WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – As the players wrapped up their sixth training camp practice of the 2017 NFL season, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair met with the assembled media at The Greenbriar.
The players themselves have applauded the team’s move and are enjoying the cooler weather, a fact not lost on McNair.
“I tell you what, it’s a beautiful place,” responded McNair when asked about his thoughts on the decision to practice in West Virginia this season. “The facilities are great. We had a productive practice for two-and-a-half hours. I don’t think we could quite do that in 100-degree weather, so it’s been very productive.”
One of the biggest factors in getting away from the stifling Houston heat and humidity was to help facilitate improvements in Houston’s stagnant offense, and McNair likes what he sees from his younger skill position players.
“I think we’re going to have a big improvement in our offense this year, and the defense is going to step it up a little bit also,” said McNair. “So, we ought to be well balanced. I’m really looking forward to it. I like our young players. They’re doing well,”
McNair also gave a vote of confidence to fourth-year signal caller Tom Savage, who is the favorite to open the season as the Texans Week 1 starter.
“(Tom) Savage has been playing well and he hasn’t had a chance before because of injuries and what have you. So, it’s a chance for him to get out there and show what he can do, and I think he’s talented. It’s a good group.”
Of course, for the Texans to get improved play out of their quarterbacks, they will need starting left tackle Duane Brown — who is currently holding out — back in camp.
When asked if he was concerned about Brown’s absence, McNair responded “Well, you know, he ought to be here. He needs the work just like everybody, so we look forward to his coming back. I’m sure he’ll be here, it’s just a matter of when.”
Other than Brown’s holdout, which McNair seems to think will be resolved, the Texans owner is looking forward to a much-improved offense, and hinted at what kind of role Texans fans can expect out of third-round running back D’Onta Foreman.
“I guess the most exciting thing is to see the improvement in our offense that I think we’ll see. I think it’s just going to be a little more productive. I think that our run game is so important to us and I think that we’ve got multiple running backs that can do well. The young rookie from Texas (D’Onta Foreman), he looks like a good short-yardage back that’ll be able to pound it down there when it’s third-and-2.”
Along with confidence in the ground game, McNair also praised the wide receivers and thinks the young receiving corps, with DeAndre Hopkins and second-year wideouts Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, will help the offense score more points.
“I think that our passing game’s going to be better. We’ve got some good, young receivers so I think they’re going to be able to put more points on the board” said McNair.
For Texans fans, the hope is that McNair’s optimism comes to fruition and the team can finally mount a credible offense to pair with the NFL’s No. 1 defense.
Should things play out the way Bob McNair envisions for the 2017 season, the Houston Texans might finally have a legitimate chance to make some real noise in the AFC playoffs.
© 2017 USATODAY.COM