For the first time in six years, the Texans practiced at night at the Houston Methodist Training Center. The fans were entertained, and the coaches and players learned more about what they need to work on one week away from their preseason opener.
Tyrod Taylor looked sharp and spread the ball around nicely. Tight ends Jordan Akins and Pharaoh Brown caught TDs as did wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Seth Payne was telling me that it looks like the offensive line is taking to James Campen's coaching and, at times, the whole operation was clicking.
In the NFL, however, it's all about getting better every day and coach David Culley says there's plenty of room for improvement.
"I wanted us to be mistake free from the standpoint of pre-snap penalties and that didn't happen tonight," Culley said. "We've had fewer than we've been having, but one is too many and our goal is not to be that kind of football team and tonight it killed us three times on three drives and we can't play football that way. We won't play football that way."
For your narrator, I was impressed with Taylor and the offense being able to bail themselves out of some tough situations, but Culley wants his team to be fundamentally sound and knows that playing solid defense, capitalizing on field position and playing clean on offense are a must if this team is going to be productive.
Saturday night's menu called for some early goal line work followed by a semi-simulated game. Everything was controlled, but it was good to see the team go through kickoffs, drives, field goals and more situational work in front of the fans.
The crowd added energy to the evening. Offensive players had company as they erupted on a couple of well executed TD passes. The defense had some celebratory moments as well, including a Lonnie Johnson pick.
Having officials at practice for the third consecutive day was a big help in backing up what Culley has been preaching about playing as mistake free as possible. "A lot of the penalties that happened today have been happening in practice. Having those guys out here today, all they did was validate what I've been telling them in practice before."
Next week, it'll be officials, TV cameras, Texans Radio and a team that's been to back-to-back conference championship games in Green Bay. It'll be an excellent measuring stick for players and coaches that have really gotten to know each other well on and off the field.
Check out the best photos from Training Camp presented by Xfinity.