Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak held his first training camp practice of the summer Friday morning, where he told the assembled media, “I thought it was good.”
The Texans entering the camp are looking to win their third consecutive AFC South title, coming off regular-season records of 10-6 and 12-4. In both of those seasons, the Texans also won in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, only to see their season end in the divisional round.
As for this camp, Kubiak spoke about practice one.
“I thought it was good, liked the conditioning,” he said to the media in Houston. “I like the way we came back, good sense of urgency. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of … well, for a first day out, we’ve got quite a few guys that are limited or have something going on. We’ve got to bring them along the right way, but I like the conditioning of the team, good start.”
Arian Foster, a cornerstone of the Texans’ running game, along with rushing for 1,400-plus yards last season, begins the camp on the PUP list, and Kubiak spoke about the current situation of Foster.
“He’s doing really good,” the head coach said. “A little bit of a surprise to me because I thought he’d be ready to go, but Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) and they just think he needs a few days with them to work into the routine. But he’s had a good summer; he’s been here every day. I expect him back pretty quickly.”
One letdown entering camp was the weight issue of outside linebacker Sam Montgomery, who was removed from the NFI list (active/non-football injury list) due to the issue on Thursday. Kubiak spoke of the condition of the Montgomery.
“We didn’t like the condition he came back in, but he made up a lot of ground the last few days,” Kubiak said. “He was ready to go back out (and) tweaked his ankle a little bit today, so Sam’s just got to stay in one piece … we’ve just got to keep him healthy.”
One spot in camp to watch closely is the linebacker position, especially Brooks Reed, who is returning from a ’12 injury. Reed practiced with the inside linebackers at OTAs, but now has since been moved back to the outside linebacker spot on the first day of camp.
“First off, we thought if he’s going to get reps inside, let’s do it in the offseason,” the head coach said. “The second thing, I think, one of the biggest things is Sharp (ILB Darryl Sharpton) had such a great OTAs or spring, that it was easy for Brooks to go back.
“As you can see, you never know how that can change again, but we know one thing, he’s going to be somewhere and he can play both spots.”
Speaking of Sharpton, he’s not practicing now due to being placed on the NFI list, Thursday. Kubiak answered questions on the depth at inside linebacker in Sharpton’s absence.
“I think the concern would be, we’ve got to bring Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) along the right way, so Cush’s pattern is not going to change,” Kubiak said Friday morning. “How much time is Sharp going to miss? All of a sudden, yeah, it could be a concern, but as of today, we’re fine. We’ve got to work through it, but if it gets going for a while, it could be. Yes, it could.”
(All quotes provided by Houston Texans transcripts at houstontexans.com.)