Sure it was the first day in pads but it was also a day for a bit of Texans Radio history as the head coach visited with us for an interview before practice.
This has never happened in any era of the Texans. Lovie Smith met with the officials then had a conversation with me and John Harris that we played 10 minutes later when we hit the airwaves at 8am. Awesome!
OK, back to football.
Smith, like everyone else, was looking forward to seeing his team wear full gear for the first time and the results did not disappoint. There were enough plays on both sides of the ball to declare the day a success. There was even some two-minute work at the end of the day.
It's a different camp for me because our show airs from 8-10am, the exact hours of practice. At several points I was standing on my chair so I could see some of the full team drills. To do this and not do some play by play is like putting a steak dinner in front of me and asking me to talk about dieting.
Good thing for me, Johnny watches all the practice video later so I can cheat off his paper (Did I say that out loud?).
I did sneak some results of the action onto the show. At one point we came back from a break and I was about to say the ball hadn't hit the ground yet but then came the first incompletion of the day. Not that there are too many.
I follow all the teams and the coverage they get. It cracks me up when media puts out QB stats and makes a big deal if a starting quarterback is throwing 60% or something like that. I can tell you that the percentage here is higher.
But that's not the only thing they're looking for. The offense wants to finish every drive across the goal line. They want to be physical with the ground game. They have a nice advantage in camp because no defender is 'blowing them up' as they head downfield. And the quarterbacks know that there's no actual physical threat in the backfield, just the facsimile of one.
Still, you can clearly see that Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton wants the ball out quickly. If there's nothing open, the QBs either faux-run or throw it to a spot where it's not going to be picked. He's doing his best to simulate game conditions.
The more I see the defense the more I think the added vets and rookies, and the fact that its year two with Lovie Smith, will make a huge difference in overall production. Smith's defenses in Chicago finished in the top five four times and averaged a top ten finish. The cream will float to the top.
If you've listened to the shows you already know how I feel about watching special teams practice. It's like when you go see your favorite classic rock band in concert and they say "And now we'd like to play some songs from our NEW album." I head for the concession stand.
But it's hard to ignore Frank Ross's passion and energy as he coaches his troops. He also does a heck of a job cutting hair in his spare time.
We'll be on the air from 8-10am on Sports Radio 610 through next Thursday with all the latest from camp. And, as always, Monday through Friday at 6pm.
Houston Texans Special Teams Coordinator, Frank Ross, has a longstanding tradition of cutting players and coaches hair in the locker room. This week, he took his skills outside the locker room and into the community by donating cuts to homeless men in Downtown Houston.