A new strength and conditioning staff. A new weight room. More organic foods.
The Texans made changes this offseason under new Senior Director of Sports Performance Luke Richesson, and the players definitely noticed.
"They've been great," J.J. Watt said Tuesday. 'We have an entirely new weight room. The weight room has been redone. We have an entire new sports performance staff in there. Luke and his guys, I've been working with them for the last two months at least. We have a new nutrition staff and they are doing great work as well. We made a lot of changes for the better and we're going to see a lot of improvements and success because of it. I've really enjoyed it and I think a lot of the guys are enjoying it as well."
The Texans hired Richesson, who spent the last six years as the Denver Broncos strength and conditioning coach. Richesson replaced former Texans head strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald after he took a job with the University of Tennessee. Various aspects of the sports performance program, from nutrition and hydration to sleep patterns and training have been revamped under Richesson and his staff.
"Those guys are some of the best at what they do," DeAndre Hopkins said. "You can tell just from us being here two days. I've learned a lot in two days that I never knew or never even knew could help me and my game, honestly. So, I feel like having those guys in there, the new staff, is going to help big time."
Head coach Bill O'Brien is also optimistic that new sports performance team can help players stay healthy, especially after the record-number of season-ending injuries last year.
"Now, soft tissue injuries and shoulder injuries and Achilles and things like that, that's where Luke Richesson and his crew is really going to come into play," O'Brien said last month. "I mean, they have a very unique way of how they approach each player. I'll just give you an example, they give the player basically a mobility test and they can look at the player during this test and figure out, 'You're deficient over here, you have a problem over here, we've got to work on this.' I think that with every position, having Luke and his crew will really help decrease injuries."
Players will deal exclusively with Richesson and his staff during the first two weeks of the team's offseason workout program since coaches are not allowed on the practice field.