Veteran football players aren't usually the biggest fans of this time of year. They'd rather do without the extra workouts in the boiling heat, even though they're not yet in pads. Usually, these offseason practices come with a lot of rehash.
This year's situation is a little bit different for the Texans. During the voluntary minicamp and organized team activities and the mandatory minicamp which is ongoing now, the Texans coaches have taught their offense and defense to their players. They've inundated them with information, seeing who can retain what and through what means.
Andre Johnson is missing all that. His position hasn't changed since that charity appearance last month when Johnson declared his intention to skip OTAs and mandatory minicamp because he wasn't sure he wanted to be in Houston anymore. He doesn't have a lot of leverage, and the Texans don't plan to trade him or release him, but what Johnson will do from here is a little bit unclear. He'll have about a month to ponder before training camp starts and things get really serious.
I asked coach Bill O'Brien yesterday if he was concerned about Johnson catching up when he returns (presuming he does). He has, after all, missed all of the installation up until now. O'Brien said no.
"I believe that based on the different systems that he has been in that he would be able to pick up on our system," O'Brien said. "He’s a bright guy, a very bright guy and a guy that has done a lot in this league. So, I think he’d be able to figure it out."
O'Brien wouldn't say whether or not Johnson has the playbook or if he's been able to do anything on his own to learn the team's new offense.
He's not concerned, or at least he says he's not. Are you?