WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia – The Texans have reported for training camp in White Sulphur Springs with a focus on a turnaround season in 2018 following their disappointing 4-12 campaign in 2017.
While it was a major setback, key injuries were a part of the downfall.
Now it’s a new year and with that, no excuses.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was pleased with Thursday’s first camp practice, which lasted just over two hours, at The Greenbrier Resort complex.
“Everybody showed up in shape. It’s a great group of guys. Really just trying to get better every day,” O’Brien said.
“It’s not real football yet with no pads on, but that will come on Saturday.”
Among the key storylines on day one and throughout camp is the status of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is back after tearing his ACL last season.
He went through all of the drills leading the offense in the first workout.
“We are monitoring his reps. We are not going to try to overcook him here early on. We know that he’s nine months out from an ACL,” O’Brien said. “We communicate a lot. Got some really good quality reps in today but there are some things we have to clean up.”
Last summer at this time, Watson was a rookie playing behind Tom Savage. Now he’ll enjoy the benefits of being the starter for a full training camp.
“It’s good, he will get the number one reps," O’Brien said. “Right now, though, we are trying to get all four quarterbacks reps in workouts.”
Coming off a 12-loss season, general manager Brian Gaine said this Texans team should be humble and hungry. O’Brien was asked about that after Thursday’s practice.
“I think we have confidence. We don’t think about last year. We are focused on today and tomorrow,” said O’Brien. “This team is hungry. This team is a confident team.
This team just needs to continue to put the work in and try to get better each and every day. We are a team I think has good chemistry.”
Being back at The Greenbrier for a second year is also a benefit for the team.
“We love The Greenbrier. I think it gives us an opportunity to get away and just kind of be on our own out here and develop some chemistry. The Greenbrier people are awesome. I can’t say enough about how they treat us here, and the facilities are great, field looks great. We are excited to be here,” O’Brien said.