In probably some of the biggest news for the Houston Texans heading into a training camp, the organization will be moving to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia where The Greenbrier is located. The New Orleans Saints were the most recent team that trained at The Greenbrier and they helped developed the facility into a property capable of properly hosting NFL teams for training camps.
The Texans are the only team besides the Saints to hold camp at The Greenbrier and the opportunity is opening a new door for the organization in stepping out of the box and their comfort zone to prepare for the season.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to hold training camp at the Greenbrier,” said executive vice president of football operations and general manager, Rick Smith. “It’s a wonderful place and the facilities and climate combine for an ideal environment as our team trains, bonds, and prepares for the 2017 season.”
Why the complete move? Here is a closer look at the main reasons.
If players should be thankful for one thing is the fact they are headed to the The Greenbrier to prepare for the 2017 season in weather that they have never experienced in Houston in August.
Take a look
August average temperatures in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
- 82’F is the high
- 58’F is the low
August average temperatures in Houston, Texas
- 95’F is the high
- 75’F is the low
The Texans will be spoiled when it comes to the weather of West Virginia, especially given their experience with the heat that the state of Texas produces each summer. The safety of the players is of the utmost importance and, with temperatures pushing up to 100+ on any given day during camp in Houston, players' exposure to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke increase. There were many times practice would come to a halt so the team could take a water break due to the heat or they had to be moved inside the bubble to continue practice. IVs would be used to replenish fluids for players prior to or during practice to make sure they stay away from dehydration, which could lead to strained muscles.
In heading to West Virginia, the Texans would be in a weather environment which is more conducive to conducting a steady, less interrupted practice and, as they would be coming back to Houston prior to the preseason, they would still have time to get acclimated to the Texans heat. On average, players take 10-14 days to get acclimated to the heat which is plenty of time prior to the season.
From a training standpoint, this seems like a smart move by the Texans, protecting their players from excessive heat and decreasing chances for soft tissue injuries prior to camp.
Maybe Bill O’Brien is taking a page from coach Herman Boone’s book from Remember the Titans when he takes his team to Gettysburg College to prepare for the high school season.
Why? To build a team.
It is a big year for the Bill O’Brien era and could be the one that decides his immediate future with the Texans past the 2017 season. O’Brien has worked his way to three consecutive seasons to 9-7 but there has been a cap on each season due to the revolving door at the quarterback position. The past two seasons, the Texans made the playoffs but with few expectations to go deep into the postseason due to the offense not being up to par. Now entering year four with the Texans, O’Brien’s offense has gone backwards each of the past three seasons, leading up to the now, when he is personally taking over the offense.
Moving the team to facilities away from home to work is not some brand new idea when it comes to training camp across the NFL; it is just new to the Texans. Around half of the league holds training camp away from their normal regular season facilities, just like the Texans are taking the plunge this coming season. Getting the team out and together will hopefully forge the team closer before hitting the preseason schedule.
To be honest, the Texans have one of their most important seasons on deck of the Bill O’Brien era, with year four being a make or break season. Now totally in charge the offense with no offensive coordinator, O’Brien is tasked with correcting one of the worst offenses in 2016. The past three seasons, the Texans offense has trended downward and now O’Brien, is going to have to correct the offense in a single offseason.
The Texans usually stay in a team hotel near the stadium when camp is in Houston but still near familiar faces in their hometown. With the team heading to The Greenbrier, the Texans will be isolated and depending on each other even more in daily activities, not being completely cooped up in a place they will spend all season.
It is going to take all hands on deck to help the Texans on offense and heading to West Virginia will put the focus on one spot: the 2017 season.
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