Of course Saturday night's preseason opener is big for the players. But it's also an important first step for the coaches, as they want their whole operation to be fine-tuned for the regular season opener against Indianapolis on September 11.
"We're already getting ready for Indy." Smith told us on Texans Radio. "For us, we're a new staff. Everything – preparation, who's up in the press box, communication, down and distance, trainers' communication with the guys who are hurt. All the things you need to get ready for in a football game."
But Smith's staff won't wait until Saturday to work on being smooth in game operations. The team plans on practicing on the NRG Stadium field on Thursday night.
"We'll go through an entire pregame all the way up until going in at halftime."
As far as Texans Camp goes, it's been two weeks of tough practices. Just the way Smith likes it.
"It's hard and you want it to be hard. That's the reason why we're not doing it." The coach joked to me and John Harris.
"We have some guys who have never made it through a full training camp, make it. It's a grind. I love when the guys see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're growing. You can tell an awful lot right now."
The coaches are looking to see what players can keep the intensity going day after day. "You know, first day of training camp, it's kind of like the wedding. Everybody's excited. Then after a few years of marriage, do you still have that same excitement? That's what we're looking for."
Chapter one of the preseason is about to end. Once you hit game one, time starts to fly. And this year, there will be five cuts made next week. Jobs are always on the line but having to trim the roster after week one of the preseason certainly adds to the pressure.
Saturday's game is live at 7 on ABC 13, Sports Radio 610 and The Bull 1003 FM. It's the first chance to really see what this squad might look like and we'll all be watching.