The Texans and Broncos already may be getting sick of each other.
Wednesday’s joint practices between the two teams, occurring in advance of their Saturday night preseason game, included some heated moments.
Via Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Broncos right tackle Chris Clark exchanged words during one-on-one drills, after Watt dominated Clark and Clark took a swipe at Watt, knocking his helmet off.
“Don’t get mad when you get beat,” Watt said to Clark.
Meanwhile, Texans safety D.J. Swearinger celebrated a little too loudly and proudly after intercepting Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during 11-on-11 drills.
“I picked off Peyton today and I guess that got them a little chippy,” Swearinger said. “The offense did great, ran the ball down their throat, so, hey, I would get mad, too. That’s all it is: Players making plays and people getting mad.”
Coach Bill O’Brien downplayed the notion that lines were crossed.
“It was competition,” O’Brien told reporters. “I don’t really even know what you’re talking about. I really don’t. It was just a lot of good competition and I felt like it helped our team a lot, and I’m not speaking for the Broncos, but I know that competition helps everybody, so it was good.”
The good news is that no actual fights occurred. For the Broncos, the better news was that the offense heard and heeded quarterback Peyton Manning’s complaints from Tuesday regarding its performance at practice.
“I’m sure a lot of our guys noticed that he wasn’t happy on the field,” offensive coordinator Adam Gase told reporters. “I spoke my mind in the meetings. I’m not really going to do it out here for everybody to watch, but I said my piece. We made sure that we came out here and had a better day.”
Thursday won’t be as good, because the teams won’t practice in pads. Which means that the chances of intense competition or chippy moments or fisticuffs or a full-blown brouhaha will be reduced.