Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 7/28/12

It’s been a grueling five months, but football is back! The free agency period is over, the NFL Draft has been completed, and informal OTAs and mini-camps are now in the rearview mirror. Every NFL team is reporting or has reported for training camp within the past few days. The Houston Texans have officially gathered today and will commence double-sessions tomorrow. The excitement surrounding the Texans is at an all-time franchise high as the team has its sights set on a Super Bowl appearance.

Several players were available to the media today, including Antonio Smith. The defensive end was blunt about the team’s expectations for 2012, proclaiming, “Expectations for us can be no lower than the Super Bowl. Everybody should have that goal. I think everybody would agree with me on the team. If you don’t have that goal, it’s like a defeatist mindset.”

Now begins not only the quest for a Super Bowl for the Texans as a whole, but also the individual position battles that will ultimately shape the team. One of the more publicized competitions is along the offensive line, specifically at right guard. Antoine Caldwell, currently penciled in as the starter, is focused on winning the job and filling the void left by the departed Mike Brisiel, last season’s starting RG. When asked how he felt about the opportunity, Caldwell responded, “It means everything. I’m looking forward to it. I look at it as a great opportunity. I want to prove I can be a starter on this team.” Caldwell continued, “Every year’s a new year. I’m going to approach it like every other season. I’m ready to step up and do my job. The only difference is I’ll be running with the front five. A lot of work has to be done to rebuild the continuity in the line.”

Stay tuned as the Texans officially kick off practices tomorrow and begin to build toward a successful 2012 campaign. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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