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OTA Day 5 Observations

Posted Jun 3, 2014

Texans Analyst John Harris described how the team is going through a daily, incremental growth process.

One of the most helpful aspects of being out at practice each and every day is seeing the progress, minute though it can be, of a professional football team. As tough as it is to think of a bunch of pros improving on a daily basis, it's a fact of life in all of our occupations.

Think about it: the light went on for you at some point in your current job, right?

Maybe you woke up one day and finally mastered the forklift.

Perhaps it was the day when Sarbanes-Oxley read more like the daily newspaper instead of 17th century Canterbury Tales.

It could be that day when you finally found that one "just right" thing to say to your student to get him or her to understand the Pythagorean theorem.

Because they're athletes, professional ones at that, it's hard to think they don't walk into a building programmed for use like a Mac or PC. Seeing that process up close and personal, in any walk of life, is fascinating. Especially in this realm which I, and many others, love.

One of the ways to measure that progress is through the understanding of the playbook and the absorption of the daily scheme installation. What makes the installation of these schemes even more intriguing is that everyone is learning the same scheme together. Rookies can help vets, just as vets can help rookies. Of course, vets have an upper hand given their experience against other NFL competition.

A great example of that was during Tuesday's OTA. The offense was working through the installation of a particular series of plays. As coach George Godsey talked through a teaching point with the backfield, left tackle Duane Brown looked over his shoulder to head coach Bill O'Brien for clarification on his technique on that particular play. A rookie wouldn't know to ask that question but given Duane's experience, he knew to ask. Those are the things you can see that are so interesting as it pertains to the installation of an NFL scheme.

If you just listen, you can hear how complex an NFL scheme can be. This week, in particular, I noticed the amount of time it takes for Godsey to call out a play. Watch the play and most people think "well, what took so long to call a handoff?". There are so many aspects in Godsey's rhetoric that it's so much more than just a handoff. As such, learning what each term means and how said term can be changed, if needed, makes this a fascinating time in an NFL team's progress and growth.

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