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Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Five things from the start of minicamp

By Tania Ganguli

The second practice of the Texans' voluntary minicamp begins in a few hours. Before we get there, here are five things of note from yesterday's first practice:
  1. Head coach Bill O'Brien said not to read too much into the decal-free helmets and jerseys without names on them, but it's hard not to connect that with his focus on making sure the Texans put the team above themselves.
  2. Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel's enthusiasm and knowledge are going to be great for the Texans' linebacker group. Not that his predecessor didn't have those things, but Vrabel combines it with the credibility that comes with having been a great NFL linebacker not too long ago. Players are excited to learn from him. There was a lot of teaching happening all over the field during practice. They're still installing new systems and Vrabels' energy was clear.
  3. The passing game had some rough patches, but it's bound to right now. The Texans are installing a new offense and rhythm won't be right. Plus, the quarterback group will have at least one new addition before training camp.
  4. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph shares a hometown with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. "I always tell him, I just try to tell him the professional and business side of football. At the same time I let him enjoy his ride through the draft and the success that he’s had. I just want to let him know the business side of it and what’s important. I text him once a week. I don’t want to be the kind of guy that’s in his ear all the time like his dad or his mom. Something that I try to stress the importance of being first-round pick or top pick or whatever it may be."
  5. Running back Arian Foster declined to talk to media, but was healthy and physically fine during Tuesday's practice. O'Brien added this about how he practiced: "We have to go watch the tape, but he’s just like everybody else: first day, learning the systems and I think everybody without singling anybody out, I thought everybody had a decent start to the first day."