After each of the first two voluntary, full-team OTA sessions, I spent a few hours writing up my observations. Without pads on, I don’t know that there are many more to make after day three. Well, any that I can share with the general populace. So with the conclusion of the first week of workouts, I figured I’d make a few other observations.
It’s May, graduation season and also the month for the time-honored ritual of receiving your school’s annual yearbook. That was a great day when you found out the yearbooks arrived, huh? When it did, one of the first things everyone did was to flip to the Surperlatives page. I know you remember it well.
Most likely to succeed.
Most likely to succeed was mine in junior high and high school. Every single year. Nothing like pressure from your peers for seven years running, huh?
Either way, I decided to wrap up the first week of OTA by handing out my own Houston Texans yearbook superlatives.
The award for BEST HAIR goes to…one of the newest Texans. Defenisve tackle Ricardo Mathews. If you’re standing behind him, good luck trying to figure out what his number is. Runners up are center Chris Myers and Mathews' position coach Bill Kollar.
The award for MOST LIKELY TO GET YELLED AT goes to…the linebackers. New linebackers coach Mike Vrabel is one heck of a teacher and it’s fascinating to watch him work every single day. But I’m not sure Mike is capable of having a conversation at any rate lower than 100% volume, not to mention the fact that he’s highly emotional all the time, which I love. Runner up is Bill O’Brien's iPod when he’s angry and needs to make a point to the entire team.
The award for BEST NEW ARRIVAL goes to…the blue silk footballs the running backs have been toting around during the individual portion of practice. If you haven’t seen these things, imagine the regular Wilson football, covered by a slippery, royal blue silk pair of spandex. That thing is difficult to handle and forces the running backs to carry the ball properly. Runner up is music during team periods.
The award for MOST MISSED AT PRACTICE goes to…segways.
The award for MOST FASHIONABLE goes to…safety D.J. Swearinger. Honestly, it’s no contest. Trying to find certain players on the field can be rough, but finding Swearinger is easy. Taped up, sleeveless jersey, socks on just right, battle red long sleeves under his jersey and locks flowing out of the back of his helmet. It’s hard to miss him. Runner up is offensive lineman Ben Jones who wears game pants to practice, every single day.
The award for MOST TALKATIVE TEXAN goes to…uh, no one really. Runner up is O’Brien, who seemingly loves meeting with the media every single day.
The award for MOST ATHLETIC goes to…nose tackle Jerrell Powe and it’s not even close. This guy is 330 lb., give or take a full fajita dinner or three and moves like a cat. You can take all the “4.3 in the 40” flyers you want, I’ll take the big fella that can move like his last buffet dinner is at risk. Runner up is Jadeveon Clowney and Jay Prosch.
The award for BEST BEACH BODY goes to…outside linebacker Trevardo Williams in a runaway. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this guy has negative body fat. He’s cut from a much different cloth than anything I’ve seen before. Runners up are all the quarterbacks.
The award for MOST SUPERSTITIOUS goes to…J.J. Watt for the elbow brace. Don’t get me wrong, I hope he wears that thing 24/7/365 to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself picking up steaks at HEB, much less in an OTA practice. Runner up is O’Brien and his towel.
The award for MOST IMPROVED goes to…wide receiver Alan Bonner. It’s not really fair that Bonner missed all of last year with an injury but through three days of practice, he’s made an impression on those watching and the coaching staff. Runner up is Shane Lechler (yes that’s tongue in cheek, if you’re asking. Not Bonner though, that’s legitimate)
The award for MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED goes to…the tight ends. Since O’Brien took over as the play caller/offensive coordinator in New England in 2009 through last year at Penn State, his tight ends have been major factors in the offense. It’s not been just one guy either. From Hernandez and Gronk in New England to Breneman and James at Penn State, it’s been a couple or more that have succeeded in this offense. Runner up is running back Arian Foster.
The award for MOST LIKELY TO FIGHT DURING TRAINING CAMP goes to…O’Brien. I wouldn’t try him, trust me, I’ve seen someone do it. Runners up are strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald and Deepi Sidhu. Do not even think about messing with either one of them.
The award for MOST LIKELY TO WRITE A STORY THAT GETS ALL MEDIA THROWN OUT OF PRACTICE goes to…nah, I’m leaving that one alone. But, I’ve got my eye on a few.
That’s all for now, hopefully you enjoy the rest of the yearbook, errr, season.