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The Texans roster in late May is drastically different than it was in early January.
Dozens of additions and subtractions via free agency, trades and the Draft have re-shaped the makeup of the squad, and a pair of those new faces spoke Thursday about the vibe of the club now in Phase 2 of the offseason conditioning program.
Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, is in Houston after starting 11 games for Washington last season. 2021 will be season eight for the veteran, who spent 2014 through 2016 in Seattle, before one-year stops with the Chiefs, Jets and Bears.
"It definitely creates a sense of urgency, which every team should have, but now it's right in front of your face because you realize you can't walk into OTAs as comfortable as you were the year before because everything is new, everything is different," Pierre-Louis said. "With that level of competition that's across all positions, it makes you really take advantage of your time while you're here and really be a true professional. I feel as though this offseason, this camp is going to test a lot of us and a lot of us are going to be ready for that challenge and it's going to be a blessing to be a part of and to watch. It's going to be an active camp for sure."
Training camp is at the Houston Methodist Training Center in late July. Pierre-Louis explained the benefits of having so many veterans in the mix, at so many different positions across the roster.
"A lot of us understand what it takes to go through an NFL season, really lock in on the playbook, try to communicate, talk about certain things," Pierre-Louis said. "It's not as though it's a coach that's telling us things, it's an exchange of information that's going on right now which I think is very helpful. You have certain guys that are used to playing a defense a certain way and we'll talk to each other, like hey this is how we're going to do it over here and oh, that's how you communicate there, that's how we communicate, too. Let's talk like that."
On the other side of the ball, center Justin Britt is in the fold after missing last season. Before 2020, he spent the first six seasons of his career as a Seahawk. Drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, two rounds ahead of Pierre-Louis in Seattle, Britt explained the responsibility of the o-line and how they've embraced it.
"We understand that it starts up front and we understand that we are the heartbeat of the offense and we take that pride," Britt said. "I told my friend this, I said, 'I'm getting up at 5:00, 5:30 every morning, willingly, happily, sometimes before my alarm.' That wasn't always the case in my career. I'm just excited, the newness of it. Being out for a year, so I know what it's like not to have it, I'm hungry and I'm going to play my ass off this year."
Britt, Pierre-Louis and the Texans will continue work in the weight room, on the fields, in meetings and on Zoom throughout the coming weeks.