Welcome to the VanderBlog

In the coming months I'll talk about the team and what it's like to be around the team. I'll take you on the road, to practice, to the booth and anywhere else that might be fun for Texans Nation. You can post comments on the board. Thanks for reading.

With the preseason opener coming up, you get the feeling that the extreme conditioning part of camp is all but done and now it's about situational learning and mental preparation. Gary Kubiak said this week that he would be "reeling it in" in practice to get the team's legs underneath them for the Chiefs.

That doesn't mean there isn't some serious physical work going on. Earlier this week, D-line coach Bob Karmelowicz directed his men through a drill that reminded me of the Kurt Russell-played scene of Herb Brooks putting the U.S. Hockey team through endless suicides in "Miracle." Karmelowicz's Burgess Meredith voice ordering his exhausted men to "do it again" in the scorching heat made you want to look away.

I never look at the temperature, but Reliant Park has felt like the surface of the sun this week. Even the practice bubble seems like a giant crock pot. It's going to feel great going to Denver in two weeks.

Even though it's preseason, waiting for Saturday has felt like waiting for Christmas when I was a kid. I'm anxious to see the Kubiak show even if it's a dress rehearsal.

But the broadcast is anything but a rehearsal. For most regular season games, I learn the two-deep and all the other important information. For preseason, it's a four-deep depth chart and just about everybody plays. I like to memorize every number on the field, so it makes my week pretty active.

Look for Derrick Lewis to get plenty of reps as a return man and at wide out. He's impossible not to cheer for. His story of searching for two of his five kids rescued from their New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina is riveting. Lewis was cut by the Bucs when the storm hit and searched the shelters along I-10 for his children before finally catching up with them at the Astrodome. The number four WR spot could be up for grabs.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.