Davis Mills seeing, showing progress in offense

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Locher/AP/Shutterstock (13489125ak) Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, in Las Vegas Texans Raiders Football, Las Vegas, United States – 23 Oct 2022

Davis Mills seeing, showing progress in offense

Texans quarterback Davis Mills addressed the media Wednesday and talked about the improved play of the offense. Mills had his best game of the season Sunday against Las Vegas, and he stated that one of the biggest keys to the team’s offensive performance was their ability to convert on third down:

“I think the biggest thing is we did well as an offense this past Sunday was about converting those third downs, which allowed us to keep drives alive and move down the field. I think going into that, found check downs early on first and second down, which allowed us to stay in third-and-manageable for the first part of the game. Guys were making plays on the edges and allowed us to convert pretty easily.”

The Texans finished 9 of 15 on third down vs. the Raiders.

As far as how he has personally improved over the last few games, Mills kept it generic:

“The biggest thing is just growth in the offense. I’m not trying to do too much. I try to go out there and improve every week. If I’m not making progress, then something’s wrong. I’ve got to try and get better each day one percent and keep that moving the rest of the season.”

Mills broke down the touchdown pass to Philip Dorsett, who is in line for more playing time in the wake of Nico Collins’ injury:

“Obviously, we see a bunch of cover-2 in practice from our defense, so I’ve had reps at it since OTAs this past year and even some last year. So, it’s a familiar look to us as an offense. We’ve got a lot of reps at it. But just on that play, seeing and going through the progression. Low-high, the corner was staying down on Brandin (Cooks) that opened up Phil (Dorsett). He ran a good route to keep that safety flat-footed before he could make a break on it, and I was able to throw it on time. We trusted that we were both on the same page where he needed to end up, and I felt like my line gave me enough protection to make the throw, and he made a play.”

Mills described what he sees as Dorsett’s strengths:

“The big thing is speed and just consistency. (Phillip Dorsett) is a veteran in the league. He’s going to be in the right spot at the right time, knows defenses well, knows what he needs to do versus different looks to end up in the same spot based on we need from the concept. We can trust him in doing that, and he’s going to have the speed to get there.”

As far as how the offense will need to adjust to Collins’ absence, Mills relayed the changes he expects:

“It’s tough. I feel for Nico (Collins). He’s been playing extremely well. To go down; hopefully, he’ll be back soon. I think kind of replacing him by committee. We’re going to have guys moving around and have a lot of guys making plays. We’re going to ask a lot from all of our receivers to fill that role, but I think the guys are ready to step up in that position. Not even just receivers. We are able to use tight ends in the different personnel packages to fill the gaps we need from losing Nico. I’m excited for it. I think a lot of guys are ready to step up and make plays.”

Regarding tight ends, Mills elaborated on TE Jordan Akins and his contributions to the offense and why Mills likes to look for him:

“You love throwing to tight ends and running backs because a lot of times they’re matched up on non-coverage guys on the defense. Any time we can get an advantageous look with a matchup, especially with a guy like (Jordan) Akins, who can have a lot of speed through transition to separate at the catch point. It really helps you as an offense because you know you’re going to find a reliable target who’s going to be able to get open.”

Mills described what new WR Tyron Johnson brings to the offense:

“I think he’s going to help a lot. From going back and watching a little film on him and seeing him today, he’s able to take the top off a defense. He can fly. I’m excited for that, especially as we continue to develop the run game. I feel like we’ve been running downhill really well. It’s going to make defenses pack the box, and even if we show some kind of play action, they’re going to have to step up and respect the run. That will give him more time to get behind the defense, and we can lay the ball out there and get some big plays.”

Mills also stated the team still has a lot of plays in their bag of tricks that they haven’t shown yet:

“We have a ton of plays we haven’t shown yet, gameplan-wise and good-look-wise, that we check out of into something else. We’re going to continue to do that. Show the defenses a ton of different looks to make them respect it. Formationally, personnel-wise. We know that if we’re able to do a lot on offense, it makes the defense not be able to do a lot because they can’t have all of their different defensive calls to all of our personnel packages and formations because they have to respect each one individually. It kind of narrows what they can run as a defense, and it gives us an advantage on offense. That’s why we need to try and stay on the up, on the positive side of that matchup.”

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