-- "I'm the best dad in the world right now," Vince Wilfork said with a grin after practice Saturday.
What Herculean feat won him the title? Introducing his daughter, Destiny, to J.J. Watt.
"One of the reasons I came here was because of my daughter," said Wilfork, who signed with the Texans this spring after 11 seasons with the New England Patriots. "She said the only reason she was going to move here is if she got a chance to meet him. I said, 'OK, well' and I made that promise some months back. It finally paid off for me right now."
The meeting produced this adorable photo:
-- Ryan Mallett bristled at a question that began with the assumption that many consider the quarterback competition over. Bill O'Brien said he didn't, and so the reporter asked Mallett if that was good to hear.
"Are you counting me out?" Mallett asked.
And that was the end of that.
Saturday's was the first practice of training camp, and the continuation of a quarterback battle that began months ago between Mallett and Brian Hoyer. On Saturday they both got some time with the starting offensive linemen and first-team receivers, though it did seem often that Hoyer was playing with the more talented group around him.
"In training camp it’s a little bit different; everybody gets reps with everyone else," O'Brien said. "It’s not, we don’t look at it as a first team and a second team and third team and all that. For two-spot drills we may divide it up into a red group and a blue group. We see Mallett and Hoyer sometimes they’re in there with the No. 3, sometimes they’re in there with the third offensive line."
Hoyer was sharp, for the most part, on shorter throws. As he usually does, he ran the offense fairly smoothly, though both his and Mallett's groups were plagued by some sloppiness issues they bemoaned afterward.
"We need to work to eliminate the pre-snap penalties, jumping offsides, and the delay of game at the end there," Hoyer said, noting a penalty that meant his group had to run. "So eliminate those and give yourselves a chance to play. When you have those pre-snap penalties, you put yourselves in a bad situation."
One drill featured Hoyer throwing touchdown passes to C.J. Fiedorowicz and EZ Nwachukwu, another completion, and a few plays later an interception Stevie Brown picked off just near the goal line.
O'Brien was asked if he has a better idea now of when he'll announce his starting quarterback. He said, "No."
Does anyone have an edge? "No," he said again.
"I trust Bill O’Brien with my career, so I feel like I’m going to get a fair shot," Mallett said. "Whatever he decides is what we’re going to go with. He’s the head coach and we’re the players, so it’s kind of our job."