How do you make a great day when good players in sweat pants and sitting out? Just ask Coach Bill O’Brien. “I think the acclimation period really helps. You kind of ramp it up from shells to pads, from conditioning to shells to pads.” That’s the key, pads. You cannot learn the game of football walking through and you cannot evaluate talent unless said talent is actually getting it done. For those interested, once the team goes inside the bubble they work on special teams, discuss the good and bad of the day work on things that have to get fixed. They also go over what tomorrow will bring and where the focus is at.
Now, for the new lineman, you cannot ask for a greater test of manhood then to line up across from J.J. Watt. Imagine your work day is running around a field in muggy old Houston and then oh yeah, #99 is going to teach how much you still have to learn about football for a few hours. Unlike other teams, that’s just one three hour period… this is your work day for the next month. Get up, eat, muggy Houston, J.J. Watt. On the bright side, they’re learning from the best.
Andre Johnson was sidelined, but it’s more precautionary “It just got a little tight” rather then anything serious. For now, no one is worried and we should leave at that. When asked about, and I’m sure the veterans are going to tire of this, the difference between a Kubiak practice and an O’Brien practice Johnson replied “He does things differently, a lot more intense. Gary (Kubiak) was a lot more laid back, but it’s still football.” We’ve heard all during the spring O’Brien was more intense a coach. Andre merely made it official.
Two Texas A&M graduates were out trying to impress the coaches enough to land a spot on the 53 man roster. EZ Nwachukwu and Travis Labhart. Last year Nwachukwu spent the season on the practice squad and this year Labhart signed as an undrafted rookie. This is going to be a tough hill for the two as the Texans have a bevy of players ahead of them. As a sign of just how much a year can make for a player, when asked about how important it is to learn the details of route running is in the NFL versus college, he replied: “I think so. Because coming from (Texas) A&M, on some plays you can just go out there and use your athletic ability. You can win routes, but out here, you know, you’ve got guys like J-Jo (Johnathan Joseph) and K-Jack (Kareem Jackson), and if you do that you’re probably going to be in the sand somewhere.” A good sign he’s matured and will have a good shot at impressing the coaches, maybe enough to make the 53 man roster this season.
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*Quotes provided courtesy of the Houston Texans PR Department.