Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans to Hold Joint Training Camp Practice with Dolphins, Saints

DeMeco Ryans is bringing back the joint practice in the preseason.
DeMeco Ryans is bringing back the joint practice in the preseason. Screen grab from YouTube
Back in 2020, COVID took a lot of things away from us, and as the pandemic began to simmer, we got some of those things back. One annual tradition, though, for the Houston Texans, that was swiped by COVID in 2020, and never reprised by head coaches David Culley in 2021 or Lovie Smith in 2022, was joint practices during the preseason with OTHER actual NFL teams.

Now, with the advent of the DeMeco Ryans Era underway, it appears that Ryans, who said in his introductory press conference that he loves joint practices, is bring back the inter-squad tussles. In fact, Ryans likes them so much, he's doing it twice! Courtesy of Mark Berman of KRIV FOX 26 here in Houston:
A few thoughts on this development:

This is the first time the Texans are doing this since 2019.
One way to put this is that the Texans are doing joint practices for the first time in four years. One other way to look at it is they are doing this for the first time in five head coaches (if you include interim head coach Romeo Crennel in 2020). Either way, it was 2019 when the Texans last practiced in the preseason with other NFL teams. During that summer, they practiced in Green Bay prior to the first preseason game, a practice session best known for then-rookie CB Lonnie Johnson getting the boot from one practice because he practically concusses Packers rookie TE Jace Sternberger. The other practice was at home with Detroit, and my most vivid memory from those sessions was then-Lions head coach Matt Patricia rolling around on a scooter (he'd just had some sort of leg surgery) like he owned the place.

This should give us a clearer picture of where the Texans are heading into the season.
I am excited for these practices with the Dolphins and Saints for two reasons. First, the more obvious reason  — these practices are just more fun. The hitting is more spirited and the competition is fierce (more on that in a moment). Also, though, we should have a much clearer picture of where the Texans stand. Instead of throwing against the same secondary every day, C.J. Stroud will need to figure out a Dolphins defense whose cornerbacks are Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard. Bradley Chubb will be coming off the edge against Laremy Tunsil or Tytus Howard. DeMeco Ryans' defense will have to stand up against a Dolphins offense with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and a Saints offense orchestrated by new QB Derek Carr. The clarity coming from these sessions may be jarring, but also refreshing.

The best part about joint practices — trash talk and (possibly) fights!
Then, of course, we can only hope we get this type of drama. From joint practice in 2018 versus San Francisco. Shout out to current Texans (then Niners) safety Jimmie Ward!

If you're a Texans season ticket holder with access to practice tickets, the sessions with the Dolphins in town will be the ones to attend.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and like him on Facebook at
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast