His biggest takeaway? His team and the football franchise in town…aren’t so different.
“A lot of things are very similar,” Silas said after Friday’s practice. “Where they are, what they’re trying to do and how they’re trying to grow. Hopefully, this sparks a relationship.”
The third-year Rockets head coach was invited to camp by Texans head coach Lovie Smith. The two had never met, but for Lovie, this was a chance to give one of his peers in the city an opportunity to see how they do things off Kirby.
“It's very special. Stephen (Silas) is doing a great job. I'm a big basketball fan.” Smith said. “I see what he's doing with our Rockets. A young basketball team developing, a lot of great young talent, can't wait to see them play next year. He's H-Town like we are, so it's good for us to compare notes but good to see him at practice.”
Silas, who is celebrating his 49th birthday this weekend, stood on the sidelines and watched the Texans go through their day six training camp activities. The visit turned into an unexpected learning experience and an appreciation for what Nick Caserio and company are doing in rebuilding the Texans.
“They have a bunch of young guys that are trying to make it, that are trying to make an impression,” Silas said. “The teaching part is so similar. They like we, can teach these guys how to work and can structure how they want to. That’s exciting as well.”
“They’re not even really hitting, hitting,” Silas added. “It’s unbelievable the technique that they have, it’s just so fast and so violent…it’s very different than what I’m used to.”
A point of pride for Smith is that he, Silas and Astros manager Dusty Baker, all three black head coaches and all of them are leading major sports franchises in one of the country’s biggest sports markets.
“It doesn't happen very often,” Smith said. “In fact, we were just talking about that earlier. We've got to get together and get a picture. The city of Houston, it's diverse. It is. Everything should show that. A lot of times it's not about the lip service you give, there's a visual with what we're doing.”
As for what his own team is doing these days, Silas is encouraged by what he’s seen from his young group, most of which, including veteran Eric Gordon, have stayed in Houston during the offseason to work with each other.
“Watching them do their individual work, poking my head in every once in a while, it’s just great to have everyone in the building,” Silas said. “That’s the great thing about being in Houston, they love being in Houston so offseason, I have my whole group here. It’s not just our young guys it’s our older guys too.”
Silas and the Rockets start their own training camp in seven weeks, but he will leave the outdoor practices to the guys wearing pads.
“No outdoor practices for my guys,” Silas said smiling. “No way our guys are getting there at 6 a.m.”