Monday marked the start of the Texans' offseason program. At this point, the workouts are technically voluntary, and focus on a strength and conditioning program.
Things are changing under new strength coach Craig Fitzgerald's regime. There's a strip of turf in the weight room. The machines look different. The guy running the workouts is different. And the most interesting change we heard about in the aftermath of those first workouts was the introduction of a different kind of strength plan.
Mixed martial arts on Thursdays, quarterback T.J. Yates said.
"I’ve done some stuff outside the box type of stuff," center Chris Myers said. "But they’re having some new ways of training. As long as you approach it with an open mind, you’ll be alright."
It's not that MMA is a brand new form of football training. For a few years now, several NFL players have done offseason MMA training to keep their bodies in shape.
What is shows is a willingness to think creatively, something that might be shaping up to be a hallmark of this Texans staff.
"You can only lift the same weight and run the same runs so many times," punter Shane Lechler said. "It’ll be nice to do something different."
Change is good. Being open to what works is good. It might force some players out of their comfort zones, but that's a great way to grow.