The nine years of existence of the Houston Texans would be hard to categorize as a success. One winning season, two .500 seasons and six losing campaigns are hardly what Bob McNair and the City of Houston had in mind for nearly a decade of football when the team was awarded to the city in 2001. It's upsetting enough to know that mistakes took them to this point, but it's even more upsetting to know that repeated mistakes of the same variety have led to this sub-standard mark as a franchise.
The trick to avoiding those mistakes again and turning around the fortunes of the team is first to identify what has not been working. Sometimes that's easier said than done, especially when the team seems "close enough" to success year in and year out that no one wants to blow the whole thing up and start over. So how do you avoid conducting business as usual without completely disrupting everything? Follow the jump for clues in the daily links.
For the actual business side of the football team, John McClain reported that there will be no pay reductions or furloughs forced upon Texans employees. This is a major step for an owner who has a ton of debt but thoroughly enjoys positive PR.
Patrick from the Texans Tribune weighs in on his thoughts pertaining to Bob McNair's comments regarding the recent breakdown in labor negotiations.
John Hallam has started to break down the recent Texans drafts to judge not only their success but also trends to keep in mind for this year's selection process. You can find 2008 here, and 2009 here.
Lance Zierlein was interviewed by NFL Mocks for his perspective on the Texans' draft procedures. Lance did a good job analyzing the common trends of Texans drafting since Gary Kubiak took over, namely their removal of low character prospects from their draft board and their value of speed over power on the defense. I remain hopeful that Wade Phillips will change their draft procedures this season.
Lance's partner in crime at the View from the Sideline, John Harris, ranked the top 40 draft prospects for 2011. You can find 31-40 here, 21-30 here, 11-20 here, and lastly 1-10 here.
Wes Bunting compiled some rumors that he's been hearing from NFL front office personnel and scouts. Among the most interesting nuggets was an opinion that Ryan Kerrigan certainly lacks the athleticism to play OLB in the NFL, and Colin McCarthy may be seriously downgraded by teams because of unhealthy shoulders.
The Texans have made a habit of drafting for need rather than talent available. Lance Zierlein talked to an anonymous front office official from the NFL who stated that if he was making the pick for the Texans, it would be either Cam Jordan or JJ Watt. This is significant because the two starters for next year are seemingly in place with Mario WIlliams and Antonio Smith, so making such a move would signify that the Texans had changed that aspect of their draft strategy.
On a sad note, we have to step away from Texans business altogether and mention the passing of former Oilers wide receiver Drew Hill. Watching Warren Moon throw darts to Hill in the old days of the run and shoot were my first memories of the NFL. Rest in peace.
Lastly, some of you may have noticed that I linked some articles from the end of last week that were missed because I didn't write the links on Thrusday or Friday. I was busy welcoming my son, Eli, into the world on March 17th. He was a whopping 10 pounds and 8 ounces and 21.5 inches long. Despite this, Mom is doing just fine, as is the baby. I'm amazingly happy and proud of my son, and yes, he's already been introduced to his favorite team.