The Texans have made a habit of flying around the country to tangle with NFL teams during training camp. Today, they'll get a day of prep work in against the San Francisco 49ers out in Santa Clara prior to the first preseason game of the year on Sunday. Each year's trip left us with some indelible moments to say the least.
Two years ago, the Texans traveled to Denver in advance of the team's third preseason game against the Broncos. The Texans had already primed the pump, if you will, by working out with the Atlanta Falcons the week prior. Furthermore, the Texans truly dominated day one which had Peyton Manning furious after practice speaking with the media.
So, by the second and third days of joint practice work, it got a bit chippy. Broncos corner Aqib Talib was all kinds of chatty, especially with DeAndre Hopkins, trying to get in his head and all. Hop was having none of it, which got the Broncos sideline all riled up. So, on the first play, the Texans threw to Hopkins who beat Talib for a first down. In typical Hopkins fashion, he didn't have much to say back and let his actions speak volumes.
In pass rush one-on-ones, the Broncos offensive linemen got after J.J. Watt a bunch after Watt had beaten them a few times. One of those that was in the fray, in some sense, was now current Texans offensive tackle Chris Clark.
The result of all of this was my favorite moment of that trip. Because there had been so much back and forth, even fairly level headed Manning lost his cool. During the actual game, he threw a touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders in the second quarter before exiting the game for good. Former Texans safety D.J. Swearinger who was never shy about voicing his opinion was in the vicinity of the play. Manning sprinted right up to him afterward and said something in D.J's ear and then ran off the field.
After the game, I walked up to D.J. and asked what Manning had said to him. Let's just say it was a two word directive and I can only print the second word. You. I'll let your mind run wild as to what the first word was. The funny thing was that D.J. just howled when I looked at him as if to say, he really said that?
"Yeah, man, really!"
We all know what happened at Bon Secours in Richmond, VA, as it was captured on Hard Knocks probably about as well as any pugilistic action has been on HBO. Again, that was three days of build-up to that moment or moments. The fights that became one big FIGHT. The Redskins DBs versus the Texans WR. Vince Wilfork's destruction of a Washington center. DeAngelo Hall and DeAndre Hopkins.
No doubt, each year has produced some memorable moments, but most importantly, camaraderie, teamwork and good football that's made the Texans better for the upcoming season. That's the hope for today. Let's have a good one...and only one.
Former star WR Randy Moss stopped by #TexansCamp practice on Tuesday.