Instead of holding a scheduled practice Thursday, the Texans are having a team-bonding activity.
The choice: an old-fashioned barbecue.
No word yet on the menu from Texans coach David Culley.
The Texans' players will return to practice this week in advance of their season-opener Sept. 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium.
The Texans finished 4-12 last season, firing coach and general manager Bill O'Brien following an 0-4 start and hiring Culley this offseason along with former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio as their general manager. Caserio has significantly overhauled the roster with 30 players in their first season with the AFC South franchise.
The Texans went 2-1 in the preseason, losing 23-16 in the third game to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I like where we are from the standpoint of, I like our effort and with what we have been trying to get done," Culley said. "I have to go back to our last preseason game and I did not like where we were offensively from the standpoint of turning the ball over and I say that because statistics through the years have said that winning teams are always up there in the top 10 in the league in turnover differential and this particular game, we lost the game because we turned the ball over too much and the games that we won, we didn’t do that and we got them. That is so important for us moving forward and that’s the kind of football team we will have to be to be successful.”
Of course, the biggest change surrounding the Texans is Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has a standing trade request and 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints with no charges filed at this time, being replaced under center by Tyrod Taylor.
“I think management, the coaches have done a great job of piecing together a bunch of great talent," Taylor said. "It’s up to us go out and execute week-in and week-out, but I think the competition – not I think, but I know the competition was at an all-time high all throughout training camp and the spring.
"That was something we talked about in our first meeting, was competing and bringing the best out in each position, and the guys went out and did that each and every day. I think management has done a great job of putting together a complete team and it’s up to us to take it one day at a time and continue to keep getting better and win ballgames.”
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