Amid low expectations, enthusiasm remains high for new Texans' head coach

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The sight is a sign of the transitional times for the Houston Texans.

During Thursday's practice, head coach David Culley appeared to be studying a roster - his own team's roster.

"We don't have names on jerseys right now, so a lot of times, I just see people running around," Culley said, smiling when asked about his roster-gazing after the team's workout.

Culley, who was hired as the team's head coach in late January, might not know the names of the players who make up his team, but he's surely aware of the situation surrounding it.

The soon-to-be 66-year-old, who has never been an NFL or college head coach before, inherits a Texans squad high on drama and low on expectations.

However, in front of ABC13 cameras, Culley doesn't seem too bummed out about it. Defensive back A.J. Moore Jr. said the team acknowledges Culley's optimism and feeds off it.

"Man, I love Coach Culley," Moore said. "He brings a lot of juice, and that helps everybody. I mean, think about it: If your head coach is excited and he's enthusiastic, it's contagious."

But losing can also be infectious.

The Texans are expected to lose quite a bit this season, both on the field and when it comes to keeping star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

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But Culley's scoreboard does not show any defeats yet.

"I felt a buzz," Culley said of his first week of training camp. "For my first time being here, my first time being a head coach, I felt like I was getting ready to play a game, but understand ... this is training camp, and we're trying to figure out who we are and what we are."

Culley said he's starting with the "who" part.

"I'm using that cheat sheet you saw me using out there," he said. "But I am starting to now get a really good feel for who is what, because certain guys show up, and when they show up, and they show up over and over again, you kind of get their names."
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