Globe Staff
The Patriots sat 40 players against the Jaguars, but most of the healthy players were expected take snaps against the Texans. The one exception could have been Rob Gronkowski. Though the tight end is healthy and hasn’t missed any time during camp, he hasn’t played in a preseason game in years.
A lot of players who are expected to be major contributors this season were expected to sit out as they rehab injuries. Those falling into that category were expected to include running back Mike Gillislee, offensive tackle Nate Solder, linebacker Shea McClellin, special teams aces Matthew Slater and Brandon King, tight end Matt Lengel, and defensive end Deatrich Wise.
Additionally, linebacker Dont’a Hightower remains on the PUP list.
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:26:08 PM
Homecoming game for some Patriots
By Jim McBride
The trip back to Space City is homecoming for a lot of Patriots. Danny Amendola, Elandon Roberts, and Eric Rowe all are from the area.
“It’s always nice to go back to my hometown and play in front of my family,’’ said Rowe, who added that he hasn’t given Super Bowl LI much thought despite being back.
“My thoughts this time around are ‘How am I going to get better?’ ’’ said the cornerback. “This is a whole new team, new players, players in, players out. So it’s all about, ‘How am I going to create a role for myself this year?’ ’’
So far in camp, Rowe has seen a lot of reps as the slot/nickel corner and also on the outside. He started on the outside opposite Malcolm Butler as Stephon Gilmore didn’t participate in team drills Tuesday. The next day Gilmore returned and Rowe moved inside. Rowe has the skill set to be effective in both spots. He has the speed to cover on the edge and the long arms and quickness to line up in the slot.
“It’s not that difficult [to switch off]. You just have to have that mind-set,” said Rowe. “If they tell me I’m inside, it’s like, OK, I’ve got to get my inside mentality, now the slots have two-way go [meaning they can release inside or outside] and I have different assignments. But if you tell me I’m playing outside, it’s like, OK, now I’ve got the sideline for my help. It’s either like man, cover 2, cover 3. It’s a little bit simpler.’’
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:28:12 PM
Workers set up sideline communications at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:31:44 PM
By Jim MCBride/Globe Staff
Houston’s coaching staff is loaded with New England connections. In addition to head coach Bill O’Brien, who grew up in Andover and was a Patriot offensive coordinator, the Texans have Romeo Crennel (assistant head coach/defense), Mike Vrabel (defensive coordinator), Larry Izzo (special teams coordinator), and Wes Welker (offensive/special teams assistant) . . . Vrabel’s son, Tyler, has committed to Boston College for 2018. The 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pounder is an offensive tackle at St. Pius X in Houston. Brady told the older Vrabel that Tyler will “always have a place to come for dinner” when he gets back to Boston . . . The Texans’ Breno Giacomini is from Malden. The former standout Golden Tornado is battling for the backup right tackle spot . . . Houston tight end Ryan Griffin is from Londonderry, N.H., and played at UConn. Linebacker Sio Moore is a West Haven, Conn., native and played with Griffin at UConn.
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:33:16 PM
Tom Brady in warmups. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Globe Sports 8/19/2017 11:50:20 PM