The Houston Texans wrapped up veteran minicamp on Wednesday with the final practice of the nine-week offseason workout program. Under head coach Bill O'Brien, the team has historically has only held minicamp practice for two of the three days. On Thursday, the players will cap off their offseason program with a team-building activity.
"This is a team that's worked very, very hard and really improved," O'Brien said. "Whether they're young or they're in their 15th or 16th year and everybody in between, I can pretty much say that over 95 percent of this team has improved. I don't think it's ever 100 percent with a 90-man roster, but it's close. Everybody has improved and working hard to get better."
Coming off a healthy offseason, Deshaun Watson has made significant improvements too. The third-year quarterback is "light years ahead" of last year and his rookie year when it comes to his knowledge of the offense, according to O'Brien. Watson hopes to build on that by staying in shape and in touch with teammates over the break.
"Continue to build my body, my diet, build a chemistry with all the skill guys on the offensive side and stay in touch with my O-line," Watson said. "Just continue to get better and just keep grinding, really."
Without pads, the offensive line was limited during OTAs and minicamp. The true test for many of the rookie offensive lineman, including draft picks Tytus Howard and Max Scharping, will come during training camp when padded practices take place.
"They've improved in their knowledge; they've improved in their technique," O'Brien said. "It's a very good group of guys, they work very hard. They're in here early, they stay late, they do a lot of things together off the field. I think Nick Martin does a great job leading that group. I think he's a great leader and so I think they've improved. Again, when we go to full pads, let's see how that improvement takes shape with full pads on."
Players will get a six-week break before they report for training camp at the end of July. Rookies will have another week to work with the strength staff and the other members of the sports team before their offseason program ends.
Check out the best shots shots from Day 2 of veteran minicamp. Presented by Houston Methodist.