The media turnout for rookie camp felt like Training Camp. Cameras, writers, TV and radio hosts filled the viewing area at the Houston Methodist Training Center wanting to get a first look at the new crop of Texans.
There's no quarterback in this camp. It's really for drills and conditioning and getting acclimated to the organization and the NFL in general. Plenty of time for full install later.
Not all of these players will make the squad. In addition to the draft choices and the undrafted college players there are 10 tryout players, including two long snappers and two kickers.
Once upon a time, former Texans safety Corey Moore was a tryout player. Nick Caserio told us on Texans Radio about Malcom Butler making the Patriots as a tryout player. Lovie Smith has experience with tryout players eventually making the starting lineup.
The big spotlight is on the draft picks but every coach and personnel man in the building will tell you that it's not how you got here it's what you do once you get here.
It's impossible not to notice the two drafted offensive linemen Kenyon Green and Austin Deculus. The local products look like spry vending machines at first glance. We have to wait until Training Camp to see them actually hit but that will be fun.
Derek Stingley is one of those athletes that looks fast just standing still. And it was nice to see John Metchie III without a knee brace. On draft weekend he said he'd be ready for camp but Nick Caserio tapped the brakes. It's important to be sure he's 100% before being cleared. Still, it was great to see him out there.
Smith told us on Texans Radio, "Before we can start evaluating guys and see who's going to play for us we need to teach them the Houston Texans way of how we do things and our team goals and how they're going to integrate in with our veterans. Today it was about getting them out on the football field, getting a look at them physically. The first step for us is to get a baseline of where they are. So we have testing. From there, we teach them drills."
Players will spend their post-practice time recharging and going to meetings to learn all their phase of the game. Camp concludes on Sunday then the roster becomes one giant group as the rookies and vets mix.
This is another rung on the ladder up to the season and an important one. The quicker the rookies reach their potential the better it is for the collective result.
The offseason program continues through mandatory mini-camp June 14.