*The Houston Texans are coming to Richmond, Va., Thursday through Friday for joint training camp practices with the Redskins. *
Hear what Duane Brown and J.J. Watt are saying about the opportunity:
Texans Offensive Tackle Duane Brown
On the response to his return from people he know in Richmond:
"Excellent response, man. Family, friends, a lot people are excited for an opportunity for me to be able to come back home in time here. I have a lot of people that will come out and support me at practice. I never thought in a hundred years I'd be in my city competing against the Redskins. It's just a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it."
On how many of his family members will attend:
"I'm not trying to go crazy out there, but it will at least be about 20 people who are out there for three days, so it'll be pretty packed every day."
On if he will have a chance to see the city:
"I hope so. We haven't got our schedule yet. You know, the main goal for me is to go out there and you know have a good time practicing, but if time permits I would definitely love to get around the city some. I'll be able to visit some people that I haven't been able to see in a while."
On playing for Coach Patrick Kane at Hermitage High School in Richmond:
"It was an amazing time. I think he got there my junior year and just completely, completely turned the program around. I am very honored to be a part of the transition. He did a heck of a job coaching me as a player and coaching up the team. He did a heck of a job of putting me out there to scouts and colleges. A lot of teams [were] coming out there to check us out. Just a great time. I had a lot of fun playing for him and it's been great to watch the success that they've had since I left there."
On any achievement in his NFL career that sticks out the most:
"I think probably my first Pro Bowl, which was my fifth year [but] my first Pro Bowl. Growing up, it's always been a dream of mine to play at this level, but it's always a dream for a lot of kids. You never know when you are going to get that opportunity. Once I got here, you see just how hard it is to be successful and to have longevity in this league. For me to accomplish being recognized as being one of the best in my position amongst 32 teams, it was a great accomplishment for me and I was very honored and proud of that."
On Head Coach Bill O'Brien:
"Coach O'Brien is a great coach for us. He has a great formula . His philosophy is just about competition. I think our practices that we've had since he's been here have probably been the most intense practice I've had in my career and I think it's working out for the best for us. I think in order to be as focused professionally as possible, you have to practice that way. I think we try hard to do that. He's a great motivator. I think the speeches and the talks that we have with him, as players, it really resonates with us and it's meant something for a lot of us. I think we're buying into it. Last year was a tough transition for everybody having a brand new coach, learning a system that's pretty complex but we were still able to have a somewhat successful season. We didn't accomplish what we wanted to but I think this year it's really going to turn for us and I'm looking forward to it."
On what O'Brien says in his speeches:
"Just talking about the culture winning. And I think he knows, in this organization, we've had some tests. It's been a long time. We've been here… this organization has been around for 13 years and only won the division twice and to the playoffs twice. But [we're] just trying to create a winning culture and guys that are not satisfied with mediocrity. I think that's something that he really tries to instill in us and something that we are binding to, just really being hungry for success and not settling for anything less than greatness. Like I said, you can kind of see it and feel it around the locker room and around this organization. So we just have to go out there and get it done."
On what about O'Brien allows him to turn teams around:
"I can't really speak on the Penn State thing. I don't know what it was like out there. But he came here – like I said – and he just kind of brought with him, like I said, everything that I mentioned before. [He] just kind of changed the culture and was really focusing on nothing but winning, you know what I mean? I think he's a great guy and someone that we have a good relationship with as players and coaches. We all know what the main goal is and that's winning. We have to sacrifice a lot in order to get there. There is no substitute for hard work and I think that's something that he has brought to this organization. He's just working our tails off to pounce on what you want and that's what we've done since he's been here. I think there's a physical side of it but also there's also a mental aspect that is something that we've really taken a big step forward this year – learning the system, learning this offense, the different defenses and you can kind of see a big step forward right now for us this training camp as opposed to last year."
On if he knows any former Virginia Tech players on the Redskins:
"Yeah, I haven't talked to DeAngelo [Hall] in a while but we went to school together. Trent Williams is someone I talk to every now and then out there."
On if there is anywhere he is looking forward to going when he returns to Richmond:
"I plan on going to Croaker's Spot restaurant out there and then taking a few of my teammates out there to check it out. I've kind of spoken it up a lot around here – talking about how good it was – but I would like to check it out. I would like to go back to Hermitage to see some of the guys out there-- the players out there, if I can. Other than that, I just want to see my family and whatever else I can. I know training camp schedules are pretty hectic so I don't know exactly how much time I have, but once I find that out, I will be able to plan accordingly."
Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt On if the Redskins will see him play on offense:
The Washington Redskins today announced they will conduct joint 2015 training camp practices with the Houston Texas in Richmond, Va. Here's a look back at some Redskins-Texans battles over the years.
"I don't know. It's whatever the coaches want. I'm not really sure. It's all based on the coaching staff — what they decide. If I can help the team in any way, I of course will."
On if he has participated in joint practices before:
"I have. Last year was my first year being part of it. We went up to Denver last year and practiced with them and then also the [Atlanta] Falcons came here last year. It's a good opportunity for teams to compete. It's a chance to see another team and obviously different color jerseys. For guys, it kind of breaks up training camp, and a chance to see other schemes, see other styles. Players enjoy it. It's an opportunity to compete against somebody else and anytime you get to compete, that's what we're all about. "
On if he's ever been to Richmond:
"I don't believe I've been to Richmond. I was in Virginia Beach a little bit earlier this offseason but I have not been to Richmond yet. I'm looking forward to it. I've seen people on social media and things saying they're looking forward to it, so I'm looking forward to seeing Richmond."
On Head Coach Bill O'Brien:
"Coach O'Brien is a worker. He's a guy who comes in, he has high expectations for his team and he comes to work every single day. You have to respect a guy that comes to work every single day with the same attitude, the same mentality and the same expectations. I like the way he handles himself, I like the way he handles our team. He's very good about understanding his players and knowing what they need. Knowing when they need to be pushed and when he needs to back off a bit. He's just a really good coach that guys want to play for."
On the addition of nose tackle Vince Wilfork:
"Vince is a great player, he's a great guy. Obviously been in this league for a long time, been very successful for a long time. So to have a guy like him in the middle who is as big and stout as he is, but also moves so well, that's great for any defense. We're very excited to have Vince."
On what he remembers about the Redskins from last year:
"It was a long time ago... I remember it was obviously our first game at home. Anytime you get a win in the first game of the season it's always good to get off on the right foot. I can't honestly say I remember specific plays or anything like that from the game."
On Coach O'Brien's intensity and patience:
"He's a great football coach. He understands when he needs to be certain ways. He has times when he's extremely intense and he knows that he needs to push the pedal to the metal a little bit, then he also has times when he knows he needs to be patient and understanding. I think that's one of his best skillsets is that he really has a finger on the pulse of the team and he knows what the team needs and when they need it."
On HBO's Hard Knocks:
"Obviously it is what is, but we've done a good job and once you get into every day-to-day activity, you just don't really even notice it anymore. Obviously the first day you see more cameras around and more people around, but once you get into it, you really don't even notice it too much. You just go about your daily activities and there's really no distraction at all."
On if it is hard to act natural with cameras present:
"Not really. I mean, I think you just go about your day-to-day activities and just do what you do."
On if he has worked with the offense in training camp:
"Not yet so far in camp or anything. Like I said, I just go by what the coaching staff wants. My whole goal in the offseason is to create the best athlete that I can possibly create and then give it to the coaching staff and let them use it however they want to use it. So whatever that may be – offense, defense, special teams –however I can help the team win, I'm more than willing to."
On joint practices:
"I'm just coming up there with an opportunity to get better. Looking forward to practicing against another team, looking forward to getting good reps in, getting good work in and the opportunity to go out there every single day and compete – compete with my teammates and work on coming together as a team. Going out there every day and putting together the best practice we can put together."