As Weston told you yesterday, the new general manager of your Houston Texans met with the media this morning; I believe this is the first time he’s done so since his introductory press conference last month.
We’ll get a link to the full transcript of the Q&A up as soon as we can find one. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of what Brian Gaine had to say through the magic of Twitter.
Texans GM Brian Gaines says the interview portion and medical examination of players is the most important part of the Combine.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) February 28, 2018
Texans GM Brian Gaines said that in his entire scouting career he has not enjoyed scouting anyone more than Brian Cushing. He added that that’s one of the biggest compliments he could give.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) February 28, 2018
Texans GM Brian Gaine said team is evaluating possibility of doing a contract extension for Jadeveon Clowney prior to regular season, mentioned Benardrick McKinney as another core player the team wants on long-term deal— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Brian Gaine said he has an excellent rapport and communication with Texans coach Bill O'Brien— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Texans GM Brian Gaine says he is "fairly optimistic" that running back D'Onta Foreman will be ready for the start of next season. Foreman tore his Achilles in Week 11 against the Cardinals, during the best game of his rookie year. https://t.co/oH9Y2FAxAk— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) February 28, 2018
Gaine wouldn’t get into specifics on injuries, but also said “things are going positively” for Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt as they rehab.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) February 28, 2018
Brian Gaine said Bill Parcells was an invaluable mentor to him in preparing for his position now running the Texans' personnel department— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Brian Gaine said a priority is making the Texans a faster roster.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Nothing groundbreaking there, but we’ll take what we can get in February.
With limited draft picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, how important do you consider the upcoming free agency period to be?
We will pursue every avenue to improve this roster, as it relates to the draft, to free agency, to waiver claims, to trades, to practice squad steals, to tryouts, workouts. Whatever we have to do to upgrade the roster in any aspect of the operation, we’ll continue to do that. If free agency presents the opportunity for us to add a championship piece to the roster, we certainly will pursue that.
How would you evaluate this roster right now? There’s talk that a lack of depth contributed to the lack of success last year.
Well just a year ago, this was a back-to-back playoff-caliber roster and environment. Unfortunately, last year injuries and circumstances played into the fact that they weren’t able to achieve that same success. But in terms of building depth, I think there’s a lot of ways that you can do that. I think you can build the roster from the back end forward continually throughout the year. Equally in the latter parts of the draft, mid-round picks, late-round picks, CFA process, the college undrafted free agent process, which we’ve had success building our roster here with players, those will be critically important as well. Waiver wire claims, practice squad upgrades. We will pursue every avenue to do that. I would say that although last year it didn’t finish the way that they wanted to, my hope is to, through those aspects that I spoke about, trying to find a way to continually build depth throughout the year, throughout the offseason, whenever those opportunities arise.
How much of a priority is it to sign OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term extension?
It’s certainly on the horizon. Right now, I’m in an evaluative period in terms of studying the roster and studying the team and learning the players in terms of how they performed. So, that requires 16-game film study, it requires a lot of other research and knowledge that I’m trying to gain right now, but certainly a player that’s valued by the Texans organization, and in time, as we go through that process, we’ll arrive to that conclusion.
When you are making your decisions on personnel on offense, will it be what’s best for QB Deshaun Watson?
We will make decisions in terms of impacting our roster not just for one position, but it’s clear that we have to put some players around him to help him succeed. My philosophy will be this: No. 1, you are going to pursue everything you can to try and get a quarterback. I feel like there’s one here that we can build a future with. No. 2, the offensive line and the defensive line are critical. We will always be looking for players to help us impact as it relates to winning performances in offensive and defensive linemen. The running game. The running game’s critical offensively speaking, both for the impact it has in the running game, controlling down and distance, but also because of its impact on the passing game. If you can run the ball, it’s only going to help the passing game. No. 4, we’re going to be looking for explosive athletes. Not just players that we can surround Deshaun with, but we’re going to be looking for explosive athletes, players that can make plays in space and equally deter plays that are made in space. No. 5, we’re going to be looking for pressure players. Guys that can get to the quarterback. Equally, players on offense that can stress the defense vertically and horizontally relating to speed. No. 5, coverage players. Looking for guys that can run and cover and stretch the perimeter. Obviously, vertically stretch the defense. Then, the last one, is fourth down and special teams players. We alluded to it earlier. That, to me, will be the formula and the guiding principles of how we’ll build the roster.