Packers open the preseason against the Texans

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Prior to the contest, the Packers and Texans will practice against each other on Monday and Tuesday this week in Green Bay.

  • It is the first time the Packers will play against the Texans in the preseason.
  • The Texans have played in Green Bay two times, with both meetings taking place in December (2008 and 2016).
  • This marks the third straight year that the Packers open the preseason at home.
  • Dating back to 2000, it is just the sixth time Green Bay has started the preseason on a Thursday (2005, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018).
  • Next week, the Packers will go on the road to Baltimore to face the Ravens at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, Aug. 15.

MIDWEST SHRINE GAME

  • One of the NFL’s longest team traditions, the Upper Midwest Shrine Game kicks off its 70th installment Thursday night. It is the first time the Packers have faced the Texans in the game.
  • Green Bay is 36-30-3 all-time in the Shrine Game.
  • Each season, the Packers donate a percentage of the gate to the Shriners Hospitals for Children - Chicago. The Shriners’ facilities provide specialized care to children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal-cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Beja Shriners of Green Bay and the Tripoli Shriners of Milwaukee are two of 15 Shrine centers that support the Chicago hospital. To date, the series has raised more than $4 million for the Chicago hospital.
  • The series has called three separate stadiums home: Milwaukee’s State Fair Park (1950-51), Milwaukee County Stadium (1952-82, 1984-94) and Lambeau Field (1983, 1995-present).
  • In his first season leading the Packers, Vince Lombardi made an agreement with George Halas to play in the Shrine Game annually. Green Bay and Chicago played each preseason at County Stadium from 1959-73.
  • The Packers annually designate the Shrine Game as the first ‘Gold package’ game for season-ticket holders primarily from the Milwaukee area. The team created the three-game package after moving all of its home games to Green Bay in 1995. Also in the ‘Gold package’ this season are the contests against the Denver Broncos (Sept. 22) and the Oakland Raiders (Oct. 20).

WITH THE CALL

  • Preseason games are televised over the 17-station Packers TV Network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, northeastern Minnesota, the Quad Cities, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo in Iowa, Peoria in Illinois, St. Louis in Missouri, Sioux Falls in South Dakota and Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau in Alaska.
  • The top-notch broadcast team includes CBS’s Kevin Harlan (play-byplay) alongside fellow CBS broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver James Lofton (analyst), with former Green Bay fullback John Kuhn and Lance Allan of WTMJ-TV serving as the sideline reporters. Allan will also host an informative half-hour pregame show.
  • In addition to flagship station WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee the game will be televised over WGBA/NBC, Green Bay, Wis.; WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire, Wis.; WLUC/NBC, Escanaba/Marquette, Mich.; KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth/Superior, Minn.; WHBF/CBS, Davenport, Iowa (Quad Citites); KCCI/CBS, Des Moines, Iowa; KWWL/NBC, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa; WMDB/CBS, Peoria, Ill.; KTVI/FOX, St. Louis, Mo.; KDLT/NBC, Sioux Falls, S.D.; KYUR/ABC, Anchorage, Alaska; KATN/ ABC, Fairbanks, Alaska and KJUD/ABC, Juneau, Alaska.
  • Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in four states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 25th season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 21st season of broadcasts together. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

Packers vs. Texans:

  • All-time, Regular season: 3-1-0
  • All-time, Preseason: 0-0-0
  • All-time, Postseason: 0-0
  • All-time, in Green Bay: 1-1-0
  • Streaks: The Packers have won the previous two regular-season matchups.

COACHES CAPSULES

Matt LaFleur: 0-0-0, .000; 1st NFL season

Bill O’Brien: 24-20-0, .545 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 6th NFL season

Head to Head: 0-0

vs. Opponent: LaFleur 0-0 vs. Texans; O’Brien 0-1 vs. Packers

Matt LaFleur…In his first season as the Packers’ 15th head coach.

  • Entering his 11th season in the NFL, having served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Redskins, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistat for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
  • Guided the Titans’ offense in 2018 to a No. 7 league ranking in rushing (126.4 ypg) as Tennessee registered 11 games with 100-plus rushing yards, tied for No. 2 in the NFL.
  • Helped the Rams lead the league in scoring with an average of 29.9 points per game in 2017, more than doubling their average from 2016 (14.0 ppg).
  • Tutored QB Matt Ryan, who led the league in passer rating (117.1) in 2016 on his way to being named NFL Most Valuable Player by The Associated Press.
  • Coached rookie QB Robert Griffin III with the Redskins in 2012, who became the first QB in team history to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Bill O'Brien…Is in his sixth year as the Texans’ third head coach.

  • Guided the Texans to winning seasons in four of his five seasons as head coach, including three AFC South division championships (2015-16, 2018).
  • Coached WR DeAndre Hopkins to become the third-youngest player in NFL history to reach 6,000 receiving yards behind Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald.
  • In 2015, led Houston to another 9-7 record, winning the AFC South.
  • Served as offensive coordinator for a New England Patriots team that advanced to Super Bowl XLVI and led the league in scoring (32.1 ppg).
  • Named ESPN National Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Penn State to an 8-4 record, despite scholarship reductions and a postseason ban.

THE PACKERS-TEXANS SERIES

  • The two clubs have played each other only four times in the regular season since the Texans entered the NFL as an expansion club in 2002.
  • The first meeting came in a nationally televised Sunday night contest at Reliant Stadium in Houston, one that the Packers won, 16-13, on a 46-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell as time expired.
  • Houston native and longtime Packers WR Donald Driver led Green Bay with 10 catches for 148 yards (14.8 avg.) and QB Brett Favre threw for 383 yards in the win.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur served as an offensive assistant in 2008 and 2009…Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich spent two season as a player on the Texans practice squad…Packers defensive backs coach Jason Simmons played six seasons with the Texans (2002-07)…Simmons played alongside Texans defensive line coach Anthony Weaver for two seasons (2006-07) in Houston…Mike Pettine (2009-12) and outside linebackers coach Mike Smith (2010-12) coached alongside Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin while with the New York Jets…Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at Westfield High School in Houston from 2008-15…Packers senior advisor to football operations Ted Thompson is a native of East Texas and played 10 seasons for the Houston Oilers (1975-84)…Packers equipment manager Red Batty spent 13 seasons (1981-93) in the same role with the Houston Oilers… Packers S Mike Tyson and CB Natrell Jamerson played in 10 games each for the Texans in 2018...Tramon Williams entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Houston in 2016...Evan Baylis entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Houston in 2017 and played in one game....Anthony Coyle was a rookie free agent signee by Houston in 2018...Texans CB Deante Burton spent time in 2018 on the Packers’ roster...Texans DE J.J. Watt was a four-year letterwinner at Pewaukee HS (Pewaukee, Wis.) and played college football at Wisconsin...Texans OT Max Scharping is a native of Green Bay and attended Green Bay Southwest where he earned three all-conference honors…Texans WR Jester Weah is a native of Madison, WI…Packers from the Greater Houston area include: CB Tony Brown (Beaumont), DL Kingsley Keke (Richmond) and WR J’Mon Moore (Missouri City)...Players who were teammates include: Packers P JK Scott, CB Tony Brown and Texans DE Johnny Dwight (Alabama); Packers DL Montravius Adams and Texans DE Angelo Blackson (Auburn); Packers G Justin McCray and Texans TE Jordan Akins (Central Florida); Packers WR Trevor Davis and Texans WR Chad Hansen (California); Packers WR Geronimo Allison, LB James Crawford and Texans RB Josh Ferguson (Illinois); Packers S Darnell Savage and Texans LB Jesse Aniebonam (Maryland); Packers DL Fadol Brown, Texans WR Floyd Allen and S A.J. Moore (Mississippi); Packers LB Preston Smith, S Will Redmond and Texans LB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State); Packers QB DeShone Kizer, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Texans WR Will Fuller V and C Nick Martin (Notre Dame); Packers C Corey Linsley and Texans CB Bradley Roby (Ohio State); Packers LB Blake Martinez and Texans OLB Brandon Scarlett (Stanford); Packers DL Kingsley Keke, TE Jace Sternberger and Texans FB Cullen Gillaspia (Texas A&M); Packers DL Kenny Clark and Texans K Ka’imi Fairbairn (UCLA)...Justin McCray also played under Texans running backs coach Danny Barrett who was an assistant coach at UCF...Packers K Sam Ficken played two seasons (2012-13) under Texans head coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State...Packers TE Marcedes Lewis played with Texans P Bryan Anger (2012-15), CB Aaron Colvin (2014-17) and FS Tashaun Gipson Sr. (2016-17) while with the Jacksonville Jaguars…Packers S Adrian Amos played the 2015 season with Texans NT Brandon Dunn on the Chicago Bears…Packers RB Tra Carson played with Texans QB A.J. McCarron while with the Cincinnati Bengals…Packers G Billy Turner played with Texans CB Bradley Roby for three seasons (2016-18) with the Denver Broncos.

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