Inside the Texans’ space-age locker room at NRG Stadium, red neon lights set a tone of futuristic design.
The players’ large red-and-blue lockers feature spacious leather seats that veteran defensive tackle Brandon Dunn compared to a king’s throne during a recent tour of the upgraded facilities with teammates Justin Reid, Keion Crossen and Jonathan Greenard given by chairman and CEO Cal McNair and his wife, Texans foundation vice president Hannah McNair.
Every player has a safe for their valuables, shoe and shoulder pad dryers, a helmet ventilator, and personal television screens that feature the daily schedule along with messages from coaches.
There are fuel bars located in the locker room that includes customized healthy snacks. Every piece of fabric is anti-microbial to provide a sanitary environment.
Images featuring the city of Houston skyline is featured on both sides of the fuel bars.
The Texans’ capital investments in their new-look locker room and expanded training room cost an estimated $4 million.
The changes were a major priority for the McNair family, general manager Nick Caserio, executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, team president Greg Grissom and coach David Culley.
“The locker room is beautiful,” Texans safety and special-teams ace A.J. Moore said. “I thank Nick and Jack Easterby, Mr. McNair. We really thank them for that. It's been a long time coming, but it's finally done and we're very grateful.”
“My favorite thing is the neon light, it's super cool. Everything is comfortable in there. Come on, you know, new smell, everything. We're excited.”
During the tour of the locker room, in a video posted on the Texans’ website, Cal McNair said: "The locker room is important to y’all. Y’all are important to me.”
Reid told McNair’s: “You outdid yourself. Absolute fire.”
The intention behind the improvements were practical, but also a major motivating factor was reminding the players of the Texans’ commitment to them and instilling pride in their work space.
“We have done some things during the offseason, made some modifications to the facility,” Caserio said. “Appreciative of the support of ownership and the capital commitments they made with the new locker room and training space. With all of that designed to give the players and staff the resources they need to be successful and give them the opportunity to go out and perform to the best of their ability."
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.