Football is finally here. After an off-season that has only been eclipsed by not having a team, or one on a stay of execution, tonight allows us to look forward, in part. The Watson situation is continually awkward, though is showing some signs of cordiality between himself and team leadership. But at the hearts of his issue, lies with ownership & materially nothing has or will change without a major point of inflection. Who will be the catalyst for any change will need to step forward, if anything is to change. But it’s game time, at least.
Jacked-Up Calls Surfacing Again
The Texans front office brought up some unwanted parallels from last season, providing a timely reminder that problems still lies within the building, despite some public facing changes. Wednesday’s media access “mis-interpretation” served to reminder that Jack Easterby’s incompetence continues to harm the club. It raised itself in a media faux pas, which was immediately challenged by writers association & via the league office, suddenly being proclaimed as an error. It reverberates those similar themes outlined in last years Si articles and Wednesday’s oversight was symptom of what disfunction which continues to hinder this franchises chances of true success.
Player Movement, Adding Jacksons
Caserio’s endless roster movement continued into this week, as Damon Hazleton was shown the exit after being publicly ostracised by Culley for a pre-snap penalty in the Saturday night scrimmage. As did the odd rotation of Mitchell Fraboni and it would seem the signing of journey-man tail-back, Darius Jackson, who’ll be a pre-season body & a practice squad candidate at best.
However, it was the addition of former Kentucky centre, Drake Jackson, who was a notable addition. This may again highlight the teams concern for competition but Ryan McCollum’s adaptation to the pro’s may have been slower than expected. Drake anchored the third best SEC rushing attack in 2020 & shows they are looking for players who can fit zone running style, which he aptly lead for the wildcats over 44 starts. Finding your feet as O-lineman is multi-year progress for players who who aren’t premium draft picks. Look no further than Matt Feiler who was dismissed by the Texans but then after impressing in Pittsburgh, was given a multi year deal with the Chargers this off-season.
For those hoping for answers on the much discussed offensive line, will have to wait a longer as Tunsil, Howard & Rod Johnson found their way onto the Covid list, joining Bradly Roby. Howard will miss out on a chance to get reps at tackle, after being a rotated in at guard, & Rod will allow others vying for the swing tackle spot, to get some live tape, in the race to catch on this roster.
Most to Gain in Green Bay?
The general hierarchies attempt to give Charlie Heck, every chance to be the starting right tackle, will get a public test in the first few series, if the Packers starters get game time. We will quickly understand if the faith paid to the fourth round pick has been well placed.
Johnny Greenard & Ross Blacklock will have a chance to make up for previous coaching staffs hesitation to get them reps, when the 2020 season was lost. Finding out what these guy’s have with the influx of off-season veterans will give a barometer if they’ve made the requisite progress going into year two, will a full and proper off-season, which covid protocols removed last season.
Despite his adonis like frame, showing football prowess to join his clear physical attributes will be the task for third year tight-end, Kahale Warring. The team look set at the position, so it will be down to the former San Diego State product to play his way into them taking a fourth man at that spot.
Generally watching and a keeping track of the 53 new players will be difficult enough on Saturday, particularly as the game draws into it’s later stages – see fuller roster breakdown battles.
Game Time Again?
Drawing a line under an off-season may bring a collective sigh of relief across the Texans faithful tonight. Although the news of a grand jury investigation & public criticism of the NFL’s own private investigation surfacing in yet another Si Article, it’s likely Texans football will be shadowed with “Still the same Shit” for some time yet.