Houston Texans: 3 Takeaways from “Hard Knocks” Premiere


The latest season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” debuted last Tuesday night and provided plenty of insight into the inner workings of the Houston Texans. Here are three things we learned.

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1) J.J. Watt is the best player in the NFL

Okay, maybe we already knew this, but it’s easy to see why the Texans’ coaching staff and fans love him. We got an early look at Watt in training mode as he attempted to flip a massive tire that weighs 1,000 pounds. According to Watt, he was able to flip it just one time in 2013. In 2014, he flipped it 30 times.

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This year, he’s done it 65 times. We also get to see Watt working on his pass-rushing technique long after practice had ended before agreeing to take pictures and sign autographs with the hundreds of fans who remained behind, finally leaving the field at 10:10 pm. Watt had the best year of his career in 2014, and looks poised to be even better (if you can believe it) this season.

2) Bill O’Brien is as fiery as they come

And you can tell he spent time in New England as he is already playing the “us against the world” card. He used Arian Foster‘s injury as a chance to further this mantra, noting how some sports media outlets (like a famous one with four letters) have already declared Houston’s season over. “OB” dropped 12 F-bombs in the episode (one less than linebackers coach Mike Vrabel) and showed us his passion, something we’ve seen before on the sidelines in New England. The Texans’ players seem to be on his side, but is it a matter of time before he wears out his welcome?

3) DeAndre Hopkins looks ready to replace Andre Johnson

A few months ago, I wrote about the Texans’ wide receiver position, taking a look at who has the best opportunity to replace Andre Johnson‘s production. The obvious choice is Hopkins – and he seems to be ready to assume the role. Hopkins was easily the best offensive player on the field for the Texans, both in team practices and joint practices with the Washington Redskins, making several impressive catches.

After a bad drop made him the victim of DeAngelo Hall trash talk, Hopkins seemed to be slightly unnerved before responding the best way possible – by nearly breaking Hall’s ankles on the field with an impressive out cut. It’s too bad these teams won’t play during the regular season to continue this growing feud. As for the second receiver position, Houston may want to give that elephant a tryout.

Catch the second episode of “Hard Knocks” next Tuesday on HBO.

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