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Rookie diary: James Casey



Tight end James Casey, drafted in the fifth round (152nd overall) this April, is a former minor league baseball player who joined the Texans as a 24-year-old rookie from Rice. In his seventh diary entry for, Casey discusses the first two days of training camp.*

Going into training camp, I didn't really know what to expect. Now that we're in two-a-days, though, I've kind of got a little bit better idea of how it's going to be. And it's tough. It's hot out here. We're working hard, so it's a grind, and I'm already sore after only two days. But I know that I've got to go out every day and work harder and try to show the team I can help them win, just like I've always been saying. I'm trying to keep that mentality every play. I know that my career isn't going to last long, even if I do play for a while, so I've got to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

It felt great to step on to the practice field on Friday morning. It was my first day so I was excited anyway, but there also were a ton of fans here since it was an open practice – we had a great turnout. Going out on to the field was almost like gameday in college, that first game, because it's a completely new atmosphere; it's totally different and you don't know what to expect. So it was almost like a game for me, all that adrenaline.

It means a lot to us to have all of the fans at practice. It obviously shows that there's a lot of support in Houston this year and a lot of excitement about the team. Obviously, we're excited about the upcoming season, too. We think we can do a lot of great things. We're just trying to get focused for the Jets, and I'm just trying to get focused for our first preseason game, too. But it's a big deal for us to have all of these fans out here cheering us on. Practice is hard, but it makes it a little easier.

{QUOTE}I think I've been doing pretty well so far. They've been asking me to do a couple different things as a fullback and with some different tight end stuff. I'm just trying to pick it all up. I've made some little mistakes here and there – nothing major yet – but I don't feel like I've had any missed assignments, and that's a good sign. I just try to and get better every day and make sure I don't make the same mistake twice, just keep playing hard and trying to be physical out here because these are some big guys, some strong guys that I'm going against. I'm just trying to hold my own.

At fullback, Vonta (Leach) is out this week for personal issues, so they don't want to kill Boomer (Grigsby) and make him run every rep. It's my first time ever lining up at fullback, so I'm just trying to get familiar with it and trying to learn the whole offense from the fullback position. It's a lot of information, but I think I'm getting it down.

We put the pads on tomorrow. It's going to be fun. It's been a while since I've been able to put pads on – since college. You know, it's great wearing shorts and getting out here and playing hard and being physical. But once you put pads on, it's a different story. I'll have to step up my game a little bit and see how I hang once we actually get in pads and start hitting.

It's great to see everyone out for training camp. I've already met a lot of people out here in the crowd, and I appreciate all of the support people have shown in coming out and watching. I hope the fans keep rooting for me as I try to make this team.

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