The Texans have a new wide receiver, and their current coaching staff knows quite a bit about him.
Pending a physical, Demaryius Thomas is heading to Houston, along with a 2019 seventh round pick, in exchange for a fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder in 2019. Head coach Bill O'Brien, on a conference call with Denver media before the trade happened, was asked about Thomas. O'Brien was very complimentary.
"When I watch him on film, and I've been watching him for a long time, since he was at Georgia Tech and since he's been in the NFL, he has excellent athletic skills, great hands, a really good route runner and a very smooth route runner," O'Brien said. "He's a tough guy to defend."
But O'Brien, General Manager Brian Gaine, and the Texans had more than just film at their disposal when they evaluated Thomas.
The Pro Bowl wideout will find former Broncos teammate Wes Welker employed as an offensive assistant. That duo played together in Denver in 2013 and 2014, combining to catch 325 passes for 4,291 yards and 37 touchdowns from Peyton Manning. That's two years together on the field, and two years together in meeting rooms and the locker room, preparing for opponents.
Also on staff in Houston now is Luke Richesson. The head strength and conditioning coach in Denver from 2012 through 2017, he was there during the peak years of Thomas' career as a Bronco. He's now the Senior Director of Sports Performance for Houston, and three of his assistants—Mike Eubanks, Jason George and Billy Voltaire—were with him in Denver working with Thomas and the Broncos in the weight room and on the field.
The strength staff is an integral part of any football team, and often sees players when they're pushed to their physical limits before and during the season. They have an intimate knowledge of the players physical and mental makeups.
With the intel available from Welker and Richesson and his staff, the Texans went into this deal well-armed with information about the player they'd acquire in Thomas.
Check out some of the best shots from WR Demaryius Thomas' NFL career. Photos via AP Images.