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Mini-camp underway


The Texans will likely practice just once more this offseason.

Mini-camp…literally: Originally this week's mini-camp was scheduled to run three days. However with 14 days of OTA's under their belts, the Texans will likely practice just one more day during this offseason's lone mini-camp.

Head coach Gary Kubiak revealed Monday after practice that the team will likely do something Wednesday, but it won't be football if practice goes well Tuesday.

"We're going to do something, it may not be football," Kubiak said of plans for Wednesday. "We might go swimming or bowling or something. We'll do something."

Fans often wonder the difference between OTA's and mini-camp. In truth, there is very little difference other than one is optional (OTA's) and one is required (mini-camp).

"It's not a lot different," Kubiak said."You can run a few more drills that you can't run during OTAs.

"I just ask the guys for a good 17 days of work and I feel really good about where we are right now. Tomorrow when I'm talking to you I want to know that everybody is in one piece. We're healthy…I want to have a good day tomorrow and then feel good about coming back in July."

Birthday boy: Amobi Okoye is no longer a teenager. Okoye celebrated his 20th birthday Sunday and Kubiak gave his top 2007 draft choice a call to send him birthday wishes.

"It's amazing to be that young with what we're asking of him," Kubiak said. "It's a big year for him and we have got to do a good job as an organization too because he's such a young man of bringing him along the right way and doing everything we can to help him become a pro. Hopefully he'll be here a long, long time."

No matter how long he plays in Houston, Okoye believes his age will remain a hot topic.

"It's probably going to be there until I have grandkids," Okoye joked.

In a rush: Okoye is just one part of a defensive line that is expected to generate a lot of pressure this season without blitzing. Houston was able to get to the opposing quarterback last year, but many times it came at the cost of sacrificing men in coverage.

This season, Kubiak believes the Texans will be able to generate pressure without taking huge risks.

"I think one of the things is we've got a player inside right now with Amobi, that, if you go back and look at some of the things we did last year stunt wise and those type of things, where we weren't quite getting there," Kubiak said.

"I look at him and I said 'this kid would have gotten there many times last year' so we're going to find out. I think he's going to give us an added pass rush ability inside and make people pay attention to more than one guy when it comes to turning protections. Hopefully that will free up other players to make plays."

Okoye is ready to make a contribution, but first he wants to get his body acclimated to Houston's climate, among other goals before training camp begins July 27th.

"I want to be accustomed to this humidity," Okoye said. "It's a lot different than Louisville and Alabama. I just want to get my weight right and get to a place where I'm not thinking as much."

Ryans honored…..again: It's starting to get old, but DeMeco Ryans was honored yet again for his fine rookie season Monday following practice. Texas State Representative Harold V. Dutton was in attendance Monday to present Ryans with a plaque to commemorate his winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

"I was teasing him with the team," Kubiak said. "He's gotten so many awards and hopefully he's got some more coming this year. Very proud of him, he had a tremendous year and he's had a great offseason and I would expect next year to be even better."

For Ryans it was just another honor from a season he could have never imagined after being drafted in the second round out of the University of Alabama.

"I never thought it would be like this," Ryans said. "It's such a great honor to be respected and get awards like this."

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