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VanderBlog: Big Two Weeks Ahead


It was another scorcher at the Houston Methodist Training Center as fans packed the stands and the Texans donned full pads to kick off a huge two weeks of critical activity.

And I don't think I'm being overly dramatic using the word 'critical.'

By August 29, the roster has to be trimmed to 53 from 90 players, making the next couple of weeks the greatest reality show on earth. Nick Caserio told us on Texans Radio that over 1,000 players around the league will be available after that day. Good thing he's a lot more organized than I am. Sunday was highlighted by C.J. Stroud's bomb to Noah Brown.

The McNair's gave away more tee shirts (this time it was the 'Iron Sharpens Iron' merch), there was a skirmish, which the coach was relatively ok with, and a new QB showed up named E.J. Perry, who had spent time here before.

Perry is the nephew of former Texans Wide Receivers Coach John Perry and is here for camp depth at the position. He went to Brown, where Bill O'Brien and John Harris attended. So did John Krasinski and Emma Watson, but not together, I imagine. Just thought I'd bring that up.

Perry started his college career at Boston College. I only highlight this to point out that my father-in-law went there and was a manager of the basketball team while Bob Cousy was coaching. And he never talks about this! He'll tell stories about gardening in Tulsa, Oklahoma before he'll talk about working for Cousy, and it's maddening!

There will be another practice tomorrow followed by a day off. Then it gets ultra-intense. Starting Wednesday, the team will have a combined total of four joint practices and two games in a 12-day period. Wow!

This week, Miami comes to town for a couple of days of practice and a game Saturday afternoon at NRG Stadium (3pm SportsRadio 610, The Bull 100.3 FM). The following week, it's off to New Orleans where it's much cooler. It's 93 degrees today. Brrr.

Joint practices with the Saints are a bit of a tradition with the first set beginning in 2008. I'm still recovering from beignet-overload.

The work for the team will be solid and I'm seeking to interview Derek Carr, who threw passes to me on the practice field sideline when he was in 6th grade. I taught him everything he knows.

Miami has been here for August practices more than once. I remember the Dolphins admiring the practice bubble in '04 then ending up with their own the following year.

If there is anyone to do a 'greatest hits' of joint practices, it's me! I wrote this less than two months ago.

Get ready, the intensity is building. Joint practices are like mini-games this time of year, with the starters getting a boatload of reps. Keep coming back to check out the progress through all the videos, podcasts and articles – most of them with far fewer tangents than mine.

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