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Houston Texans

Texans take to the field for first time in 2007

Tuesday was not an ideal day for training outside. Temperatures climbed into the 80's for one of the few times this spring with high humidity leaving some to wonder why the Texans chose this particular day to start their supervised runs outdoors.

The schedule has been set for weeks, but ultimately Tuesday's weather is nothing compared to what players face during training camp in July and August so, if anything, the day offered a brief glimpse of what players can expect conditions to be like this summer, only worse.

Two of Houston's notable offseason additions were introduced up close to Houston humidity Tuesday. Running back Ahman Green and quarterback Matt Schaub said that it may take some time to get use to their new climate.

"I have to get use to this humidity," Green said after a 45-minute workout. "I'm definitely not going to take it for granted. I've been down (South) for a couple of games and played a couple of games in Miami in college so I know it's tough.

"I've been here since Sunday so I've got a couple weeks before I get use to this stuff."

The guy who will be handing the ball to Green in the fall said it might take some time for him to adjust as well.

"To start it is (tough)," Schaub said. "To be out here, to run and sweat in this heat. Granted, it's only April, it will get a lot worse over June, July and August. You know, it's different, but in time you'll get used to it."

Green has a timetable for his adjustment to the Houston weather.

"It's about seven days to two weeks for your body to get acclimated to warm weather," Green said. "I just came from Green Bay and it's now just cracking into the 60's and dry 60's too, no humidity.

"But I'm looking forward to it because I like training in this type of weather."

While the weather was an unexpected subplot Tuesday, the real story during the first organized team workout of 2007 was just the mere presence of Schaub, who has been anointed the team's leader.

Time will tell if Schaub is up to the task, but following Tuesday's workout he called the team together to offer his first words of encouragement as the Texans starting quarterback.

He's not intimidated by being named the Texans' signal caller despite toiling in the shadow Michael Vick over the first three years of his career.

"It's a challenge, I wouldn't say it was pressure," Schaub said of becoming a leader. "It's a challenge that I'm looking forward to and all of my teammates are looking forward to and we're going to do it together, getting this done and getting better every day."

One of the players that Schaub should probably make fast friends of is wide receiver Andre Johnson. Houston's best player only met Schaub recently, but does see some of the leadership qualities that were so well touted following Schaub's trade to Houston in late March.

"Just from looking at him and the way he walks around the locker room and things like that, you can tell he's a leader," Johnson said. "That is something you want to have at the quarterback position."

As the offseason program progresses, Johnson and Schaub will likely be spending more time together and the pair has plans to start going through pass plays in the near future while getting a feel for each other off the field as well.

"I haven't played catch with him yet, we'll do that tomorrow," Johnson said Tuesday. "Other than that, every time we see each other we're just talking and trying to learn things about each other."

While some fans may see something as small as playing catch as having little to do with winning games, Schaub said that now is the time to develop relationships on the field and off.

"It's probably one of the things that goes the most unnoticed in the offseason, getting a feel for the receivers, them knowing where I bring the ball from," Schaub said. "It's definitely a daily thing and more off the field than on it, just getting a feel for all the guys and their personalities."

And while Scahub wll be throwing the occasional pass, he will also be establishing himself as the team's leader on and off the field.

"I think this is the time of the year to do it," Schaub said. "It's hard to assert yourself in that area once the season gets going because everything comes at you so quick and you're preparing for the game.

"Coming out here, working on the practice field, working in the weight room on our own time, getting to know each other and asserting that leadership now is what's important."

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