The Houston Texans were back at NRG Stadium on Monday morning, preparing for their 2021 regular-season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We'll have a little walkthrough today," said Head Coach David Culley. "We got them all back in the building today, but it actually starts for us Wednesday. We'll have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to really get back into the swing of things and really focus on Jacksonville. Right now today, we're just focusing on us."
Culley said preparation for their Week 1 opponent has been ongoing, taking "a peek" at the Jaguars last week with no fourth preseason game this year. One of his top priorities heading into his first regular-season game as head coach will be to focus on protecting the ball.
"I just know, I keep getting flashbacks to our last preseason game, that the execution wasn't there from a standpoint of turning the ball over," Culley said. "I do know that when you turn the ball over like that, your chances of winning football games go way down and that's been the one thing that's been sitting with me lately. Of course, we're going to make sure that doesn't happen and correct that this week in practice."
Chris Conley, who faces his former team in his first game as a Texan, says he is excited for the Week 1 matchup. The seven-year veteran WR played two seasons for the Jaguars (2019-2020) and set single-season career highs in receptions (47), receiving yards (775) and yards per reception (16.5 avg.) while scoring on five receiving touchdowns, tied for his career best in a season.
"This is my second time facing a former team in the first game," Conley said. "I think it creates kind of a unique headspace. I'm excited always to play in the first game of the year, but especially playing against the team you were on and seeing guys that you were with for two years, it's going to be a lot of fun. So the preparation, I don't think that has changed. It's always been a focus on getting better each day and stacking hay so you can cash in on Sunday, but when you play against guys that you know, it always brings a little something extra."
As expected, Culley officially named Tyrod Taylor as the Texans starting quarterback. Laremy Tunsil returned to practice for a second straight week after being activated off the Reserve-COVID-19 list. Bradley Roby will miss Sunday's game, serving the final game of his six-game suspension from last year.
The Texans open the 2021 regular season against Jacksonville at NRG Stadium on Sept. 12. Kickoff is set for noon on CBS and SportsRadio 610. Find tickets here.