NFL Wire News

Texans QB battle in spotlight for Hard Knocks


The Sports Xchange

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans are going national.

A day after enduring floods that slammed the Houston region and forced the team to postpone its first day of OTAs, the Texans announced they are the NFL’s chosen team for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series this season.

With the personalities of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Arian Foster, Bill O’Brien and an old-fashioned training-camp quarterback competition, the Texans are a natural source of TV drama.

“The last year has not been the best year for public relations for the NFL,” McNair said Wednesday at NRG Stadium. “Our team has not had the kind of problems that have existed with many teams. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the country to see that we’ve got a first-class group of players and coaches.

“This is the way we’d like to see the game presented. I think it’s something that will be very positive and not just for us but for the league. I’m quite proud of our players and the way they do represent us.”

As for the product on the field, the Texans ran through the first day of workouts without any major issues.

Brian Hoyer began with the first team Wednesday. Split quarterback reps with Ryan Mallett followed, with Hoyer sometimes watching from the sideline as third-stringer Tom Savage and Mallett led the Texans’ offense during the first day of OTAs on Wednesday at NRG Stadium.

For Hoyer, a much-hyped and widely watched quarterback competition in Cleveland is old news. He endured, then edged Johnny Manziel last season with the Browns.

“I’ve been through it before,” Hoyer said. “I’m not going to let it affect me and I’ll just be myself and really focus on the things that I can control.”

For Mallett, returning to action and firing passes with his trademark zip was a welcome feeling after recovering from pectoral surgery.

“I was just ready to go,” said Mallett, who threw to a specific set of receivers.

Hoyer was generous with his time during a post-practice interview session, going into detail about his initial expectations and comfort with Bill O’Brien’s offense.

“The tempo (stood out),” said Hoyer, who dealt with flood issues Tuesday and was forced to return home on his way to a canceled practice. “You can tell we put a lot of work in and guys were just prepared. There weren’t a lot of mental mistakes. Guys came ready to go and it was exciting — got after it a little bit.”

Mallett was as confident as always, shrugging off the announcement of the intrusion of “Hard Knocks” cameras with a starter’s focus.

“I’m just here to win football games,” said Mallett, who also battled Houston’s floods.

As for Savage, the second-year quarterback told Hoyer that he feels “light years” ahead of where he was at this point as a rookie.

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