The rookies are ready.
Head Coach Lovie Smith said so. First-rounders Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green said so. Second-rounder Jalen Pitre did, too.
Labor Day saw the Texans practicing in the morning before meetings. In between, Smith and the players met with the media, and spoke about the week and matchup ahead with Indianapolis. In addition to that trio, Running Back Dameon Pierce will also likely start and see a significant amount of playing time. Stingley, who'll start at cornerback for Houston, is ready.
"I get pretty excited but it's nothing different," Stingley said. "It's just football."
After being limited in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in May and June, as well as at the very beginning of training camp, the third overall pick settled into practice and the starting lineup for the final two preseason contests. Smith has liked what he's seen from the young defender.
"He's smart," Smith said. "He knows football. He's healthy. He's ready to go. I'm excited about seeing him play. Again, as a rookie, you're going to continue to get better each week, but he'll be ready to go."
Joining Stingley in the defensive backfield is Pitre. He too, is ready to get the season started against the Colts.
"I'm always trying to put in my piece, add to the puzzle, help out my teammates as much as possible," Pitre said. "I look forward to game one."
Green, meanwhile, impressed in the preseason finale. He was in on 61 percent of the snaps, after sitting out the first two preseason games. Like Pitre, he grew up in the Houston area and will have a strong contingent of family in the NRG Stadium crowd supporting him but he sees Sunday as just a beginning.
"I'm still getting better, and there's stuff I still have to work on," Green said. "I'm not finished yet. I'm excited, but I'm really trying to focus in and hone in on the details and things I need to get better on."
The players will be off Tuesday, before resuming practice on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
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