NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes took center stage at Banita Creek Hall Wednesday to talk Texans and Battle of the Pineywoods. The rivalry game between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State is set at NRG Stadium again this year.
The Houston Texans premiere on the HBO series "Hard Knocks" was fresh on the president's mind as it aired the night before. The documentary series couldn't have picked a better team with more storylines.
Head coach Bill O'Brien is on the hunt to find a starting quarterback, and both Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer have given him a lot to think about throwing all they got at him. Arian Foster won't be playing anytime soon with a groin injury, leaving Alfred Blue and Chris Polk with a workload to start carrying. Then JJ Watt seems to be his own storyline anywhere he goes.
"I thought the first episode was entertaining and exciting," said Rootes. "I followed the fans on social media and they certainly got a charge out of it. At the end, the comment was consistently 'I can't wait for Saturday night' and I can't either."
While the intensity at any NFL practice is always at an all-time high, Rootes has noticed an extra pep in the players step with the "Hard Knocks" crew out on the prowl with their cameras. For the most part, Rootes hasn't noticed the extra attention on the team to be distracting.
"There are things you have to manage anytime you bring cameras and microphones into a team situation, but the opportunity for us to present the Houston Texans, that's now being beamed out across the planet," said Rootes.
Fists flying against the Washington Redskins joint practice made the cut for the Texans "Hard Knocks" debut. Besides that, Rootes said he can tell it's time for the team to get some real hits in with their preseason opener against the San Francisco 49er's just around the corner.
"They've been working hard. It will be great to get to NRG stadium, give them a chance to play another team in a game atmosphere and see what happens," said Rootes. "There's a lot of interesting storylines, very competitive environment in camp which is what you want, and I think the fans are enjoying the development of this team as we look to win a championship for Houston."
The preseason opener against the 49er's will be Saturday at NRG Stadium starting at 7 p.m.