“There is absolutely no doubt that he’s one of the best players to ever play this game.” Bill O’Brien on J.J. Watt
The Texans finished off the week with another padded practice, their fourth of the week, in front of a crowd of fans watching at the Houston Methodist Training Center. This will be the last practice in Houston before the preseason begins. The team leaves on Sunday for joint practices in Green Bay against the Packers.
It is well-known that Bill O’Brien likes to practice against another team in camp. Since he took over as head coach in 2014, the Texans have held joint practices with another team every year to break up the monotony of training camp.
“We have a chance to see how they do things," O'Brien said. "They have a chance to see how we do things, to look at the rosters on both teams. I just think there’s a ton you can get out of it.”
Joint practice etiquette is that the home team organizes the practice schedule, though O’Brien and Packers head coach have spoken on the phone to discuss the joint practices that will take place on Monday and Tuesday.
Center Nick Martin has not practiced in training camp but will travel with the team to Green Bay. The Texans will try him out to see if he is ready to return.
The Texans hosted the Special Olympics 2018 National Games Flag Football team at practice and inspirational athlete Kim Bormaster, who serves as a global messenger for Special Olympics Texas. Bormaster and the Special Olympics athletes helped break down the huddle to end practice. Afterwards, they had a chance to played some fun games like Frisbee and hula hoops with players.
Among the media on the field, Benardrick McKinney interviewed teammate Whitney Mercilus on camera.
The Texans started off practice with some goal-line drills to “get the energy going,” according to O’Brien.
The defense forced a few fumbles in practice. Whitney Mercilus recovered one of those fumbles.
“Whitney Mercilus has had a good spring and a good camp,” O’Brien said. “I think he’s done really well. I think he’s been really hard to block.”
Lamar Miller agrees with O'Brien, plus he added a few more to the list.
A.J. Moore, who led the Texans in special teams tackles in 2018, has had multiple days with big plays and interceptions on defense.
“He’s been fantastic in camp,” O’Brien said. “He has been one of our better players on special teams and at safety. He is really what you are looking for on a football team, a guy that’s going to come out here every day and play hard and do what you ask him to do and he brings a great attitude every day and he’s just a really good teammate.”
With the NFL’s new pass interference rules in place, O’Brien said the team will be strategic in their approach to see how the rule changes are officiated on a particular play.
Safety Jahleel Addae has stood out to O’Brien in camp of the players signed in the offseason.
J.J. Watt’s parents, John and Connie Watt, attended their first Texans training camp practice on Saturday. Like all days in August, the weather was hot and steamy.