Houston Texans Canceling Mandatory Minicamp Because Who Needs Practice Anyway?
The Houston Texans are coming off a 4-12 season. They were unable to enjoy the benefits of being that bad because they owed their first and second-round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins. They fired coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Deshaun Watson asked for a trade. Watson is still a member of the team due to off-field legal issues, but times are not great for this organization.
Two things of note the Texans did this offseason: hire David Culley as head coach and Nick Caserio as GM. Culley's hire was met with general confusion. He's a football lifer who has landed his first head coaching job at 68 years-old, so how much long-term planning can be done with a coach of that age is a question worth asking. The reaction around the league, though, was very positive. Everybody inside the other buildings in the NFL was excited Culley was getting his shot.
That shot coming in the midst of a superstar quarterback trade debacle is a tough draw. Culley will just have to make the best of it, as will the rest of the organization until the lawsuits and potential discipline from the league are figured out. The Texans had their OTAs over the past few weeks and were supposed to start mandatory minicamp next week, but Culley decided to cancel those outright because he felt attendance and participation was high enough during OTAs that they didn't need more practice:
The Texans have decided to not hold a full-team mandatory minicamp because they're satisfied with what they've accomplished during a month of organized team activities and workouts.
Team officials met with the player leadership and reached an agreement to not conduct the minicamp due to high attendance at the voluntary portion of the offseason.
"Our attendance has been great for us here," Texans coach David Culley said. "We’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish.”
Yeah, who needs to practice more when the foundation of the roster is the leftovers of a 4-12 team? Not the Texans, that's for sure.
Culley shouldn't get slammed for this, and even my own comments above are tongue-in-cheek. Whether or not the Texans hold mandatory camp in late June is not going to make one iota of difference come September. The players definitely love this decision and getting them to play hard will be a hard enough task as is, given the circumstances.
It is more than a bit amusing, though, that perhaps the worst team in football this upcoming season is foregoing extra practice time because the vibes are good right now.