In due time, I'm going to write plenty of training camp observations from the practice field. So, to get ready for training camp's opening day on Thursday, I thought I'd give you some "water cooler" nuggets on the eve of one of my favorite times of the year. You can drop these nuggets on people in a "do you know" fashion to impress for sure.
1. How often does an NFL roster turn over? Well, just 13 of the 83 players that'll start training camp on Thursday were in Texans training camp the last time it was held in Houston.
2. On that same note, 51 of the 83 that'll start camp on Thursday were still in college the last time the Texans held training camp in Houston.
3. No quarterback room in the NFL has more combined national championships than the Texans. In fact, Deshaun Watson and A.J. McCarron account for as many as the rest of the league.
Texans (3) - A.J. McCarron (2), Deshaun Watson (1)
Panthers - Cam Newton (1)
Buccaneers - Jameis Winston (1)
Chargers - Cardale Jones (1)
4. Since 2012, undrafted rookies have made an impact on the roster, including a few that made the 53 immediately out of training camp. Will a youngster be added to this group in 2019?
2014 - Max Bullough
2015 - Greg Mancz, Kurtis Drummond, Kendall Lamm
2016 - Joel Heath, Brennan Scarlett, Kai'mi Fairbairn, Stephen Anderson, Ufomba Kamalu
2017 - Dylan Cole
2018 - Trevor Daniel, Vyncint Smith
Of course, one of the greatest Texans of all-time was a college free agent. Running back Arian Foster is the team's all-time leading rusher after going undrafted in 2009.
5. The Texans enter training camp for the first time since 2013 with the same quarterback-center combination from the previous season. In 2013, center Chris Myers and quarterback Matt Schaub began their sixth season together. Since then…
2014 - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Myers
2015 - Brian Hoyer, Ben Jones
2016 - Brock Osweiler, Greg Mancz
2017 - Tom Savage, Nick Martin
2018 - Watson, Martin
2019 - Watson, Martin
6. Speaking of quarterbacks...in 2019, the Texans will face every active league MVP quarterback dating back to 2007, including Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who they'll face in scrimmage/preseason Week 1.
2007 - Patriots Tom Brady (Week 13)
2008 - (Retired) Peyton Manning
2009 - Manning
2010 - Brady
2011 - Rodgers (Preseason Week 1)
2012 – RB Adrian Peterson
2013 - Manning
2014 - Rodgers
2015 - Panthers Cam Newton (Week 4)
2016 - Falcons Matt Ryan (Week 5)
2017 - Brady
2018 - Chiefs Patrick Mahomes (Week 6)
7. The Texans still have a relatively young offense. There is only one player on the current roster that's spent 10 years or more in the league - Joe Webb. There's no projected offensive starter with more than eight years in the league. Running back Lamar Miller is entering his eighth year in the league, as is newly-signed offensive tackle Matt Kalil.
8. With the addition of defensive back Bradley Roby in the offseason, the Texans added a player with a Super Bowl ring and he's the only player with one. Roby earned that ring in his second year with the Broncos in 2015. I truly wouldn't mind seeing this number increased about 50 fold following the 2019 season.
9. The Texans now have six players that played their high school ball or spent their formative years in Houston. Rookies Floyd Allen, Cullen Gillaspia, Ira Savage-Lewis and Javi Edwards join D'Onta Foreman and Duke Ejiofor (unfortunately on IR) in the Houston Homeboy Club, a fictitious club that should actually exist.
10. Last year, receiver Vyncint Smith was a rookie from the most obscure university/college on the roster. Not many knew much about Limestone College. So, this year's "player from obscure university/college" is rookie offensive lineman D.J. Coker from Rhodes College. Now, I know where it is because I had one of my players play there, but without using Google, do you have any clue where Rhodes College is?
11. Not surprisingly, the Texans have five Tigers from Clemson, which is the most-represented university on the roster (Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, D.J. Reader, Carlos Watkins and rookie Albert Huggins). Next is Stanford with four, all defensive players - Johnson Bademosi, Peter Kalambayi, Justin Reid and Brennan Scarlett.
12. The Texans play the Packers in the first week of the preseason, on August 8th at Lambeau Field. For the next two months, the Texans play outside just once and that's at Los Angeles in Week 3.
PS Week 2 - NRG (Inside)
PS Week 3 - Jerry World (Inside)
PS Week 4 - NRG (Inside)
Week 1 - Mercedes Benz Superdome (Inside)
Week 2 - NRG (Inside)
Week 3 - Los Angeles - (Outside in Southern California weather)
Week 4 - NRG (Inside)
Week 5 - NRG (Inside)
Week 6 - Arrowhead (Outside)
Week 7 - Lucas Oil (Inside)
Week 8 - NRG (Inside)
Week 9 - London - Uh, outside the US.
Week 10 - Open Week
Week 11 - Baltimore (Outside)
Take it a step further, after that Packers preseason game, the Texans play outside just twice on American soil until November 17, 2019 when they go to Baltimore for a matchup with the Ravens. And, one of those is that game at Los Angeles, which should provide typical beautiful southern California weather.
13. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph will begin his 14th training camp. His first one occurred before anyone ever knew what social media was and none of us had this smartphone "thing" in our pocket.
14. The Texans added a punter on Tuesday - Bryan Anger, formerly of the Jaguars and the Buccaneers. The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him in the third round in 2012, as he was drafted six spots ahead of some guy named Russell Wilson.
Okay, so those are just a few "did you know" nuggets to get you ready for training camp and this season. Be sure to check back tomorrow for my first Harris Hits of the new year. See ya then, everyone.