For this week’s Football Morning in America, Peter King spent a day with the Texans to see how they are conducting training camp under the new protocols put in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The day starts early as team employees and some players arrive at the facility before 6 a.m. for testing and continues well into the evening for team meetings, meals and conditioning work. The timing of those events varies for different groupings of players and everyone involved in making sure things run smoothly have a lot of balls in the air every day.
None of this is what we’re accustomed to seeing at an NFL training camp, but Texans defensive end J.J. Watt told King that there are some positives that have come out of all the changes to the standard operating procedure.
“I mean, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s somewhat nice from an actual football standpoint,” Watt said. “Think about a normal training-camp day: You’re in the building from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. And you got a whole bunch of meetings. Now, we are very efficient in our meetings. We get things done. Nobody’s screwing around. Everybody’s locked in. It’s just really been good with our Zoom meetings. Just purely being in the comfort of your home doing your Zoom meetings, and not having to rush into the stadium early in the morning. It is a nice feature.”
Watt said he feels “you can somewhat control everything around you” when at home for camp and that leaves him “optimistic” about starting the season on time while noting the risks that will come from there. As the look at the Texans illustrates, teams are doing a lot in hopes of minimizing the fallout from those risks in the months to come.