"It was obviously a very difficult time, a very tough time, and a time I hope none of us ever have to see or live through again. But now, two years afterwards looking back, there’s still an immense amount of work to be done for many, many people." J.J. Watt on Hurricane Harvey
The Houston Texans wrapped up their final practice of the week before their third preseason game at Dallas on Saturday. The Texans held practice inside the Houston Methodist Training Center for a fourth consecutive day with veterans back on the field. J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V and Johnathan Joseph all participated after sitting out of Wednesday's practice.
"With every veteran player we try to map out, before preseason starts – we know this guy is going to be on the team, how are we going to get this guy ready for the first game relative to what his health is? So, we really do a lot of counting the reps – full-speed reps, walkthrough reps, how many reps he has leading up to the first game," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "Every guy is a little bit different. Every player is different relative to what their schedule is."
Third-year tackle Roderick Johnson is improving as he continues to get reps with Matt Kalil not practicing. Kalil missed OTAs and offseason training recovering from last year's knee injury with the Carolina Panthers. Now that he's practicing in camp, O'Brien says the team plans to manage his reps accordingly.
"When he's (Kalil's) been in there he's played very well," O'Brien said. "We've seen a lot of good things from him when he's played and practiced, and we had a plan for him coming in to manage his reps to get him ready for the season and that's what we're trying to do."
Deshaun Watson threw this no-look pass to rookie wide receiver Tyron Johnson in practice.
And if there was any doubt if it was indeed a no-look…
The last time J.J. Watt was in Dallas, he started his Hurricane Harvey relief fund with a social media video from his hotel room. Now nearly two years later, Watt does not know if he will play in Saturday's game, but he feels good no matter what the decision will be.
"I've done it both ways," Watt said. "It doesn't really matter to me either way. I've done it where I haven't played any preseason games, I've done it where I've played in three of them, so it doesn't matter to me. It never hurts to get some live snaps just to get yourself in the rhythm, little things – a game uniform is different than a practice uniform, I think a game adrenaline is a little different, tackling somebody, little things. But I've done them both ways and it doesn't bother me if I don't play at all, so whatever Coach (O'Brien) wants, I'll do."
Brandon Dunn, resident locker room DJ, says there is "uproar" among the defensive front seven. Apparently, the linebackers have been requesting slow R&B jams, like Jodeci and Usher, before practice, instead of the usual energetic music of the DJ Dunny playlist. The linebackers were hyped for practice, but the rest of the locker room wasn't feeling it.
"It helped them," Dunn said. "It didn't help nobody else."
Dylan Cole disagrees.
The Texans play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT on ABC-13 and SportsRadio 610.