Duane Brown hasn’t spent much time thinking about the Houston Texans since he was traded to Seattle midway through the 2017 season.
Brown’s current team, the Seahawks, faces the Texans on Sunday for the first time since the trade. Since Brown left, the Texans owner, Bob McNair died with control of the franchise moving to his son, Cal McNair, Bill O’Brien was fired as head coach, the roster was purged, Jack Easterby and Nick Caserio joined the franchise, and the losing accelerated.
The Texans existence now is far different than the one Brown experienced during his 10 years in Houston.
“There’s one person there. One person (left), Deshaun Watson,” Brown said. “Obviously, when I first left, I was still in touch with guys who were there. Then I just slowly started to see them leave. It’s crazy the turnover that’s happened just in this four years time.”
Brown’s last game with Houston came against the Seahawks in Seattle. Brown played the game with the knowledge that a trade was possible, including to Seattle, with multiple future teammates discussing the possibility during the game.
“There was some conversations about it during the game. It was also an amazing game. It was one of the best games I’ve been a part of,” Brown said of the Seahawks 41-38 victory. “Then after the game, talking to some guys, just some conversations about the potential of it happening. That was my first time playing here my whole career. My whole career, that was my first time playing in Seattle. To then get traded here a couple days later, it was wild. Very surreal feeling.
“It’s been amazing, everything I could hope for. I told some guys, before I got here, I had known some guys on the team, and I just talked about the perception of outside looking in of the team and the brotherhood. The locker room, it just looked like the ideal brotherhood that you would want on a team. When I got here, that was everything that I saw and everything I’ve experienced. It’s been amazing. I’m nothing but grateful for my time here.”
Brown had been holding out from the Texans before returning to the team ahead of the game against Seattle. He had been critical of Bob McNair for comments made during an owners’ meeting and had been seeking a new contract as well. Brown was then promptly dealt to the Seahawks in the hours after the game.
The Texans have spiraled into chaos at times since Brown’s departure. When asked whether it saddened him to see the team fall apart like that, Brown was pretty blunt.
“I have no emotions, but no,” Brown said. “I don’t think about that at all. My time, effort, and commitment has been placed here and trying to be the best player I can be for this organization. No, I’m not sad at all.”
Brown is still looking forward to the meeting despite his lack of affinity for the franchise.
“I’m excited about it,” Brown said. “I spent 10 years there, so there’s a lot of history there. It’s going to be different being in that facility on the visitor’s side. I’m looking forward to it though.”