Texans morning huddle: Clowney update, Watt naps
Well it is Thursday morning Texans fans and we inch closer to the start of the regular season. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some football that counts! Let’s see if today’s huddle can hold us over though;
Jadeveon Clowney admits rust, but gears up for Week 1 action – by Tania Ganguli of ESPN
"Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Wednesday that Jadeveon Clowney is on track to play in the team’s season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.“I think he’s doing well,” O’Brien said. “I think we’ve got a good plan in place for him from a medical perspective … little bit more every day. He wants to be in there more, which is a great sign. It means he’s probably feeling pretty good. … We’ll just keep inching him forward to be able to go in that first game.”Clowney, a second-year linebacker, returned to practice Aug. 17 after a lengthy recovery from microfracture surgery.“I’m having fun out there now,” he said. “Hitting everybody. Talking junk. That’s what I do. I love it.”Clowney will not play in the Texans’ third preseason game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints as the team follows a plan for his return dictated by its medical staff.“I’m rusty,” Clowney said. “I’m just trying to get as many reps as I can. Tell coach to put me in as much as possible. They’re not trying to rush me back. Working me in slowly. I’ll still be trying to get as many reps as I can so I can get ready for the game.”"
J.J. Watt naps at work, thinks everyone should – by Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com
"J.J. Watt is a fan of naps.“If you guys can get a bed in your workplace, go for it,” Watt said in his Wednesday press conference. “I advocate highly for naps in the workplace.”As seen in Tuesday night’s episode of “Hard Knocks,” Watt speaks from experience. Watt asked Mike Parson, Texans director of equipment services, if he could switch out an old sofa in the equipment room for a bed.“I said, ‘Is there enough room?’ and he went back there and measured,” Parson said.Over the summer, a queen-sized bed, boxspring, and bedding arrived. It’s not all just for Watt either, although the buyer of the bed definitely gets first dibs at it.“I kind of bought it with that idea in mind that there’s a bunch of guys that like to take naps, so basically as long as I’m not in it, it’s kind of free to whoever wants to,” Watt said. “Then if I show up, it just kind of depends.”Watt has offered the bed to the equipment staff and trainers too. They work long hours from morning until night, Watt says, and deserve some rest."
How did Uzoma Nwachukwu become EZ? – by Tania Ganguli of ESPN
"When the phone would ring at the house and someone asked for EZ, his mother would sometimes hang up the phone.As far as she was concerned, there was no one in her house named EZ. She named her son Uzoma.“My mom and my family’s probably the only people that call me my real name,” EZ Nwachukwu said.How did he get the nickname?“It came from my middle school football coach,” Nwachukwu said. “I’d like to say that he thought that I scored very easily on the field.”Or maybe because he was in the end zone so often?It sounded good, but he conceded: “I think it was just easier to say than my real name.”Nwachukwu will be featured on “Hard Knocks” tonight. He’s entering his third season with the Houston Texans after spending the first two on the Texans’ practice squad after playing college football at Texas A&M. He’s been a favorite target of all three Texans quarterbacks during training camp.Making the Texans roster as a receiver is an incredibly tall task this year. It’s one of the most loaded position groups the Texans have, with impressive overall depth. Even with an outstanding preseason, Nwachukwu could find himself the odd man out again. But he’s giving himself as good a chance as he can.“I think my study habits have improved,” Nwachukwu said. “Just looking at little details of routes. Not just what’s drawn on paper, but actually how to beat man coverage, zone coverage. Looking at the safeties, looking at the different coverages. Not just what’s drawn on paper but the actual game.”"
“Hard Knocks” Episode 3: Swennis, anyone? – by Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com
"“Hard Knocks” director and NFL Films producer Matt Dissinger said last night’s episode was one of his favorites.Not just this season, but ever.I now see why. We go from “Bang, bang, chicken, and shrimp” to seeing the O’Brien family celebrate Jack’s 13th birthday, one that is a huge milestone in their son’s life. But, I’ll get to that later.First things first though…SwennisIs it Swinnis? Swennis? It’s the made-up locker room sport that the former Texan A&M wide receivers Travis Labhart and EZ Nwachukwu play in their spare time with teammates. It’s a combination of soccer and tennis, i.e. volleyball with your feet. And a masking tape net, of course. How do they keep score? Is it like tennis or volleyball? Those Aggies are so darn crafty.Khari “O’Brien” LeePractice. Competition. Winning. Working hard. Expletives. Working hard in practice. Winning practice competitions. More expletives. Combinations of all of the above.Who knew that a 6-4, 235 pound, rookie out of Bowie State with a towel around his neck could do such an outstanding Bill O’Brien?Did anyone else notice that O’Brien mumbled an expletive under his breath when he realized what Lee was up to? You know when something is so funny you can’t breathe? That was O’Brien watching himself through the deadpan, steely glare of Lee.He didn’t let Jaelen Strong off the hook either. The rookie wide receiver gets yelled at by the fake O’Brien when the real one is in the back wiping tears from his eyes.Also a popular joke in the rookie skits, was the team watching J.J. Watt’s perfection on film as re-enacted by Lynden Trail and the defense."