Dear (insert organization here),
Welcome! I'm sure there are plenty of you wondering why I didn't greet you with some other stereotypical Texas saying like "What's up, buckeroo?" or "Howdy" but unbeknownst to most, we just usually say hello...or welcome in this case.
As it was announced today that the Houston Texans will be featured on Hard Knocks, I wanted to, well, help out, so to speak. We are a friendly group down in Houston. Most of you may think that Hard Knocks will turn into JJ WATT...and the rest of the Houston Texans and that's legitimate thinking, in some sense, given what Watt has become. But, there's more here than at first glance.
What about the first true QB competition, heading into training camp, in team history - Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer and Tom
Savage? David Carr was drafted to be the QB in 2002. Matt Schaub was signed in 2007. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a clear leg up on the competition heading into 2014 training camp and was the clear starter. This year? Wide open with three ultra-competitive gunslingers, two of which have history playing together prior to being in Houston - Mallett and Hoyer.
The on-going rehab and re-emergence of Jadeveon Clowney, the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. He starred on Hard Knocks last year...as he embarrassed Atlanta OL on consecutive plays in the team's pre-season win over the Falcons. If there's a player that resonates nationally, outside of Watt, it's that guy and he's attempting to rebound from microfracture knee surgery.
The addition of former Patriot DT Vince Wilfork, one of the most interesting and important additions, is another story worth following. After two rings and a decade plus in New England, Wilfork signed with the Texans to bolster an already strong front seven. You knew that though, right? Watt, Jared Crick, Wilfork, Brian Cushing, Whitney Mercilus, Clowney and son on? Thought so.
And, Wilfork's former teammate and current Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel is worth an episode nearly on his own.
You also know Arian Foster, right? Of course you do. But, do you know he can play the piano? How about dueling running back piano players - Foster and Jonathan Grimes?
Cornerback Jumal Rolle isn't a household name but he was an instrumental piece in the secondary, joining the team in October 2014 last year. The story of his two year old son is wonderful and heartwarming.
Of course, special teams players never get any love, other than for buying shake weights for the entire team (Jets 2010). But, it'll be worth the price of admission to mic up punter Shane Lechler during a practice. Trust me. Fort Bend County represent, yo (I'm from there too, so I'm a little biased)!!
OL Ben Jones? Country boy made good. Give him a selfie stick and record the next six minutes of fun during a training camp practice.
Rahim Moore signed in Houston in the off-season and joined one of his off-season friends Kareem Jackson. The two have worked out together for years and are now teammates in Houston.
And, yeah, there's Watt. He's a star for a reason. A good reason.
Last and certainly not least, there's Bill O'Brien...well, let...yeah...he's going to be terrible and you shouldn't mic him up as much as possible. (Just in case he reads this...between you and I, he's going to steal the show with his commentary on just about everything. But, I'm staying quiet - he knows where I live).
So, there you have it, a litany of stories that the HBO and NFL Films crews could unearth along the way. It'll be a ride that's for sure, but this is your little cheat sheet for the time being. See ya' soon.
Your longtime friend,