Texans players got some brand new gear in their lockers on Friday: Letterman jackets.
Nose tackle Shaun Cody came up with the idea. He told his best friend, outside linebacker Connor Barwin, who immediately loved it. Texans director of equipment services Jay Brunetti arranged for the jackets to be delivered on short notice.
"The jackets turned out awesome," Barwin said Friday as he modeled his for a group of reporters at Reliant Stadium. "We've got a great group of guys. Anything that represents the camaraderie of this team, guys are excited about, and that's exactly what the jacket does."
Barwin said he hopes for the entire team to wear the jackets when they travel to New England on Sunday morning.
"We have a dress code," Barwin said. "The idea is to wear them on the trip to New England -- everybody's going to wear them on the plane, on the trip to New England, on the bus. (I'm) pushing for khaki pants, white shirt, blue tie, jacket, so it looks like we're about to get on a yellow bus with shoulder pads in our hands."
The jackets are predominantly Deep Steel Blue with the Texans' logo over the left breast. On the right sleeve just above the elbow is each player's number stacked on top of his position group – LB, DL, DB, WR, etc. – in white lettering with red outline. Barwin said the jackets will soon have patches on the left arm to commemorate the Texans' 2011 AFC South title for players who were on the team last season. Captains also will get patches on the left sleeve.
The Texans will add more patches for any future division titles and conference and Super Bowl championships. The idea is to "kind of build a tradition the longer you're here, the more patches you get on your jacket," Barwin said.
Every single player on the team – offense, defense and special teams – got a jacket. Newly-signed cornerback Stanford Routt is the only player without one, but Barwin said Routt has put in his order and will get one soon.
"This is obviously something that you only get if you're on the team," Barwin said. "We want it to be just for us guys, but obviously, we can't stop people from making their own."
Barwin said the way the entire team embraced the idea of the jackets – dozens of players proudly wore theirs in the Texans' locker room on Friday – is a sign of the team's camaraderie.
"I used to say before the season it feels like we're on a college team," Barwin said. "Everybody gets along. We have so much fun. And this jacket, you feel like you're on a high school team where it's all about winning, it's all about being around a group of guys. This jacket is just another symbol of that."