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Texans open camp without Andre Johnson, or adornment

Bill O'Brien AP

The Texans are going to give themselves a new look tomorrow night.

But they already have a different appearance after their first day of minicamp under new coach Bill O’Brien.

According to Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans took the field yesterday, with players wearing helmets that lacked decals and jerseys without names.

It’s a subtle change, and maybe O’Brien just dug the anonymous look during his time at Penn State.

But it’s clear he’s working hard to reshape the image of the team that went 2-14, and he’s doing so with a little Bill Belichick-inspired banter with the media.

Asked about the helmets and jerseys, O’Brien replied: “You send the helmets out for conditioning, you send the jerseys out for conditioning. Everything is about conditioning the equipment. I wouldn’t read too much into that.”

Asked about the absence of star wide receiver Andre Johnson, he came back with: “It’s voluntary. Again, we just coach who shows up.”

O’Brien has a huge task ahead of him, but if the Texans can find an answer at quarterback this week, they have a chance to make a jump back to significance.

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12 Responses to “Texans open camp without Andre Johnson, or adornment”
  1. chaseutley says: May 7, 2014 9:52 AM

    Love it:
    “It’s voluntary. Again, we just coach who shows up.”

  2. brianc34 says: May 7, 2014 9:57 AM

    BOB needs to get over himself. I have more faith in Andre doing his job than BOB. I hate when coaches act like the best player in team history doesn’t exist. 80 has done way more for this organization than BOB ever will.

  3. seahawks19081 says: May 7, 2014 10:01 AM

    Ugh Bill O’Brian actually put the players names on their jerseys at Penn State, so not much anonymity there.

  4. 6ball says: May 7, 2014 10:05 AM

    .
    “Obrien has a huge task ahead of him ”

    That’s somewhat true. The Texans have the best roster ever for a 2-14 team. They were in almost every game last season, but found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Most of their mishaps originated at the QB position.

    .

  5. thekingdave says: May 7, 2014 10:16 AM

    @6ball

    Ah, the perils of falling into groupthink. If you read something enough on PFT, it must be true. 2013 Chiefs this team is not, I say this as someone who has passionately followed the Texans since incarnation and didn’t pop up in 2011 like Andre’s Johnson. We are beginning the process of moving away from a heavily specialized zone blocking west coast attack. Expect a drop off from Arian Foster, once again shaky defensive backfield, huge issues on the right side of the offensive line, and a comical lack of depth at linebacker for a 3-4 D. Furthermore, Rick Smith is back which makes absolutely no sense. Sitting there next to McNair in the press boxes all these seasons nodding his head backing Kubiak, only to pull the rug from underneath him. No sense hanging onto a guy from a failed regime. I’d be ecstatic with 8-8.

  6. twofacedtripod says: May 7, 2014 10:24 AM

    @thekingdave……agreed! not to mention their division isn’t what it was 3 years ago. with Indy above all and Tennessee and Jacksonville also better, 8-8 is a wish list!

  7. chalkruz1989 says: May 7, 2014 10:43 AM

    Any guy that has a yelling match with Tom Brady is OK in my book. He has fire and definitely will motivate the group in Houston.

  8. 6ball says: May 7, 2014 11:10 AM

    .
    @kingdave / tripod

    I wasn’t comparing the Texans to the 2007 Patriots.

    Most teams that go 2-14 have rosters devoid of talent on both sides of the ball and lack a core of veterans to build around. IOW, total disarray. The Texans are not in that state.

    Even if the Texans were to get to 8-8 this year, it is adding 6 wins over the previous year which is difficult to do in the NFL.

    .

  9. htown1035 says: May 7, 2014 12:12 PM

    thekingdave says:
    May 7, 2014 10:16 AM
    @6ball

    Ah, the perils of falling into groupthink. If you read something enough on PFT, it must be true. 2013 Chiefs this team is not, I say this as someone who has passionately followed the Texans since incarnation and didn’t pop up in 2011 like Andre’s Johnson. We are beginning the process of moving away from a heavily specialized zone blocking west coast attack. Expect a drop off from Arian Foster, once again shaky defensive backfield, huge issues on the right side of the offensive line, and a comical lack of depth at linebacker for a 3-4 D. Furthermore, Rick Smith is back which makes absolutely no sense. Sitting there next to McNair in the press boxes all these seasons nodding his head backing Kubiak, only to pull the rug from underneath him. No sense hanging onto a guy from a failed regime. I’d be ecstatic with 8-8.
    —————————————

    If you truly were a Texans fan you would know that the issue with the right side of the line is only with Newton, not Brooks. I don’t expect a drop off from Foster because he can excel in any offense and not just the 1-cut scheme, Rick Smith was not the problem last season, the QB, Kubiak, and half of the draft picks being on IR was, and who deserves a chance without the overbearing dictatorship that was Kubiak’s regime.

  10. thekingdave says: May 7, 2014 12:45 PM

    @htown1035

    Season ticket holder. If you really wanted to be exhaustive about it, just ditching zone blocking in general leads to questions about fit for every player outside Duane Brown (and even in his case, you have to judge whether or not he’s keeping down the line at his cap number) on the line. Especially Chris Myers. If you don’t remember Vince Wilfork eating him for lunch in 2012 and starting the house of cards collapse, then I have to question whether you’re a Texans fan.

  11. htown1035 says: May 7, 2014 12:54 PM

    @thekingdave

    I remember that ONE play where Myers got trampled. I also remember Myers being considered the best center in the game, especially when Mangold went out.

    The reason they were successful was that the line was consistent. Being in the ZBS you have to have consistency and skilled players because of the communication involved. When they started plugging in newer guys that’s when it started to show cracks. And yet even with the horrible play of Smith and Newton and the less-than-All-Pro play of Brown, the line was still middle of the pack based on PFF’s stats. Switching to a new offensive scheme isn’t going to be the gigantic drop you expect, they still have enough talent and just need to plug in LG and RT – perhaps Williams or Quessennberry can fill those spots or a draft pick. In any case, they’re certainly not the trainwreck that everyone portrays them as.

  12. htowntexan says: May 7, 2014 7:41 PM

    Season ticket holder. Primary reason we sucked last year was Kubiack. Rick Smith and Schaub didn’t help. At this time, it is undeniable we are a worse team than we were at the end of the season due to free agency. Lost key players and signed no one. People are delusional if they think that the Texans are just a step away from the Superbowl. This is full on rebuilding mode.

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