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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mark Lane

DE Jerry Hughes still feels young, credits the Texans’ training, nutrition staffs

Jerry Hughes doesn’t know how he is able to do it.

The 34-year-old defensive end was able to move about and keep pace with his younger teammates at Houston Texans mandatory minicamp June 13-14. Despite the heat, Hughes was able to glide on the playing surface at Houston Methodist Training Center.

“God is good,” Hughes said. “But still able to kind of move around with these young guys in this heat. It’s been quite a blessing.”

Longevity in the NFL isn’t as much luck as it is being able to take care of one’s body, and Hughes recognizes the Texans provide the resources to extend, not just his career, but the quality.

One of the key pieces is nutrition led by director of team wellness Ladd Harris and implemented by assistant director of performance nutrition Jacob Mertins and performance nutrition coordinator Amy Johnson.

“I mean, we got a really good staff here,” said Hughes. “What they do as far as in the kitchen, getting us to refuel our bodies, they’re always giving us every bit of information we can to take as far as what to put in it.”

Sports medicine is led by director of Texans health Geoff Kaplan with Roland Ramirez serving as director of player care and sports medicine.

“The training staff, they do a fantastic job of any kind of bumps, bruises, tight muscles, whatever you name, they can work it out and fix it for you,” Hughes said. “I lean heavy on them because we got one of the best staffs here in the NFL. When you got that in-house, it’s hard to kind of miss game days. That’s really what you want to optimize.”

The former Indianapolis Colts 2010 first-round pick led Houston with 9.0 sacks through 17 games last year, 16 of which he started.

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