"Always put the team first," is the sign that can be seen throughout Reliant Stadium and in the Texans locker room.
If head coach Bill O'Brien didn't make it clear before that it was a "Team First" mentality in Houston, it became abundantly clear during rookie minicamp on Friday. Rookies were set up in temporary lockers in the middle of the locker room, not the large ones the veterans used. Some players, like quarterback Tom Savage, even shared a locker with other players. He hadn't done that since high school, Savage recalled.
Names are no where to be seen, not on the lockers, not on the practice jerseys. The only way to identify a player is by his number. Despite who they were in college, it seemed that everyone had checked their ego and accomplishments at the door. It was all about starting over with a focus on the team, not the individual.
"My concern is getting here, being a good teammate to the guys around me, learning the playbook and trying to be the best Houston Texan I can be," Jadeveon Clowney said Friday before practice.
According to nose tackle Louis Nix III, O'Brien did not mention when the rookies would "graduate" to the permanent lockers. All the third-round draft pick knew was that the blue temporary locker was his for now, and he hoped to make the team.
It's a new era in Houston and Coach O'Brien and the Texans are creating their own brand of football.
The Texans three-day rookie minicamp continues on Saturday and will conclude on Sunday, May 16.