Thursday night will be the debut game of the NFL 2020 campaign, with the Texans facing the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
But it will also be the first contest Anthony Weaver's coached as the defensive coordinator.
A defensive line coach with the Texans since 2016, Weaver takes over for Romeo Crennel as the coordinator. The reigning Super Bowl champs await him, with one of the best quarterbacks Weaver's ever seen in Patrick Mahomes. But that task, combined with an offseason turned upside down by COVID-19, doesn't have Weaver discouraged.
"I feel extremely confident," Weaver said. "I know it's been a wild year. If somebody told me, 'hey, you're going to get the defensive coordinator job and you're not going to have a spring. You're not going to play any preseason games. Oh, and by the way, you've got to face the two most recent MVPs in the league.' I'm still taking the job. I'm excited."
Weaver's unit will be spearheaded by 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. The defensive end has seen Weaver up close in position group meetings the last four seasons, and is enthused by what lies ahead with his defensive coordinator in charge.
"He's got great ideas and he's got a great plan," Watt said. "I'm really looking forward to executing that. I'm very happy for him. He deserves this and I'm excited for our defense to go out there and execute the vision that he has for us."
Bradley Roby is in year two as a Texan. Wade Phillips was his defensive coordinator for the bulk of his time in Denver. Roby won a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos, and thinks something special could be brewing with the current Texans defense.
"I think as a defense we're going to adapt to his attitude and just the way and the fire that he has," Roby said. "I look forward to us playing with that fire. We definitely have some things that are different than last year when it comes to the d-line and things like that. Like we said, it's a new year, so we've got to go out there and compete and see what it looks like."
Weaver and company will face a Chiefs offense that averaged 28.2 points per game in 2019.
Kickoff is set for 7:20 CT on Thursday in Kansas City.