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Thread: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

  
  1. #76
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    The desired outcome came to pass. Houston beat the New Orleans Saints 17-9 but the path there was rather ugly. One good thing came out of this game, Brock Osweiler looked much better than he did against San Francisco. He definitely wasn't perfect but better is good. The O-line struggled again and the absence of 3 of the 5 projected starters is painfully obvious. The good thing about all this is nobody got hurt and the backups are getting valuable reps and experience. Back to Osweiler, he mixed in some good plays with a couple I'm sure he would like to have back. On a fourth and goal Osweiler chose to throw a fade route to Will Fuller but the pass wasn't all that great and the Saints were able to come up with an INT. A couple of other passes were too high to handle both in scoring positions. In truth, the Texans should have beaten the Saints much more handily than they did. One good thing is the backup defense did make a stop to close out the game which showed the Texans have some quality depth on the defense. I can see the final cut downs on the defensive side of the ball are going to be very tough. On offense the Texans got good production from Will Fuller and Braxton Miller and Lamar Miller was good in his brief stint on the field. Cuts on the offensive side will be equally difficult because Houston is deep on offense as well. When Houston makes it cuts there will be some good football players on the street for other teams to pick up. Teams that aren't nearly as deep as Houston and having to keep players who aren't as good as the players Houston will have to cast off.

    Jadeveon Clowney played a lot in the game. It was his first game action of the preseason and he definitely showed something. Things like more moves in his rush. In previous years he was a bit of a one trick pony but last night he showed more than just a speed rush. He was able to show a bull rush and swim moves both to the inside and the outside among his new menu of moves. In his time on the field he was extremely disruptive and that is excellent news for the Texans. Brian Cushing also played his first snaps of preseason and he was a beast. He only played a series or two but his presence was definitely felt. All in all it was a little sloppy but Houston has a damn good team with depth. When the starters return from rehab and injury the offense should find another gear. This team is scary good and Texans fans have a lot to look forward to.

    BTW in a very brief mention of the O-line during the game the TV commentators mentioned the limp C Nick Martin left practice with on Thursday is the infamous high ankle sprain. I found a blurb on Battleredblog.com that said Martin does have the high ankle sprain. It also mentioned that Bill O'Brien's initial response was, "it wasn't serious" which means really nothing. For high ankle sprains it generally takes 6-7 weeks to fully heal which means he could miss as much as the first 4 games of the season. THAT is definitely not good news. The word from a Notre Dame website called One Foot Down said after Martin was drafted in April that he dealt with a lot of nagging injuries during his college career. Hopefully the back issue and this ankle deal that have kept him out of the past two games are the last he and Texans have to deal with.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 08-21-2016 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #77
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    Here are Texans.com's John Harris' 4,390 thoughts from Saturday night's win over New Orleans. It's really only 32 but it seems like more. I'm one to talk about something like this right? There are also some videos in the article from highlights of the 40 times Osweiler targeted Will Fuller to the postgame comments by Bill O'Brien. It's Monday, you've got to forgive me, I'm in a bit of sarcastic mood this morning.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...9-bc9dbecc87be

    The injury report from the Texans isn't all that bad. Aside from missing both Duane Brown and Derek Newton for all of training camp as well as JJ Watt the Texans aren't that bad off injury-wise. As for those 3 guys, they won't be back this week according to Bill O'Brien and it doesn't look like we can expect them until the season starts at very least.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...3-08907e437152

    Here is Bill O'Brien's assessment of Brock Osweiler's performance.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...1-19d2f42f0f15

  3. #78
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    It used to be that it took 3 or 4 years for a wide receiver to be a top notch receiver for his team but that is not really the norm any more. The salary cap means you don't have time to wait for a receiver to develop the way NFL teams used to do. Those guys have to produce as fast as possible and for some of the best players in the league they are able to succeed right away. Right now after two preseason games the Texans look to have a couple of keepers from this year's draft. Will Fuller and Braxton Miller are picking up the Texans offense pretty fast and if their production in their first two games of their career they have shown the ability to handle themselves very well. Both are getting reps in these games because DeAndre Hopkins has had very little playing time but they seem to have outshined 2nd year man Jalen Strong. Strong came into camp with the hype that his second season with Houston was going to be dramatically different than his rookie year. He lost weight and had put time in the weight room but you just haven't seen a transitional player in the games as yet. I know it's preseason but you'd think you would have shown something, right? Right now the depth chart for the WR's seems to be Hopkins, Fuller, Miller, Strong followed by Keith Mumphrey and Cecil Shorts but there's a guy who has shown up in these games and that guy is Josh Lenz. There is also a guy named Wendell Williams who is in the mix and he the fastest guy in the bunch having been clocked at a regional NFL combine at a blistering 4.19! It could very well be that Mumphrey and Shorts may be looking for work in late August.

    The link below is an update on JJ Watt's progress as he goes through his rehab following back surgery in late July. The worry is Watt will need to miss a game or two at the beginning of the season to make sure his back is healthy enough to play. Watt hasn't missed a game in his 5 year career.

    http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/p...uring-practice

  4. #79
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    Houston got some bad news yesterday when they learned that their 2nd round pick in this year's draft C/G Nick Martin will miss the entire 2016 season as he had to undergo surgery on his ankle. I'm thinking that what he really had surgery on was a torn Achilles that he left practice with late last week. Even if it's not this is a big blow for the Texans who took Martin to bolster their O-line and it really hurts to lose a guy who would have been a major upgrade to the Texans interior line. There isn't even an article I can find about Martin's surgery, I just was couple of tweets on Bleacher Report so this is fairly breaking news.

    Back to the O-line, the Texans will be in desperate need for someone to step up and so far Chris Clark has answered the bell. Here's an article about Clark from Texans.com's Deepi Sidhu.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...f-2c9b40f199f6

    Practicing in SE Texas heat can take a toll on person and Bill O'Brien understands that. Yesterday after a vigorous morning workout O'Brien call the team together and chose rookie DL DJ Reader to go and field a Shane Lechler punt. If he caught it practice was over, if he didn't then it would be back to work. The article linked below will tell you whether or not Reader was a hero or a goat.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...3-9cd31ba94db0

  5. #80
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    The Texans square off against the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow. Texans.com's Drew Dougherty gives us his 5 things to watch in tomorrow's game.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...2-2eb6659ccbbe

    Tomorrow is the dress rehearsal game of course so the starters should play longer than any other time in the preseason to get them ready for Week 1. You will want to see how Brock Osweiler does against a top notch defense in the Arizona Cardinals. It should be a big barometer for how Osweiler will look when the regular season begins in two weeks.

    I know that the O-line has struggled so far but I listened to The Blitz on ESPN radio on Friday and I'm sure as the day is long that the line will be okay. Why? Because both AJ and Fred had nothing nice to say about them and they ripped GM Rick Smith for not drafting more O-lineman in the draft instead of wasting all their picks on wide receivers and running backs. They did acknowledge that Houston used a 2nd round pick on Nick Martin who is likely to miss the whole season due to an ankle injury. Bad luck for the Texans. Duane Brown and Derek Newton have missed the who preseason with injuries and it's not clear when they will be back so the boys just ripped the Texans for not addressing the O-line or signing their own players who left in free agency this offseason. I know they will be okay. I'm not saying they will be great but Chris Clark is a vet who has added stability to the line. Greg Mancz was an All American in college and he's had just 3 games in the pros. He will get better. Kendall Lamm didn't play badly in last week's game. Again, he wasn't great but after coming to Houston as a UFA in 2015 he's got 15 games under his belt and he will get better as well. He was All Conference in the Sun Belt in his senior year at Appalachian State. Check out his college career from the Appalachian State website in the link below. Yeah, it's almost a given that if The Blitz Boys diss someone in a Houston uniform there's no doubt that the team is better than they think. As an aside check out this tweet: Vinnie Ronca @PFF_Vinnie Greg Mancz will be taking over for Nick Martin at C for the Texans. Mancz was PFF's highest graded C in the nation his last year at Toledo
    9:38 AM - 25 Aug 2016



    http://www.appstatesports.com/ViewAr...CLID=204971467

    A year after Charles James II was a featured player on HBO's Hard Knocks he's been through a lot including being cut by the Texans in their final cutdowns prior to last season's opening game to being resigned by the Texans later in the year. Now it seems he's forged a place on this team mainly as a special teamer. In the link below Texans.com's John Harris profiles Mr Happy Socks.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...5-e5f2c327ac89

    If teams need to bolster a weak position group don't look for anyone to pick up anyone this week when teams make their first cut downs. Teams have until Tuesday afternoon to trim their rosters from their current 90 players to 75. Those will be the guys who just aren't good enough at this point to play in the NFL. The real player rush will be after the last preseason games on Thursday. Next Saturday teams have be down to their final 53 man roster limit as they all prepare for the season opener. The weak link for the Texans is O-line but even if they do get O-line help off the cut list that player, or players, probably won't play in Week 1 so we will be seeing the Texans starting line tomorrow afternoon. I hate to keep harping on this group but besides Brock Osweiler they are the biggest unknowns on the Texans roster.

    Remember 3:25 on Fox 4 or at Reliant Stadium and if it continues to rain like hell a trip over to Houston might now be a bad idea.

  6. #81
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    Wow, did Houston look good on Sunday afternoon? I give a darn what the score was at the end but it's the 24 points Brock Osweiler and the Texans put up on a good Arizona Cardinals team in about 1-3/4 quarters of play. Brock was 11-13 passing and the thing is it really could've, and should've, been 13-13. The two incompletions were drops so it's even better than it looked. He threw for 146 yards and a TD and it could have been even better than that. Will Fuller flat dropped a long pass that hit him in the hands and if he had caught that ball it's quite possible it would have gone for another TD. What was tremendously encouraging was Osweiler was right on the money with his passes. Especially the deep balls which were so good Osweiler couldn't have walked up and placed the ball in the receiver's hands any better. He spread the ball around really nice too. There were at least 5 different receivers that caught passes from Osweiler. Lamar Miller looked good in limited duty and the defense harassed Carson Palmer and the Cardinal offense. The D did allow 10 first half points but they never could get on track because the Texans intercepted Palmer twice with both ending up in points for the Texans. The defense forced 5 turnovers on the day and looked pretty good. You know you're deep when the #1 pick in the 2014 draft came in as a backup in the second half and he looked pretty good too. If this was a look at what the Texans are going to be against the Bears in Week 1 then I'm excited. Brock looks like he just may be the real deal. We have to dial back expectations a little because Osweiler only has 7 games as an NFL starter and he's got some growing pains to go through but this is really the first guy you think can really do the job and take care of business.

    Another thing I want to point out is the O-line didn't do have bad. Lamar Miller looked good in what he was asked to do and he did some nice work in pass protection but it was the line that pretty much kept a clean pocket for Osweiler. The first unit allowed two sacks but one was on a jail break rush by middle linebacker Kevin Minter that Miller wasn't able to get over quick enough to pick him up but 2 sacks against that Cardinals defense isn't bad considering how Osweiler was able to stand in the pocket and find the open receivers. If you get this type of play from the O-line every week Houston will win a lot of games. They may not rush for many yards but if Osweiler is given time he is more than able to pick a defense apart.

    One bit of good news this week is the return of right tackle Derek Newton. Newton has been out since the first training camp practice with a bad hamstring. Yesterday Bill O'Brien said that Newton is looking good in his rehab and could return to practice this week. O'Brien didn't know if Newton would be back in time to get into the game against Dallas on Thursday but you would think he'd be ready to go in Week 1. The Texans other tackle, Duane Brown, is recovering from quadriceps surgery in the offseason and there is talk he may have to begin the season on PUP.

    There is still a chance JJ Watt will be on the field against the Bears in Week 1. Bill O'Brien won't commit to that notion but admits it is a possibility. Watt had back surgery back in late July just before training camp to repair a bulging disc in his back. Watt tried to deal with the back with rehab and treatment but he had to relent and get the surgery done before more damage was done. In his 5 year career Watt has never missed a game but it wouldn't be the end of the world if he took a couple of extra weeks to get his back completely right. The way the defense has been looking they can do more than just survive a little extra rehab time for Watt so there shouldn't be any pressure for JJ to return to the lineup.

    How about that Tyler Ervin? The kid just may be the fastest guy on the Texans squad, although Will Fuller might have something to say about that, and he show some skills last Sunday. Not just in the Texans offense where he showed a little something in very limited action he showed he can be an effective kick returner as well. In two returns he gained 39 yards but on one return called back because of penalty he went over 50 yards and almost broke it for a TD. Unfortunately, that return was called back because of a penalty but you know what Ervin has in the toolbox and I can't see any way he doesn't make the team. His role will primarily be on special teams but he could really make an impact there.

  7. #82
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    Tonight's preseason finale will feature two things for sure. 1) Don't get anyone hurt and 2) don't get anyone hurt. This is a big deal because last year at this time Houston played Dallas and Tom Savage was the starting QB for whole game--well at least until he injured his shoulder in the 4th quarter that ended up ending his entire 2015 season. This year Savage will start and play a lot but he's going to be the Texans backup if the commentators for last Saturday's game against Arizona were correct. It will be Brock Osweiler followed by Tom Savage on the Texans depth chart. The only question is will the Texans keep three QBs? Is Brandon Weeden in or will he be among the final cuts on Saturday. Rumor has it that if Savage survives the Dallas game Weeden will be unemployed by Saturday night.
    The team is so deep they hardly noticed JJ Watt was not in the lineup this preseason. I'm not just talking about defense here. The offense is stacked too by position players but the O-line has a lot of question marks. One good thing is right tackle Derek Newton was scheduled to return to practice this week. Trouble is I can't find anything that say he actually did. I would look for Newton in Week 1. That is the Texans give him a week or two to practice his way back into some playing shape. Kendall Lamm has done a decent job during preseason so the Texans may feel they don't have to rush Newton back into the lineup. I would expect Lamm will see some playing time tonight along with left tackle Chris Clark. I don't think either will play much because Houston needs to see the other guys work as they decide who stays and who goes. Oday Aboushi and Jeff Adams will get long looks tonight. Greg Mancz looks like he will be the starting center for Houston with Nick Martin done for the season but Tony Bergstrom and Dalton Freeman will get one final audition tonight. Xavier Su'a-Filo and Jeff Allen will the starting guards so if they play it won't be for long which gives Karim Barton and Chad Slade a full game to show they are worthy of making the cut. I can think of no other position group on the Texans that isn't set. The biggest questions will be whether Houston keeps 5 or 6 WRs. The top four are a given with DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Strong, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller so that leaves one or two spots for Cecil Shorts, Keith Mumphrey, Wendell Williams and Quentin Bundrage to fight it out for those spots. On Tuesday Houston cut WR Josh Lenz much to my disappointment because the guy had played so well in the preseason games. I hope the Texans are able to sign him to their practice squad.
    RB could be another position that will challenge the coaches in just who to cut. Most teams keep four RBs plus a fullback so the depth chart would be Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue for sure leaving 2 spots open for Jonathan Grimes, Akeem Hunt, Tyler Ervin and Kenny Hilliard to fight over. If I had to make a guess I think the other two guys would be Jonathan Grimes and Tyler Ervin. Ervin is a draft choice from this year and he's showed up big time as a kick returner. He's also done well as a runner. If Houston wanted to go strictly with speed they could cut Grimes and keep Hunt but Grimes versatility is his best asset. Jay Prosch has been and will continue to be the only fullback on the roster.

    Here's all the cuts from Tuesday as Houston began prep for tonight's final preseason game.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...a-20af2ea7e23c

    The other starting tackle for the Texans, Duane Brown, is still on the active/PUP list but since it's preseason he can be activated off of that list in Week 1 if he's ready. If he's not he could find himself on the PUP list to start the season which means he would miss the first 6 six weeks of the season for sure. Brown is recovering from surgery to repair a torn quadriceps muscle in his leg. That is one of the biggest muscles in the body and you don't hear much about that being hurt bad enough to need surgery. It's already been 8 months since the surgery and there is still no definite return to practice date that's been given.

    From Texans.com a preview of tonight's game and what they will be looking at. http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...9-0dde8e9906ab

    Also from Texans.com an article on why tonight's game matters. http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...b-a95f7cccf666

  8. #83
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    The Texans scrubs are better than the Cowboys scrubs but it you look at both teams objectively you kind of knew that. The big deal about the Silver Boot Series is lame at this point because the teams don't meet but every 3 years in games that matter. The only time they play regularly is the 4th preseason game and the starters don't even play. Who wins doesn't matter at this point. The only thing that does matter is that nobody gets hurt. Houston did have one guy, LB Akeem Dent walk off with what I would guess is a concussion after a collision with Cowboys running back Darius Jackson in the 3rd quarter. He did get up and walk off the field but not after several minutes lying on the ground with training staff attending him. There were no ACL tears, no messed up shoulders like Tom Savage had in last year's game with Dallas and no pulled hammies or anything broken on either team in the game and that is a good thing. The 27-17 final score is meaningless in the grand scheme of things and the score would have been closer if Houston had not gone for a bunch of 4th downs in the red zone. They were stopped twice on 4th down but they also scored on 2 fourth down plays as well. In fact two of the 3 offensive TDs Houston scored were on 4th down plays. Normally the Texans, or any other team for that matter, would have kicked a field goal but it's the last preseason game and it really doesn't matter what the outcome of the game is anyway so, what the hell, go for it.
    The most interesting thing was how Bill O'Brien used his two backup QBs. He alternated series with them and they both played about 1/2 the game's offensive snaps. This would lead you believe there is still some question in Bill O'Brien's mind who will be the Texans main backup to Brock Osweiler. My guess would be Savage because he's younger and because by comparison Savage was the better of the two QBs last night. Mainly because Weeden threw a pick six on an out route in the 4th quarter. It was a bad read on Weeden's part and rookie CB Anthony Brown of the Cowboys was able to jump the route and take it to the house. Weeden also threw a TD in the game and when he did he gave a long look at the Cowboys bench almost as if he was saying, "You guys gave up on me last year and benched my ass for Matt freaking Cassel. To take that and suck on it." The ironic thing is if the Texans only keep two QB's and Weeden is the odd man out his next stop just could be in Dallas backing up Dak Prescott. It's funny how life works sometimes.
    Kenny Hilliard got most of the reps at RB last night finishing with 29 carries for 89 yards. The Cowboys run defense was pretty tough last night but Houston never backed off on pounding the rock. Akeem Hunt also got some work finishing with 12 carries for 44 yards and a TD. He showed some toughness in his running and he made O'Brien's decision on who to keep and who to cut a tough one. Because Hilliard and Hunt were the only backs to get any carries you would thing that the guy who did the best will make the cut. Hilliard got by far the most carries while Hunt showed more explosion and he scored a TD. It's an unenviable task for O'Brien but it's also a good thing that you have so much depth you are hard pressed to make a cut.
    The wide receivers are in the same boat. They have four guys that will make the team without a doubt and the guys last night were fighting for one, possibly two spots. Keith Mumphery had the biggest night with 3 catches for 83 yards and a TD. Cecil Shorts had 4 grabs for 27 yards but there were 10 Texans who caught passes last night. It's worth saying again, it's nice to be so deep in talent that you have to cut good players. The trick is keeping the right guys when you make those hard choices. The preseason officially ends when the final cuts are announced on Saturday afternoon. It's nine days until the 12 noon start to the 2016 season when Houston kicks off their campaign with the Chicago Bears. It's going to be a long 9 days.

  9. #84
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    The Texans are down to their final 53 man roster. Some familiar names are on the cut list like Cecil Shorts III, Akeem Hunt, Kenny Hilliard, Terrence Mitchell and Wendall Williams. The Texans also activated JJ Watt and Duane Brown off the NFI list and on to the Texans active roster. In the link below is a list of all player moves the Texans have made today to reach that final 53.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...8-8cbd723fb17f

    A bit of good news, RT Derek Newton, who returned to practice last week, is likely going to start on opening day. Because Newton missed virtually all of training camp due to injury will likely be on a snap count despite the fact he will get a full week of practice leading up to the game. It's just a smart way to protect a player who hasn't been practicing.

    JJ Watt has been activated but it is not really known how much or even if he will be playing in Week 1. I suspect he will if it's at all possible but he will also be on a snap count. With the depth on the Texans front seven there is no reason to rush Watt back before he is completely healthy.

    Bill O'Brien had a press conference today after final cuts had been announced and he talked about 4 areas that the team needs to get better at as they head in earnest for the regular season. He listed the areas but he didn't say what the plan was.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...a-235cc8e11c81

  10. #85
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    Re: 2016 Houston Texans Off Season

    The Texans have filled out their practice squad. Here's a link to the Texans.com article listing the players who are now in the Texans fold. The Texans have only signed 8 players leaving two open spots in case someone interesting becomes available. Also, the Texans activated JJ Watt to the 53 after he passed his physical and it's quite possible he will play in Week 1. He's been running and working out but he's not in game shape at all so if the Texans are smart he will be on a snap count.

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/ar...b-d223fcf926a8

    That is the end of preseason. The roster is set and the practice squad is nearly full. As practice squads go they are always in flux anyway but what it all means is the preseason is over. Teams all across the NFL, including the Texans, will begin preparation for Week 1 of the 2016 season today. In truth staffs have already been preparing but the focus now is on games that count. In the Texans case it is the Chicago Bears who will be coming into NRG Stadium for a 12 o'clock game this Sunday. This Sunday is sort of a special day because it is the 15th anniversary of THE 9-11. It's a sobering thought and I'm sure there will be a lot of memories of that terrible day that will be floating around. A bad memory remembered as it should and the freedom we still enjoy despite the best efforts of outside forces. So we celebrate another NFL season as sort we thumb our noses at the people who would take that freedom away from us.

    This thread is complete for my part. Thank you to all who followed and posted. See you in the regular season.

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