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3 key training camp battles to watch for Texans

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during the team's organized team activity at its NFL football training facility Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)
(AP Photo/Bob Levey)

The Houston Texans will enter the 2017 NFL season with a few question marks and plenty of intrigue surrounding their roster. Even more importantly, the Texans may have one of the most interesting training camp battles to watch for in the entire NFL. While Houston pushes for its third-straight AFC South title, let’s breakdown a few of their biggest battles heading into camp that fans should keep an eye on.

Deshaun Watson vs. Tom Savage

Possibly one of the most followed training camp competitions in the NFL. While Savage isn’t a big name, the fact that Watson was such a highly-touted player entering the 2017 NFL Draft does more than enough to build the hype here. While it’s hard to envision any world where Savage winds up starting the entire season for the Texans, he may be able to do enough to hold off Watson from taking his job right out of the gate.

Then again, Watson is a guy who just knows how to win, and that’s something that’s hard to ignore. Over his final two seasons with the Clemson Tigers, he lost just two games, and one of them was the National Championship in 2015 to the Alabama Crimson Tide. He also threw for over 10,100 yards and scored 116 combined passing and rushing touchdowns in his entire collegiate career.

This one could go either way, and it will come down to training camp and the preseason games.

Chris Clark vs. Breno Giacomini

To be clear, Clark is certainly the early favorite to win the right tackle job over the newly-signed Breno Giacomini. Part of that has to do with the fact that Giacomini dealt with back issues that wound up with him not sticking with the New York Jets. But, after starting 16 games in back-to-back season for the Jets, Giacomini has shown that when healthy, he’s a viable starter. Tack on the fact that Clark struggled at times last year, and it could open the door for the new tackle.

It’s also worth noting that fourth-round draft pick Julie’n Davenport could make a bit of a push for this job, but it’s more realistic that he’ll be a long-term answer for the Texans. Even still, if he does manage to push his way ahead of both the names above, that’d be a nice surprise for a group that would love to see the boost.

Alfred Blue vs. D’Onta Foreman

This competition may prove to be one that’s not worth talking about much, depending on how things with Foreman’s off-field issue goes. As ESPN reported, Foreman was arrested on marijuana and weapon charges, both of which are misdemeanors. But, if Foreman is able to get this cleared up and winds up playing right away, he could certainly take over the No. 2 running back job from Alfred Blue, who’s struggled to really grab hold of his job throughout the past few seasons.

Foreman was exceptional in 2016 for the Texas Longhorns, averaging 6.3 yards per carry with 2,028 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. If he can bring even a little of that in a backup role to Lamar Miller, he’d be a welcomed addition. As for Blue, he had his best career year from a yard-per-carry standpoint, averaging 4.2 yards, and has just five career total touchdowns. It’s hard to not like Foreman’s chances in this camp battle.

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