Training camp is meant to be uncomfortable.
Two-hour practices held in Houston's stifling, triple-digit heat index helped. Players secluded in a nearby hotel, away from families and significant others, also made everyone irritable. Days were long, filled with meetings, practices, walk-throughs, and more meetings.
When his teammates fell into bed each night exhausted, Ryan Fitzpatrick decided to add to the ambience and have some fun.
"Me and Fitz shared a conjoining door at the hotel," Chris Myers recalled. "I got back about ten minutes before he did every single night. I'd be laying in bed and eating my snack and then all of a sudden, you hear down the hallway, '180! 180!' (Fitzpatrick) just going through all the different cadences. It was just something that everyone on that floor, even the floor below, heard it. He'd wake everyone up with his cadences."
"That was funny," Shane Lechler said, laughing. "At first I didn't know what it was but he was in there practicing his snap counts. He wasn't practicing, he was being comical."
Lechler added that he often heard teammates ask Fitzpatrick to please "in their own words – to shut up."
Fitzpatrick admits that it all started as a joke, but he really "got into it" every night.
"This team has a lot of fun together," Fitzpatrick said. "I think it's a good group of guys so there's a lot of lasting memories whether it's from training camp or throughout the season that I'll remember forever."
Looking back now, players recall these moments from those grueling days of camp with a fondness. From Fitzpatrick's wake-up call to playing putt-putt golf in the hallways, everyone bonded. After the Texans final game of the season, Andre Johnson reflected on how the season began and how it affected team camaraderie in the months that followed.
"When you look back on it, it was a lot of fun," Andre Johnson said. "It was different, but it was a lot of fun. I think it helped everybody buy in to what was going on around here."