Offseason Wrap: Reason for optimism

July is upon us tomorrow, the month in which NFL players are mostly off until training camp's rapid approach. This holiday week let's wrap up the offseason by taking a look at where things stand with the Houston Texans.

Let's start on a happy note after the Texans' organized team activities and minicamp.

Reason for optimism

Players are excited about the changes with the Texans. And it's not because things got easier.

In my initial draft that first sentence read, "Players are buying in." It changed when I realized "buying in" is one of those sports phrases that can mean anything you want it to mean and nothing at all at once. You know, like "we're just taking it one day at a time," and "he's just a winner."

What's happening in Houston is a good sign. Players are excited about the schemes because of their complexities. Of course there's one player notably absent form that process, but Andre Johnson's holdout isn't really about the new regime so much as the tiresome prospect of starting over again. As a whole players are happy about the changes because things are getting tougher and on some level the guys who were in Houston last season know they need that.

"When you have a new staff and you have a whole new situation, the only way you're going to have success is if everybody buys in," Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. "It's dead before it starts if you have guys who don't buy in, if you have guys who are on the fence. ... If everybody buys in, if everybody's passionate about what we're doing, if everybody focuses on what we're working on, that's how you have success."