Sweat equity has a different kind of meaning for Texans rookie tight end Brevin Jordan.
The former University of Miami standout grew up in Las Vegas, enduring extremely dry heat. Unaccustomed to the serious humidity of Houston, Jordan kept wiping sweat off his face with a towel following a blistering hot training camp practice.
“Houston is different; the humidity it’s a little different,” said Jordan, a fifth-round draft pick who attended Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas where he finished with 100 career receptions for 1,700 yards and 29 touchdowns. "It ain’t like Vegas. Vegas is just hot. I walk out, it’s like an oven. Out here, you get in the shower and come out here and start sweating again. So, it’s a little bit different.”
To prepare for his first NFL camp, Jordan, 21, devoted himself to a stricter diet and a grueling workout regimen overseen by elite trainer Trippe Hale, the son of former Senior Bowl executive director Steve Hale, and a performance specialist at Phase 1 Sports in Las Vegas.
Their workouts included everything from lifting weights, track and field work, pushing weighted sleds and plyometric drills.
“Yeah, Trippe Hale is crazy, if you know him,” said Jordan, whose father, Darrel Jordan, is a 1990 Atlanta Falcons ninth-round draft pick. “We’re out on the trackat 8 a.m.just running lots of 110s and stuff.”
Hale heavily praised Jordan for his athleticism and dedication to his sport.
“Brevin is a very explosive athlete,” Hale said. “This guy can just flat-out run and he’s got a ton energy. We got him right. He's ready for the NFL now. I’m very proud of the work we put in together and I can’t wait to see him play in a game and do his thing."
Jordan is taking a serious approach to the NFL. That includes his hydration routine: drinking coconut water, electrolyte drinks, getting IVs to replenish his fluids and drinking plenty of water.
“I mean, I have a routine,” Jordan said. “You get to the NFL, you get a routine. To come out here and perform at the highest level, you have to be hydrated.”
Mentored by veteran tight ends Jordan Akins and Pharaoh Brown, Jordan has been tapping into their collective brain power to learn on the job.
In particular, Akins has imparted a lot of knowledge to Jordan.
“Definitely Jordan Akins, I mean the dude, he’s a pro,” Jordan said. “He's showing me how to get a routine. He's showing me a lot of different ways to get open, learning about blocking. He's brought me under his wing, and he's showing me like, ‘This is how you do it. If you want to be great in this league, if you play in this league for a long time, this is how you're going to have to do it.’”
A former blue-chip recruit, Jordan caught 38 passes for 576 yards and seven touchdowns last season despite missing three games with a shoulder injury. Two seasons ago, he was named first-team all-conference as he caught 35 passes for 495 yards and two scores.
“A lot of opportunity for him,” Akins said. “He has great feet. He has great hands. Knowledge of the defense, with zone and man, he's very good. He has a couple things to work on, but you know in the future he's going to be really good.”
At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, Jordan, who wears the No. 9 jersey and somewhat resembles an oversized wide receiver, is finding it a challenge to block large defensive ends at the NFL level. Especially 6-foot-6, 280-pound defensive end Charles Omenihu.
“Whew, blocking is hard in the NFL,” Jordan said. “That's probably the biggest adjustment that I've had to deal with. I'm blocking guys like Chuck (Omenihu), and man, those dudes are so big. They're so long, but I'm slowly getting into the groove of it.
“As I'm going throughout the process, I'm getting better at it. Dude, (Omenihu) is like 6-foot-8, his arms are freakishly long. But it's a fun process. It's fun to see yourself get better throughout camp.”
Jordan has lined up as a traditional in-line tight end. He’s also created separation while lined up outside and can play fullback or H-back when needed for Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.
“I think my skillset is perfect for the offense,” Jordan said. “Tim Kelly is a genius with his offensive (play) calling and he loves to move tight ends around. So, I think that’s my type of place, just being moved around and creating mismatches.”
Texans coach David Culley likes what he’s seen so far from Jordan. He just wants him to continue to apply what he’s being taught. EspeciallySaturday nightin his first NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“He's working hard,” Culley said. “He gets after it. He has that same kind of mentality that all those rookies that we've got. Those guys flat-out love to play the game. He's doing that. He's learning. We want him to get a little bit more consistent. He's starting to get that way.”
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128