Bill O'Brien has made it clear that two things he really likes about going to the Greenbrier are the weather and the fact that the team will be able to bond as they live together far from home.
One key difference will be practice times. The Texans will take the field a couple of hours later than they had to in Houston. There's been no word yet on when they will do second practices each day but O'Brien will likely address that on Wednesday.
Prior to the new collective bargaining agreement in 2011, you could have more of a pure two-a-day schedule in camp. But it wasn't exactly The Junction Boys or even the full padded two-a-days you hear so much about in the 70s and 80s.
Dom Capers always said he wanted two meals in the players' bellies between each practice. He would go with a morning and evening practice, followed by one afternoon practice the next day.
Evening practices were pretty much a regular thing at the Houston Methodist Training Center until Gary Kubiak dropped them midway through his tenure. I'll never forget the Broncos visiting in 2005 and practicing with the Texans under the lights. Jake Plummer and the Denver offense looked primed for an excellent run. I went back and told my wife "I think Denver might go for the Super Bowl based on what I saw tonight."
I was almost right. They lost in the AFC Championship game as the Texans went 2-14 and introduced that Denver offensive coordinator as their next head coach, Kubiak.
At the Greenbrier, the Patriots will pay a visit for a couple of days. Teams visiting Texans camp has been a staple. The Dolphins, Broncos, Falcons and Saints have all paid a visit. And the Raiders, with Al Davis 'coaching' from the sideline have also visited. There was even a scrimmage once with Miami at NRG Stadium in front of a big crowd.
But it's not the first time Houston has gone away to get some work in. The trips to New Orleans have been well publicized. And O'Brien's Texans have had sessions in Denver, San Francisco and against Washington in Richmond, Virginia, where a two-field pushing and shoving match broke out with the Hard Knocks cameras rolling.
Richmond wasn't exactly the Greenbrier but the temperature was notable. At one point, a north wind-aided rain storm blew in and it got downright chilly. O'Brien's comments about the weather made HBO. And many fans forget that in 2003, the Texans went to San Antonio for a scrimmage with Dallas. Can you imagine? We were hoping it would be a regular thing. Andre Johnson was getting his first taste of NFL competition. And a young quarterback named Tony Romo was making his rookie debut.
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The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 3/2/2021)