WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien has been a proponent of joint practices since becoming the Head Coach of the Texans four years ago.
In O’Brien’s tenure the Texans have held practices against the 49ers, Redskins, Falcons, and Saints. Now, for the first time since O’Brien became head coach, the Texans will hold a pair of joint practice with O’Brien’s former employer, the New England Patriots. The two practices will be next Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of their first home preseason match-up on Saturday at NRG Stadium.
O’Brien is looking forward for his offense to face a different set of defenders after having several weeks of competing just against each other.
“Now they’ll see kind of different scheme relative to the Patriots. Different skill sets of players,” O’Brien said on Saturday on what his team will see during the joint practices. “The Patriots have some different players than we do at different positions, so the matchups on both sides of the ball will be interesting to watch. I think the special teams will be good to watch. They have a really good special teams unit. Just kind of watching everything.”
As for the players it will be a chance to ramp up the competition and be able to face another team and one that eliminated them in the postseason in 2016 en route to a Super Bowl victory.
“It’s obviously a very good team, an extremely successful franchise, an extremely successful coach, extremely successful quarterback, so it’s a really good chance for us to get some great work in and we’re looking forward to it,” Texans defensive end JJ Watt said on Saturday. “It’s always great to practice against somebody that you know can help make you better, and we’re looking forward to that practice.”
The Texans defense, the tops in yardage allowed last season, will have a chance to face one of the top offenses in football and one that will challenge them to improve as the Texans continue their camp.
“They’re a great offense. Tom Brady. They have some good backs, fast backs. Going to help me with covering (and) help the defense by being physical every play,” Texans linebacker Benardrick Mckinney said when asked about the challenge of facing the Patriots. “Just staying together as a defense. It’s going to be a great challenge. It’s going to be great for us to practice against those guys.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio