Tidbits to tide you over during the offseason
The football season is filled with statistics and highlights. But there's more to the game than that. Here's a look at some fun facts and interesting tidbits to tide you over until the NFL kicks off this fall.
1. In February, coach Bill O’Brien hired four of his former players for entry-level positions — receiver Andre Johnson (personnel and coaching), linebacker Brian Cushing (linebackers and strength and conditioning), quarterback T.J. Yates (quarterbacks), and linebacker Akeem Dent (linebackers). Johnson’s goal is to eventually become a general manager or team president.
2. During his last two offseasons, quarterback Deshaun Watson has traveled the world. This year, he visited five countries, putting on football camps for kids. He went to China, England, Austria, Italy and Egypt. “Traveling is something I’ve always dreamed about,” he says. “I loved history class when I was in school. I love to meet new people and try to expand my brain and my cultural experiences.” While in Egypt, Watson posted a picture on Instagram of him standing on a camel. “I don’t know what they said to the camel to make it stay still,” he says. “They said something in whatever language they were speaking. It stood there, and I hopped on. It was cool.”
3. Defensive end J.J. Watt gave the commencement address at his college, the University of Wisconsin. He’ll be back in his home state in August when the Texans have joint practices at Green Bay before they play a preseason game against the Packers. “I’m really excited,” says Watt, who grew up in Pewaukee, Wis. “I went to training camp in Green Bay as a kid. I stood by the parking lot fence and asked for autographs. I was like, ‘That’s the coolest job in the world. They play football for a living.’ That was one of the first moments when I realized how special that was and how hard I wanted to work toward it.”
4. In their first 17 drafts, the Texans selected two offensive tackles in the first two rounds: Chester Pitts (second) in 2002 and Duane Brown (first) in 2008. In April, they drafted two tackles — Tytus Howard in the first round and Max Scharping in the second.
5. Texas A&M takes great pride in its 12th Man, a player who walks on, gets to cover kicks and, hopefully, earns a scholarship. The Texans’ seventh-round draft choice, fullback and special teams star Cullen Gillaspia, grew up in a Houston suburb and reached two milestones at A&M. He became the first 12th Man to score a touchdown and the first to be drafted.