The blazing sun welcomed the team and diehard fans when training camp opened at 8 a.m., the first of 33 scheduled practices over the next 3-weeks.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said he thought the players stayed in shape during the off-season after losing in the divisional round last season.
"I just think that if you've had a great off-season program which I think we do, and you let them know you trust them, I think their conditioning test is practice this morning. If they show up and you know, guys see they haven't been doing anything, they'll find out real quick. I think we passed the test, our guys have been good."
One player being brought along slowly is Pro Bowl RB Arian Foster, who is on the Physically Unable to Perform list. New safety Ed Reed is on the PUP list as well, as he rehabs from off-season hip surgery. But LB Brian Cushing was back on the field after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL. He said rehab was not fun:
"It's just a very redundant process and there's alot of the same exercises over and over, it's a pain, but it's something that's extremely necessary if you want to come back and you want to be better than ever, you got to put in the work."
Hernandez: "Does the knee feel completely normal now?"
Cushing: "Yeah. You know, no hitch or limp or any soreness, it's gone. A lot better than I ever imagined."
Houston won the AFC South title and a first round playoff game in each of the last two seasons before losing in the divisional round. But expectations are running high for the team that many consider a serious Super Bowl contender.
The first pre-season game is August 9th in Minnesota against the Vikings.