The Houston Texans finished up day two in full pads on Saturday with a focus on the “big guys”. Houston’s offensive line was much discussed coming into last season after giving up a league-high 62 sacks.
The defensive line, led by J.J. Watt for the better part of a decade, has been long been a key to Houston’s success.
Here’s a look at three of the most interesting things said in Texans interviews Saturday.
TUNSIL WANTS TO WORK ON HIS PENALTY ISSUE
Laremy Tunsil, the Texans’ highest-paid-in-the-NFL left tackle, also led the league in false starts and offensive lineman penalties (14 false starts, 17 penalties overall). Tunsil is well aware that must be an area of improvement.
“I’m going to go ahead and throw this out there – my main goal is to fix the penalties I had last year,” said Tunsil. “That was one of the main things I wanted to work on and work with Deshaun (Watson) this offseason. The moral of the story is just I want to improve. I want to keep improving every year that I have. I’m going into my fifth year. I want it to be just one of the best seasons I ever had.”
PLAYERS REACT TO MISSING FANS AT THE HOME OPENER
The Texans will not have fans at NRG Stadium in the month of September, leaving the Sept. 20 home opener against the Ravens fan-less. The team is still deciding what to do with the rest of the home games, but meanwhile, home game No. 1 will be missing something, according to the players.
“That’s sad news, but I understand the policy of COVID-19 and we want to keep everybody safe,” Tunsil said. “But not having those fans out there, that was one of our advantages is playing at home. But you know, you’ve got to keep everybody safe and social distance, which I understand. We just have to come bring our own juice and get it done.”
“The atmosphere is something we’re going to have to get used to,” said Defensive Tackle Brandon Dunn. “When they put the ball down, we all have to be ready. Let’s just keep it real. We have to be ready to play football. I know it’s a crazy situation and it’s a crazy time going on in the world. As a football player, you just have to block out the noise and the small things and figure out a way to get better because on Sept. 10, when we play, we’ve got to be ready to go.”
FILLING D.J. READER’S SPOT
The Texans let nose tackle D.J. Reader go in free agency, likely due to the team’s cap situation and Reader’s massive payday (four years/$53 million). Brandon Dunn talked about how to fill Reader’s role.
“It’s a culture that was set by everybody,” Dunn said. “The next man up, next guy up. The void will be filled. There’s no void. We’re just going to keep playing and keep pushing. We have goals of ours in our room that we’re striving to hit and we’re just going to keep getting better every day.”