Last season, the Houston Texans’ joint practice with the Washington Redskins ended in a brawl, which was embarrassing for the coaches, who expect their players to behave like professionals at all times. This year, don’t expect to see anything like last year’s brawl when the team takes on the San Francisco 49ers during joint practices this week. The Texans won the AFC South last season but don’t have excellent Super Bowl odds going into this season.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters that he doesn’t want to see a repeat of what happened during the joint practice with the Redskins last year, and he and 49ers head coach Chip Kelly have warned their players about the repercussions of what happens if they engage in a fight during practice. O’Brien said any players that are involved in fights will be thrown out practice, which means players that are trying to make the final roster can’t afford to blow a golden opportunity to play in the NFL over a fight.
So far, the Texans haven’t had too many fights break out during training camp. On Monday, wide receiver Keith Mumphery and cornerback Robert Nelson were in a scuffle, but the fight was quickly broken up.
Since we are still in the preseason and the coaches are still working on their game plans, O’Brien told reporters that they won’t have a drawn up game plan for their practice with the 49ers. However, O’Brien said he would have his team prepared for the 49ers high tempo offense, and the team will have a call sheet with their plays on it.
O’Brien said the Texans and 49ers will have a joint practice on Friday, but on Saturday the teams will have separate practices as they prepare for their preseason opener on Sunday.
O’Brien said the coaches and players get a lot out of joint practices because they get to play against a new team after practicing against each other for most of the offseason. The coach also said it provided the team with an opportunity to see what the other team’s schemes, tempo, and rosters look like before playing against them in the preseason game.
O’Brien said another advantage of the joint practices is that it gives coaches another way of evaluating some of the players trying to make the team. During regular team practices, these players go up against the same guys every day, which allows them to learn some of their tendencies. At joint practices, they are going up against players they haven’t been up against before and allows coaches to get a look at how they prepare for the unknown.
Texans linebacker Brian Peters told reporters he was excited about the joint practices because he has been practicing against quarterback Brock Osweiler for the past two weeks and would love to try and chase down players from another team and see how he stacks up against other competition.
O’Brien also said that joint practices are a good way to have the team bond because they are able to get together as a team and turn their focus on the members of the opposing team, instead of going after each other like they do in regular practices.