Monday was a memorable day for J.J. Watt.
The defensive end was back home in Wisconsin, two hours north of his hometown of Pewaukee, and practicing in Green Bay against the team for which he grew up cheering.
It was also a memorable day for rookie offensive lineman Max Scharping, who played his high school ball a few miles away from Lambeau Field at Green Bay's Southwest.
That duo, and the bulk of their Texans teammates took part in riding a local child's bike from the stadium to the practice field. There were big smiles on their faces, as well as on the faces of the children who loaned them a ride. Even the one who's bike lost a seat because of Watt.
“The bike that I was using was not equipped for a 290-pound man, and the seat broke off," Watt said. "We have purchased a new bike for the boy. So, I apologize for that. But it was cool. It’s one of the coolest traditions."
Scharping, meanwhile, had his parents, his godmother, and a few more friends and family at practice. Like Watt, Monday was an extra-special day for him.
"It had training wheels, that's how small it was," Scharping said. "It was fun. It's amazing to be back home, love the weather here, and a great opportunity to play against a great team."
Head coach Bill O'Brien enjoyed the experience as well, and was happy to see so many Texans fans in attendance.
"It was good to see all of the jerseys," O'Brien said. "I saw, obviously, a lot of 99 jerseys, some 10 jerseys, some four jerseys. Saw some Clemson four jerseys. So, that was good. But yeah, it's exciting. They have a great fan base here. The tradition of the bikes and everything, it was a very cool morning.”
Watt said his groin tightened up, so he left practice early as a precaution. Nevertheless, Monday's experience for him was unforgettable.
"I literally dreamt about this as a kid, so to be able to practice on these fields that I watched Brett Favre practice on, there’s not going to be too many days like this in my career," Watt said. "I’m very thankful and grateful that I got to have it.”
Check out some of the best shots from Day 8 of training camp in Houston.