It was maybe a 30 minute practice that completed the pre-training camp portion of the Houston Texans' offseason -- that's if you count the time it took for Ben Jones' punt-catching heroics and playful footraces between coaches and players.
There was a definite last-day-of-school vibe to the Texans' final day of mandatory minicamp.
"I think these guys have put in a lot of time; they really have," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "We had the early start because we are a new staff and you really can’t ask much more for this time of the year then what they have given us. They’ve worked extremely hard. We’ve thrown a lot of information at them. I think that we even got some things done today. We had a good meeting, a good walk-through and it was time to take a little break."
Today's final practice concluded a process that began on April 7, when the Texans' voluntary conditioning program began. They were allowed to start then because they had a new coaching staff.
During the past several weeks, the coaches have taught not only technique, but a large portion of the new playbook. This afternoon, the coaches are meeting for a post-mortem on this portion of the offseason before taking a short break.
"Everybody will go their separate ways a little bit, but football will be on our minds," O'Brien said. "But we’ll spend some time with our families. And then we’ll be back here around the middle of July and get going for July 21 when the early group of training camp guys report."
O'Brien has been cautioning every day that there are some parts of the game, like the running game, that are difficult to truly evaluate without pads on. That part will come in late July when training camp begins.
Until then, players are cautioned not to relax too much.
"They need to make sure that they stay in condition, that they stay knowledgeable with the playbook, stay strong and do the things necessary to come back here in the best shape of their lives," O'Brien said. "They know that. These guys, especially the guys that have been around, they’re pros and they understand that."