HOUSTON — No one likes drama.
Well, I mean…some people do, but it’s usually not very fun to deal with unless you’re referring to a scripted reality show on some random cable channel.
How do people watch that stuff?
Anyway…that word, drama, is what summed up the 2021 Houston Texans.
Deshaun Watson’s soap opera, a new coach with no previous experience, a totally rebuilt roster. All that drama made last year not a very fun experience.
Thankfully, times are changing.
We don’t know what the 2022 version of this franchise will bring as far as wins are concerned, but through the first two days of Training Camp, it seems to be a drama-free zone.
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Lovie Smith has a lot to do with that.
“He's strict when he's strict. He's fun when he's fun, and when it's time to go to work, it's time to go to work,” linebacker Christian Kirksey said. “That’s how it's supposed to be.”
The longtime NFL coach brings a certain calmness to the team. It’s evident through the first couple of Texans Training Camp practices. Sure, the process that got him hired was a bit of a disaster, but the man the Texans ended up picking to lead this rebuild on the field has so far been able to instill confidence in a group that last year didn’t have much to build off of.
A new era of Texans football is here.
“It has to be,” Smith said after Friday’s 1st camp practice. “We haven't had a good product for them (fans) to show up for. So, it starts with that. But for us to make this turnaround, it's got -- NRG Stadium, our traveling Texans, they have to be a part of this. The way we get them excited is, again, what we are putting on the field.”
A year ago, all the attention was on a guy that didn’t want to be there. Cameras followed Deshaun Watson’s every move and questions about his availability and future came in every day.
It was tiresome. It was useless. It was unproductive.
This year, it’s back to football. The Texans are rebuilding. That’s not a secret. They have a lot of young players that need time to grow in a league where the demands are high, and results are expected. It’s hard to do that when your best player and supposed leader walks out on you.
Davis Mills, however, is present. The 2nd year quarterback still has a lot to prove, yes, but being there and providing stable leadership, is something worth noting.
“It's the quarterback’s team,” veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks said. “He's a lot more vocal in the meeting rooms than he was the rookie year and that's what you want to see from your quarterback. It's your team and we love to see that demand he's taken.”
Ultimately, wins and losses will reign supreme over any good vibes the team is putting out.
But good vibes are something this franchise has been looking for. And while they’re here, let’s enjoy them.