Houston - As August moves into September, so to does the NFL calendar move from preseason to regular season. The last of the preseason games are done, and now, coaches, and those players that survived the cuts now gear themselves for the real competition. Yet, while many are more than eager to move forward, there is something to be said for reviewing the past couple of weeks.
For the Houston Texans, that would mean reliving the second undefeated preseason in team history (4-0 in 2016), as they logged a sterling 3-0 record, to include two last-minute fourth quarter comebacks. While a number of fans and players might not place a whole lot of credence on preseason records, there were those within the Texans organization who felt differently.
“We’re number 1! We’re number 1! We’re number 1, number 1, number 1,1,1! Yeah baby! Easterby be, er, I mean, God be praised!!!” exalted the Texans’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “I know that we set a goal to win the preseason last year, and while we didn’t quite make it then, we, under the Blessed Guidance of the Most High and Holy, and His awesome messenger (who may or may not be me), made it now!!! I even got back to work and made up the 2022 NFL preseason championship design.”
The EVPFO continued “As you know, preseason performance can be a significant indicator of future regular season performance. I think it is safe to say that an undefeated preseason will almost assuredly auger a near equal result in the regular season. Oh, you know what, I need to run these championship shirts to Lovie and Nick. Be right back…”
The EVPFO sprinted out of the door, but our Totally Not Fake News reporter did not hear from him for a long while. Our sources would later learn that the EVPFO did indeed get to both men’s offices to deliver their swag, but the reception was apparently not reciprocated.
“Apparently, [Head Coach] Lovie [Smith] cordially received the visit, but when presented with the shirt, calmed looked up at [the EVPFO], looked down at the shirt, back up at [the EVPFO], and launched the shirt with such velocity that it nearly broke the office window. When [the EVPFO] attempted to object, Lovie looked over and calmly stated: “Shut up, Jack.” Before another protest, it was “Shut up, Jack, and please close the door after you leave.”
Our sources continued: “The meeting with [GM] Nick [Caserio], well, we didn’t quite catch the dialogue, but there was an awful lot of screaming/screeching. Apparently some major clawing of cloth took place and the EVPFO was so distraught that he immediately ran to the CEO’s office. Well, [CEO] Cal [McNair] warmly greeted him. Yet, before the EVPFO could get too many words of complaint, Cal encouraged him to try one of his latest cooking confections: blackened hot dogs.”
Totally Not Fake News can confirm that the EVPFO tried a couple of the hot dogs. Apparently, a lot of people also later reported that the EVPFO was spending the rest of the afternoon and a good bit of next day gulping down large quantities of water to try to get the “vile taste of ash and charcoal out of his mouth, so that the Divine Message wouldn’t be corrupted by the work of Satan’s kitchen.”
While the Front Office had its own way of dealing with the pre-season, the emotions of the players also varied. While some, such as Brandin Cooks and Laremy Tunsil logged no snaps in the preseason, many of the other players on the roster were fighting for their professional lives.
“Look, the last week of preseason is perhaps the most difficult and hardest week of the year for anyone in the personnel business. Anyone who has one small sliver of emotion or soul loathes this week. The reason being, this is the week where you get to tell some young man that his lifelong hopes and dreams are dead and buried. [Easterby] sucks, I tell you.”
The Texans organization is as cognizant as any of the impact of training camp cuts. While some players have a rough idea of where they stand ,the Texans implemented a new program to offer manuals and books to help prospective players know where they stood and offer tips to what to expect in the future.
NOTE: These books were tailored to individual players. This was in addition to the playbooks and other coaching material all players received in camp. Totally Not Fake News did receive word that the ever-present EVPFO did offer his inputs for mandatory team books, but was rebuffed by an unidentified leadership figure with a long white beard, penetrating eyes, and a master of the subtle phrase “Shut up, Jack.”
For some of the promising rookies, they might find a book like this:
For others, the literary selections could vary based on position and standing.
For Ross Blacklock, he found this book in his locker:
For Max Scharping, there was some initial confusion when he saw this book:
“Hey, wait a minute, I am a second round pick.”
“Max, don’t worry. This book will really, really help you out. Trust me” noted Texans offensive line coach George Warhop.
Eventually, Max Scharping did take the book, but would just a quickly receive this work to help him out in his new job.
“Reading is good. Helps make me the most incredibalist CEO in all of the NFL. Most incredibablistical” beamed Cal McNair while he waved his hand frantically back and forth across a very smokey grill. We did wonder if all of this grilling explained the special perfume that Hannah McNair wore at the recent Texans gala.
“Oh no, that wasn’t any deliberately special effort on her part. What happened was that Cal is so in to his grilling that he had one placed in the bedroom and was working on a recipe while Hannah was getting ready for the ball. Well, you remember those “Blackened Hot Dogs…”
While Totally Not Fake News tries to avoid editorializing within its stories and reporting the straight facts, as our readers expect, we will break with tradition and say that it is not a good idea to practice grilling inside your own bedroom.
All that being said, Totally Not Fake News will close the book on the 2022 Texans preseason and is gearing up for the regular season. As the Texans march towards their first date on the 2022 calendar with Indianapolis, we at Totally Not Fake News will continue to follow the march with them, and you.