For the first time as head coach, Bill O'Brien won't get to see his team practice against another NFL squad during training camp.
Because of COVID-19, the NFL decided in the past few weeks that teams will be restricted from practicing with each other during camp. O'Brien, who was hired by the Texans in early January of 2014, had always arranged a joint practice with at least one other team in each of the last six training camps. Previously, O'Brien has explained why he enjoys the joint practices.
"It breaks up the monotony of training camp," O'Brien said in 2017. "You're able to see your own players against different schemes instead of seeing the same scheme, day in and day out."
The on-field benefits weren't the only positives, in the opinion of O'Brien. He thinks the team's personnel staff gained quite a bit from it as well.
"You're able to see how other teams do things," O'Brien said. "You're able to see how your roster compares to another team's roster, and vice-versa. I think it's great for our scouting staff to be able to watch another team up close like that."
The Texans are scheduled to open their preseason with a game at Minnesota on August 14. They following two Saturdays they'll host the Seahawks and then play at the Saints in New Orleans, before concluding the preseason at home against the Cowboys on Thursday, September 3.
Below is a list of the teams the Texans have practiced against since the 2014 preseason.
|YEAR||JOINT PRACTICE TEAM (LOCATION)|
|2014||DENVER BRONCOS (ENGLEWOOD, CO)|
|2014||ATLANTA FALCONS (HOUSTON, TX)|
|2015||WASHINGTON REDSKINS (RICHMOND, VA)|
|2016||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (SANTA CLARA, CA)|
|2016||NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (HOUSTON, TX)|
|2017||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (GREENBRIER, WV)|
|2017||NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (METAIRIE, LA)|
|2018||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (HOUSTON, TX)|
|2019||GREEN BAY PACKERS (GREEN BAY, WI)|
|2019||DETROIT LIONS (HOUSTON, TX)|