While football isn’t exactly top of mind with all that’s still going on in Houston right now, the Texans were able to return to their ravaged home town Wednesday after the team’s final preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys was cancelled.
The team made the drive from Dallas to Houston Wednesday afternoon and pulled into their flooded home for the first time since leaving to play in New Orleans last week. The team diverted to Dallas and practiced there this week before their game was finally axed, allowing the team to return home and tend to bigger things.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien expressed how happy the team was to get back to Houston.
“We’re excited to be back,” he said, via NFL.com. “Football is important, and no doubt about it, we’re going to get back to it soon, but right now family is the priority.”
“It’s been tough. It’s been tough especially texting back and forth with some of our friends here, you know, just ‘how’s it going?’ listening to the stories of our coaches’ families, our players’ families. Our trainer, Geoff Kaplan, went through a tough experience. They were rescued and taken to a hotel. Thank God for that. It’s affected us. Sometimes these things happen and it’s not necessarily directly effecting you and it’s affecting us and our players are really glad to be back to be more hands on with it.”
“And you know, I think in the end, one thing was pretty neat I saw on one of the news stations was this theme about Texans helping Texans and I think that’s what I’ve learned. You know, I grew up on the east coast, but you really see the heart of people and the heart of Texas. When you see the “Texas Navy” going out there on their boats and helping people and shelters being opened up and people just doing whatever they can to help people survive I think it’s incredible. It’s really what it’s all about to be a human being is to help each other.”
The Saints provided a rallying force for the city of New Orleans after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Texans will hope they can do the same as Houston looks to rebuild from the massive flooding over the last several days.
The Texans are currently scheduled to host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. However, the Jaguars have said they are open to a swap of dates with Houston if the league determines it’s the best course to give Houston the time it needs to recover. Jacksonville is currently set to host the Texans in December.
Regardless of when the Texans first suit up in Houston again, O’Brien sounded eager for his team to provide some energy for the city.
“We can’t wait to play in front of this crowd,” O’Brien said. We know it’s going to be so loud the roof might come off.”