This was a tough season to make it through as a Houston Texans fan. Starting at the end of last season, Texans fans were the victims of a figurative powerbomb by the team we all love. They started to pick us up in the air with a 4 game win streak to finish '09 and then started strong in 2010, then, just when we reached the peak and thought we were going to reach new heights, they brought us crashing down to the mat. However, there is NOTHING we can change about how this season went, nor can we affect Mr. McNair's final decision about this coaching staff. The only logical and slightly helpful thing to do is to look at the positives that came from this season and build on them moving forward. We all must remember, coaches, GMs and even players can be fired, cut or traded from the Houston Texans, but as fans, they will ALWAYS be our team (Durga forbid Bob gets mad and takes them away). So, with that said lets start the rundown of the positives that our team showed this season.
I will start with the strongest positive signs and finish up each side of the football with things that might seems negative on the surface but actually might at least give us an answer to areas that were question marks before the season started.
- We have finally found Arian Foster. This team has never had a running back as special as this guy is and he made this season a lot of fun to watch @ times. I look forward to seeing if he can show even more improvement after getting an entire season under his belt or if he can @ least just stay consistant! A lot of people criticize the staff for the Ben Tate pick but none of us were confident in Foster going into this season if Slaton wasnt 100%. I know that these guys are supposed to be proffessionals at recognizing talent but you can't put all your eggs in the basket of a guy you've only seen run in a few real games against backups and preseason alone, IMO.
- Matt Schaub might not have had his strongest year passing the ball but he did prove that he can stay healthy for a whole season, even though he recieved his fair share of punishment through the year. This was a HUGE concern last season and he needed to show how tough he was again this year to silence the critics.
-Andre Johnson is amazing. I do not understand how anybody can argue that he isnt head a nd shoulders above any WR in the league. He took the team on his back a few times during the season and MADE the results himself. Personally, I feel lucky to have him on our squad and with him on the field, I dont care how far we have to go and what coverage the opposition is in, I truly believe he is unstoppable if he wants it, and he always wants it. Thanks for another unbelieveable season 'Dre.
- I thought Joel Dressen proved he could be our starting TE from here forward. I know he had some crucial drops a few times but he also made some amazing catches a few times too. He runs a good, sharp route and seems to be able to get open pretty well. I do not think OD will be on our team next year and I think that money can be spent elsewhere and benefit the team more.
- Our O-Line made a statement this year. Foster had some great vision to find cutbacks but watching the games this year I felt like more often than not he was running through a gaping hole to the second level. I know that they struggled somewhat on the edges on pass protection with Winston and Brown but I dont think that will be a consistant issue for this group. Chris Myers made a lot of people of this blog look very stupid I think. He was the punchline of our OLine before this season and now that its over he is the rock of our starters up front. Also, all of the speculation surrounding the LG/RG spots going into training camp and the questioning of the Wade Smith signing both had positive results.
- I believe Jacoby Jones has answered the question of whether or not he can contribute as a WR for this team. HELL NO! I shudder when Schaub releases a pass downfield thinking it might be headed for Jacoby. I think we should go after a similiar type PR/KR/WR player in a similiar draft round and see if we get better results this time.
-Vonta Leach had an incredible year and I think he has a couple more of those in him. With Derrick Ward showing he can still be a play maker and Ben Tate hopefully returning @ full tilt, I am very excited about the possiblilties of the 2011 Houston Texans run game. (Can you imagine trying to run a defense to contain 'Dre out wide, a dangerous TE, Ward/tate in the backfield and Foster in motion at the Hback possibly goign out for a pass? sick.)
Now, there won't be a whole lot of positives to squeeze out of this D but there has to be something to build on.
- We waited a whole extra season to see if Troy Nolan can be an NFL player and i think he proved that he can. I think he will only get better in the offseason and will help this team even if its only with quality depth.
- Glover Quin is gonna be a good NFL cornerback. He has already shown his instincts are getting better andhe can react to the football pretty well. Im excited to see him progress.
- Although it will still take some time to see (and I hope we see more of them these last couple games) but Earl Mitchell and Darryl Sharpton look like they have some serious potential as well. I think they will contribute next year as well, even if its with more quality depth @ two positions we need it at.
- In a backwards kind of way I think that we needed a performance like the one we got out of our 2010 Texans secondary in order for this FO to address the FS or CB position with a talented football player. Hopefully we will see a move made in free agency that can make us fans excited about this defense next year.
- Just like Jacoby did on offense, I think Amobe Okoye has proven he cannot be "the guy" for this team in the middle of our Dline.
I believe this was our area of greatest weakness this year. There is only one thing to say thats a good thing:
-Neil Rackers did not make us regret givin Kris Brown the boot. He was on point with FGs and although he almost never got it to the endzone on kickoffs, it was kind of known that his leg strength was a liability. This was a major point of discussion before this year and I think Gary made the right choice.
- Turk HAS to go
-JJ can NOT return punts next year.
- Slaton can NOT return kicks next year. (Slaton shouldnt be on the team and probably wont be)
Well, thats all I got. I know this year was a total mindscrew but I won't lie and say I wasn't standing up in my parents living room celebrating every big play that this team made every Sunday. It was fun even though we didnt achieve what we all had hoped going in. Eitehr way this is OUR team and I have a lot of fun coming on this blog and talking about them everyday. Sound off in the comments and sorry if I misspelled a lof of stuff because I did this really fast on my lunchbreak. GO TEXANS!!!!!