HOUSTON – At training camp, it's one drill, after another, after another and Texans players and coaches are giving it their all each day at practice.
But there is a time of respite each day.
After the morning practice before the rest of the day's meetings and a second workout, the Texans players and coaches try to unwind with friends and family.
"It's real important," Texans offensive lineman Keith Browner said. "All day you just think about the plays and all football, 24-7. You get that little period with your family and loved ones and it's just a breath of fresh air."
No one enjoys this down time more than quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. His wife and kids are mainstays at camp.
"It's awesome because really, training camp is the time I get to see my family," Fitzpatrick said. "The kids come out every day and run around on the field and play. It's my conditioning you know, it wears me out a little bit they run circles around me but it's still a lot of fun for me."
As camp drones on, hour after hour and day after day, everyone starts to look for the preverbal light at the end of the light-bearing tunnel.
The light-hearted moments are important to ease the strain and tension.
"It's nice to interact with other player's families. It's cool to see other people's kids, Ryan Fitzpatrick's kids, coaches kids, it gives you a chance to know each other," Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. "It helps create chemistry and for the guys who have families here it's really nice for them to get a quick break and just say 'Ah'."
"When your sons and daughters, nephews and nieces come out to practice and watch how hard these guys operate and how hard they work, I think that's a pretty neat thing and that's something I love about the NFL," head coach Bill O'Brien said.
But for O'Brien, family is still very far away.
"I think it is great. Now my family is still on vacation, they don't want to be around me," O'Brien said with a laugh. They're still on Cape Cod. But you see Mike Vrabel's two sons out there, you see Hannah and Cal (McNair), their two sons out there today, you see the players that kids, their families are here. You know, I think that is fantastic."
The best news for everyone is that not only will there be romping on the field at practice, there will be an actual pre-season game in less than a week.
That's when the fun really begins.