Uncertainty has gripped this team since the all-too-powerful Bill O’Brien was fired last October. Their troubles have loomed despite their efforts to mask the upheaval with mass change. But this week, as the Texans are set to kick-off against Jacksonville this Sunday, a glaring light will shine on these long standing changes. The differing factor this weekend, is that the outcome of much activity will become a reality.
It’s a Process, Don’t Expect Results Soon.
Realisation one of this week was the General Manager’s quote about this season being process orientated, rather than his concern for results. It was an interested admission from Caserio as he’s shown a well-crafted ability to answer the media with the skill of a seasoned politician. Has something changed? Or has he perhaps become clearer on his expectations for this team? Regardless, that omission was a rather specific one, post the roster cut down. “Embrace the slog, people!” may be a more apt slogan for your ‘21 David Culley lead Texans.
Tyrod Time In Houston
The fact Tyrod being announced as the starter made national headlines shows how little attention the broader circles are paying the Texans. As Deshaun lurks in the background, Mills nowhere near ready, the only feasible quarterback option is Taylor. How the former Virginia Tech products health fares will be an inflection point for the Texans season. The team is mooted to go 0-17 which is a distinct possibility, should Taylor miss significant time.
Aged Is But a Number?
After letting go the underachieving Keke Coutee the, comfortably the biggest shock of the roster trimming. The Texans address their lopsided roster composition by adding form Patriot Danny Amendola. The wide receiver position doesn’t typically allow 35-year-olds to be productive at this level. However, his output of 603 yards on a struggling Detroit team last years, showed theirs may be come miles left the man from the Woodlands.
But again, they chose the veteran over the developmental option. Caserio was asked about being the oldest offence in the league, it was dismissed as a non-issue. But this team had so few young players who will develop into cornerstones. The one you did have was moved out of his position! It’s perhaps a sign that Caserio sees it’s not time to start that rebuild, yet.
A Secondary Down A Roby
It emerged that the Texans after signing Jimmy Moreland & Cre’veon Leblanc to add some form support to the worryingly thin secondary. The not-so-unexpected trade of Bradly Roby to the Saints was announced. Corner was this teams worst position by some distance and losing their best player is going to bring back the pass coverage horror-show of last year. The Texans corners couldn’t cover in anyway viable manner and that looks to be the case yet again, new scheme of not.
The Roby trade, that acquire a ‘22 3rd round pick plus a conditional ‘23 6th, providing much needed assets for the future. A future that will start to build its foundations, after this year for the most part. It was a reminder, this ‘21 season won’t be an easy one for this limited roster to negotiate. There will likely be other players depart, should value be on offer. As we saw the first move focused on the future, if that wasn’t already obvious but it hit home, nonetheless.
A Final Comprehension Of The Week?
The prospect of Vernon Hargreaves playing a starting corner role isn’t one that you can ask people to pay for. But it’s the case for at least week one. It’s difficult to see without a handful of game breaking plays, backed up my extensive game planning from the coaching staff, that this week’s final realisation will be in the stadium.
Internally the team may finally gauge the fans reaction or distinct lack of people in seats, to publicly reveal where sentiment truly sits. Trailing the Jags early could perpetuate any of those heckles. And the fans will now visualise how far this team is off the pace, by NFL standards, which may hit people hard.
It won’t be a real shock internally, covered up by narrative of “competition” which Sunday, will have nowhere else to hide. There’s a chance this team could rally together as guys like Lindsay, Britt and others have called out. But talent is talent at this level & the teams ability to steer any positive “football feeling” will be null when the real action starts. It’s now within the white lines until January.
But at least we can all take a welcomed break from the off-files noise that has become synonymous with this ball club.
JACKSONVILLE @ HOUSTON; Sunday, Sept. 12; 12Noon Central; NRG Stadium; CBS; Paramount+