Texans tiptoe towards training camp

Jim McCurdyContributor IJuly 19, 2009

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 28:  Steve Slaton #20 of the the Houston Texans celebrates his touchdown for a 31-17 lead with teammates Duane Brown #76 and Vonta Leach #44 against the Chicago Bears during the second half at the Reliant Stadium December 28, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  The Texans won 31-24.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

A little more than two weeks away from the start of training camp, the Houston Texans have proved to be a stay-at-home-type of team. 

And we're not just talking about defensive assignments.

While many NFL teams venture off a few hundred miles -- or, even in the case of Houston's Texas brethren Dallas Cowboys, a few states (this is the first year the Cowboys are staying in Texas in some time after camping in Cali in recent years) -- away from the home turf for training camp, the Texans are true to their surroundings. When camp opens for the Texans this year, it'll be much like the past. At least in terms of setting. Sure, faces and personnel have changed to some degree, exciting additions already drawing interest. But the home base is the home base.

Houston isn't going anywhere for the season's preparatory practices. In fact, the Texans will practice right next door to the state-of-the-art Reliant Stadium where game days fill with passionate Texans in search of a winner.

Training camp begins 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 31 at Methodist Training Center in Houston. Tickets are free at any Houston-area Wingstop location for the first week of training camp. Rookies report to camp next Sunday.

The Texans held training camp at Methodist Training Center last year. In the hub of one of the country's largest and most renowned medical districts, the Texans training camp is a few first downs away from the brewing game day euphoria. Methodist Training Center is located just west of Kirby Drive and east of Main Street, north of I-610 in the Reliant Center neighborhood district.

It pays to be a Texan when fans fly free. Right in their own backyard.

As Houston readies for the upcoming season, impending optimism starting to circulate following a solid off-season of upgrades and momentum seemingly carrying over from a .500 season in 2008, training camp is just the starting point. Last year the Arizona Cardinals didn't carry as much hubbub into preseason when those birds flocked off to the High Country in Flagstaff, some two hours north of the Phoenix metropolitan area they make their home.

And look where they ended up.

Anything is possible they say in football. Heck, they made a movie about it, what with "Any Given Sunday" serving its place that any year could be any team's. Especially when it seizes the moment.

Carpe diem comes now for the Texans. Right here at home.


Houston Texans Training Camp Open Dates

July 31   8:30-10:45 a.m.

Aug. 1   8:30-10:45 a.m.

Aug. 2   8:30-10:45 a.m.

Aug. 3   8:30-10 a.m.

Aug. 6   7:15-9:15 p.m.