It's Game week!
(No it isn't).
Sorry about the bait-and switch. But to the players, it might feel a bit like a real game is looming in a few days.
This would normally be preseason week three. This would be what's been dubbed as the 'most meaningful preseason game. The one where the starters play the most.'
That used to be true. In recent years the starters would mostly not even make it close to half time. For the Rams, their starters might as well have flown to Cabo for the weekend. They wouldn't be seen until opening day.
This season is very different. Iron sharpening iron has been the theme. I talked to Whitney Mercilus and he joked it would be nice to go up against someone who didn't know all his moves.
All teams are in the same situation, of course. Other than the Texans and Chiefs who open before anyone else. The world would have been watching anyway. But now observers everywhere are curious to see what no in person off season program and no contact with anyone in another jersey will mean when the games get underway.
Wild swings are possible. Mistakes must be avoided. Rust has to be quickly scraped off. The Texans have gone through painstaking measures to both improve everyday while keeping the virus out of their building. They'll be as ready as they can be.
To help prepare, the Texans are holding a scrimmage at NRG Stadium on Thursday. No, it's not open to fans. And no, you will not see it on TV or anywhere. Just some select highlights. It's a tremendous competitive advantage to unveil the Texans for the first time in the 2020 season at Arrowhead stadium.
Bill O'Brien has been practicing situational football consistently. This week, he'll likely get a reasonable look at the players' body clocks in the flow of a game week feel. Tuesday and Wednesday might resemble game week Friday and Saturday. Thursday night is exactly two weeks from the opener.
The scrimmage will be at night and the team will get a little simulation of prime time. More importantly, it gives the coaches and everyone involved a chance to work out some logistical kinks.
"We'll get some special teams work. We'll get some offense versus defense work, situation work. We won't be out there for long. We'll get some good communication with the coaches from the press box and the field and vice versa. We'll get some good communication from Tim (Kelly) and Weav (Anthony Weaver) to the quarterback and to the linebacker. Kind of game mechanics and trying to get all of that accomplished." O'Brien said after practice.
This is a great chance to continue camp and go through at least some of the nitty gritty of getting ready for and playing in a game. It's another rung on the ladder on the way to the opener.