Training camp is the time when players know that the start of another season is just around the corner. Players are able to get back to the enjoyment of playing football, but even so there’s always work to be done. New coaches, new plays, new teammates, and new obstacles to overcome. Every team has some sort of new challenge to face including the Houston Texans, who are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history finishing the 2013 season 2-14.
Bill O’Brien, the Texans’ new head coach, is coming in with a new philosophy, and when it comes to a new coach it takes time before everyone is on the same page. O’Brien was previously the head coach at Penn State and before that was the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator. O’Brien’s job will be to get his team to pick up on the changes that will be implemented for the team and find the best players that give him the chance to win.
He has playmakers on both sides of the ball, but being an offensive minded coach the return of Arian Foster from injury should be a plus. One other player that will make O’Brien’s job a lot easier is currently upset at the direction the team’s heading.
Andre Johnson, one of the best wide receivers in the game is making it known that he’s not excited on how the organization is doing things to improve the team. This could be the biggest headline heading into training camp. Johnson has missed all team activities this offseason and whether or not he plans to also miss training camp is unknown at this point.
Only time will tell but if he does decide not to attend, the attention will then fall onto second year receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins will take the place as the new number one receiver, changing the complete outlook of this offense without Johnson. Hopkins will go into camp knowing he’s the guy and the improvements he makes from camp until the regular season with a new quarterback will determine how good this passing game can be. He’s a good receiver but with a new system and a new quarterback, the team’s offense could struggle early and often even with the return of Foster.
We can’t forget about Jadeveon Clowney, the Texans’ first round pick. Training camp gives Clowney the time to learn how to play the outside linebacker position and see how good of a tandem he and J.J. Watt can be rushing the passer. He’s learning a new position from college where he played defensive end but training camp will give him the time to see how he best fits into the defense. The addition of Clowney and how he can help a once-dominant defense will be something to watch.
Heading into training camp the Texans have a lot of questions and hopefully come out with a lot of answers. Training camp gives the team time to figure out what needs to worked on and find a way to fix the issue before the start of the regular season.