Texans excited to be back at OTA’s

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 5/29/22

“Those guys that aren’t really getting many reps they have something going on that we’re trying to fix up,” Smith said. And if they’re only getting a few reps it’s because we are easing them back into competition. We want everyone to be at 100%.”

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Texans excited to be back at OTA’s

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Things are starting to look brighter on Kirby Drive.

The Texans gathered last week for the first time as a team since January and there was a buzz around the practice facility for Organized Team Activities, as the team went through its first drills since seasons end.

All but three players were in attendance for the first day of OTA’s which are voluntary but which saw almost all of the Texans roster make an appearance.

“Everything we’ve been doing has bene leading up to our NFL version of spring ball with these OTA’s,” said Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith. “It’s one thing to go through a lot of drills, but once you start getting offense vs. defense and having players making decisions, it’s different. We have good competition throughout at a lot of positions so I just love this work.”

The Texans limited some players that are working themselves back from injury.

Among those that were limited were second round pick John Metchie III, who is fighing back from an ACL injury, and Derek Stingley Jr., who slowly starting to get back towards football strength after Lisfranc surgery.

“Those guys that aren’t really getting many reps they have something going on that we’re trying to fix up,” Smith said. And if they’re only getting a few reps it’s because we are easing them back into competition. We want everyone to be at 100%.”

With competition as high as it is in the Texans camp, players are excited to prove themselves and try to earn a starting spot for next season.

No one was satisfied after our season last year,” Smith said. “How you change that is by getting better. You do that by coming to work every time you have an opportunity to, you show up. It’s good to see so many of our guys doing that. When you have as much competition as we have you don’t have to tell guys to show up. They want to take every opportunity they can to prove to everyone who they are.”

Newcomers to the team include AJ Cann and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, two well respected veterans that are expected to add depth and knowledge on the offensive and defensive line.

“It was very, very welcoming,” said Cann said. “I respected it so much. When I came in the door everyone asked what I needed, what they could do to help me out and it wasn’t anything I asked, it was just something I really respected from the organization a lot.”

Okoronkwo is an Alief Taylor graduate and is excited to have the chance to represent his home town team, and he is excited to play in a defense like Lovie Smith’s.

“From day one we know we are going to be the most relentless defensive line in the NFL,” Okoronwko said. “This is a really fun aggressive defensive front and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

OTA’s will last for three days a week over three week’s leading into the mandatory veteran minicamp from June 14-16.

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