Saturday was important for the Houston Texans.
For returning veterans, it was the first time since the playoff contest against the Colts that they were in full pads. For the rookies, the last time in pads came in a college all-star game in January, or before that.
"They don't have the pads on very often," head coach Bill O'Brien explained. "The last time any of these guys had the pads on was months ago. So getting used to that, what that feels like, how to carry a ball with the pads on vs. a t-shirt is a totally different deal."
Offensive lineman Tytus Howard last suited up in the Senior Bowl on January 26 in Mobile, Alabama. Putting the pads on, blocking and being physical in the 90-degree Houston heat and humidity was an adjustment, but one he said he handled in stride.
"Got a lot of things to learn," Howard said. "Got a lot of great teammates who are helping me along with way, like Matt Kalil, Greg Mancz, Nick Martin."
Howard is part of a line group that's looking for the right combo as a unit. Like many of his fellow linemates, he's played in various spots up front, as O'Brien and the coaching staff tinker with different looks.
"He came back in shape and did a nice job in the conditioning test so he was able to hit the ground running there in early training camp, get his feet up underneath him," O'Brien said. "And we're moving him around a little bit, most of the time he's inside, but he played some tackle today."
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has been impressed with Howard in his time as a Texan.
"He's coming a long way," Watson said. "He's been grinding and working his tail off to be able to try and be active and whenever he gets onto the field to take advantage of his opportunity."
Ultimately, Howard said he just wants to get on the field, whether it's at left guard, left tackle, or on the right side.
"All I care about is just going out and playing the position my coach puts me in," Howard said. "Just going hard in that one position, and when they tell me to switch to another position, I'm going to give them all in that next position."
Howard and the Texans will practice on Sunday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Check out the best shots from the second day of training camp in Houston. Presented by Houston Methodist.