Skip to main content

Training Camp is Next Month | VanderBlog

It's June and that means Texans Training Camp starts next month!!

Don't bother me with minor details that it's still almost two months away in total days. I see June on my calendar and camp starts in July so we're almost there.

And I'm pumped!

Plus, not only will we have preseason games, but joint practices are now on the agenda as well. These will be the first for the Texans in four years and it's high time we got the tradition going again.

After all, the very first Texans action against an opponent of any kind was sort of a joint practice – it was a scrimmage against Dallas at now-demolished Robertson Stadium on the UH campus. The Texans got drilled but beat the Cowboys for real on opening night of team history six weeks later.

Here are some notable memories of joint practices in my mental archives.

2003 – The Texans scrimmage Dallas at the Alamodome
It was Tony Romo's rookie year. Bill Parcells was coaching. Sports Radio 610's Clint Stoerner was on the Cowboy squad. Can we meet them every year there, please? It's great for the fans, who love taking in the action and invading Riverwalk. Me too!

2004 – The Texans scrimmage the Dolphins at NRG Stadium
That's right, an actual scrimmage in the bowl. We called the action on the air. Jason Taylor was a beast. Everyone enjoyed the air conditioning.

2005 – Denver comes in for a couple of sessions, including a night practice
Gary Kubiak was conducting the Broncos offense. Jake Plummer was dealing. I went home and said "I hope Denver is going to the Super Bowl because whatever they are, we are not." The Broncos went to the AFC Championship game, the Texans went 2-14 and Kubiak would take over as coach.

2008 –Houston goes to New Orleans for a week
I put together a deal with the city's convention people who entertained the Texans Radio crew and Sports Radio 610 hosts as we dined early and often on the local fare. Things got a little dicey when a morning show I set up for me and Andre Ware at Café Du Monde turned out to be in front of a very-late-in-the-evening crowd. You don't expect inebriated listeners at 6am, but that's Bourbon Street for you.

The practices were competitive and the game was fun as Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels carved up the Saints secondary in an entertaining win. The following year, the Saints would visit NRG Park and our current head coach got into a dust up with Jeremey Shockey.

2014 – A trip to Denver
This excursion yielded lots of up close and personal views of Peyton Manning's passing attack with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop. Houston won the game on a last second Tom Savage TD pass and two-point conversion. I got out to a driving range one afternoon and discovered I can hit my three-wood 25 more yards in the thin air.

2017 – The Greenbrier. Then New Orleans
The Patriots visit for some work. The prevailing memory is Tom Brady as the last man on the field, doing individual drills. There's a reason he's the best.

A week later we'd be in New Orleans with Hurricane Harvey getting close to Houston. I was on the phone with our preseason TV partner, ABC-13, talking about how they'd handle the game broadcast with a picture-in-picture of their weather coverage. We'd end up in Dallas after the game in an oft-told story of how and where J.J. Watt started his famous fundraising campaign.

DeMeco Ryans, who was part of a 49er staff that practiced here in '18, likes what his squad can gain from joint sessions.

"I think we can get a lot out of joint practices, especially a team as good as Miami, a playoff team, a team that has a ton of playmakers offensively and a really good defense, as well. It's a good opportunity for our offense to go against a different defensive structure."

The following week it'll be another trip to New Orleans. "It'll be fun to go down and compete against the Saints. Again, it's just different offense, different defensive structures, different philosophies there, so it's just good. As much as we can go against other people and not beat up on each other too much, it's a good opportunity for us to go against them."

It's getting closer. We have two more weeks of offseason practices, including Mini-Camp. Then I'll take a six-week nap. I'm one of the few people who wants summer to go fast. Don't @ me.

Related Content