This week’s group think is all about HATE. The Texans have had dozens, if not hundreds, of players who have been terrible and failed to meet expectations. Ed Reed, Jeff Allen, NAME REDACTED...if you want misery, the Texans have it. Of all these players that made watching the Texans a horrid endeavor, which one do you hate the most?
CB Brandon Harris—Consensus pre-draft grade of 5th to 6th round coming out of Miami, yet Rick Smith burned a 2nd-round pick on him, quite possibly because Brandon’s dad had #Connections with Smith. #HotTake: NFL nepotism is pure poison for the league.
The #NoFlyZone never came to fruition, and the staggering number of 2nd and 3rd round draft picks ranging from “meh” to “bust” continued to pile high throughout Rick’s tour of duty in Houston.
FS Ed Reed—Not because he was the worst, but because we abandoned Glover Quin to pursue him. Quin continues to be a great value to Detroit’s defense, and Houston got the shadow of the ghost of Ed Reed. Sometimes there’s an attraction to a player we don’t have, who isn’t in our locker room, who isn’t in our meeting rooms, over what’s here already, and that fit isn’t always seamless. Or sometimes Ozzie Newsome knows when to let players walk due to talent drop-offs while Rick Smith knows (knew) to let players walk when it got to the point where he was going to have to pay them.
For me, it’s not even close: Brock Osweiler. SAY HIS NAME, UPROOTED TEXAN, SAY HIS NAME.
Signing Osweiler was flummoxing from the beginning, and it went downhill quickly thereafter. Signing him seemed to be predicated upon his game against New England in 2015, where he got lucky on a couple of jump balls, and the fact that he’s tall. In the third game of the 2016 season, when the Patriots played a (base) man scheme with safeties over, basically taking away Brock’s 50/50 balls, the jig was up.
Then, of course, there was all the underlying melodrama about pulling him, the alleged arguments, etc. This all culminated with the Patriots beating Osweiler again, this time in the playoffs, making him pay for the fluky win in 2015.
So much ink, virtual and real, was spilled on Osweiler supposedly being the cure for the Texans’ QB Hell, but there was never any rational reason to believe that was ever going to be true, just like with Brian Hoyer or #HoboQB would be the answer.
As a final insult, we were forced to trade a 2nd round pick to rid ourselves of the albatross, and we weren’t even smart enough to tag AJ Bouye with the savings.
Signing Brock Osweiler costed the Texans:
Kicking QB Hell down the road another year
A second round pick in 2018 (Nick Chubb)
Franchise tagging Bouye
That’s a lot of damage by one player.
He never played for this team, BFD, and I resent you trying to merge the history of our beloved Texans with that of the lowly Browns.
Look, we all know who it is. He set the franchise back three years. Brock.
But for the sake of interesting commentary, I’ll throw out a fun one. Shiloh Keo. Yeah, that’s right. The 5th round draft pick from 2011 who was on the Texans for a couple of years and started in 2013. I couldn’t stand watching him. He was that guy on the field who looks lost and you don’t know why the team loves him. I would always laugh because Keo would always come into the screen at the very last second. Like that friend who you invite to things but you don’t take pictures with because you know he isn’t the best looking and he won’t hurt anyone.
Keo was fine on special teams. He did his part. And it’s not like I was rooting for him or saw something in his tape that blew me away. I just thought Keo’s style of play wasn’t next level. He followed Gary Kubiak into the darkness and was never seen again.
This is an all-time layup, and frankly, it should be everyone’s answer. David Carr. His selection set the franchise back many, many years. More than that though, revisionist history has placed almost all of the blame at his admittedly awful offensive line play - but in the years after Carr was finally, mercifully jettisoned from the franchise a lot of stories came out about how he just wasn’t “that guy”. He wasn’t “that guy” who was the first to arrive and the last to leave. He wasn’t “that guy” who had the commitment necessary to be a franchise QB. He WAS that guy who wanted his mommy and daddy to get an exemption to watch him practice.
I think “hate” is too strong a word to drape on a football player. But, as far as the one who went from “I’m stoked this guy is a Texan!” to “Well, that utterly sucked!” has to be Ed Reed. I know the road of NFL history is littered with big name stars who changed teams only to flop, but Ed Reed not only flopped in Houston, he did so at such a dramatic fail rate I questioned whether the Texans could have grabbed the starting safety for the Jersey Village Falcons and radically upgraded the role Reed was filling. He didn’t just flop in the “fell off a bit” category, he fell so far off I wondered if they should have subtracted numbers from his career stats with the Ravens due to the negative benefits he brought the Texans.
So many choices here, but I’ll go with Travis Johnson. I remember a total sense of befuddlement when the Texans selected him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and my disgust only grew throughout his time in Houston. As disappointing as Amobi Okoye was, at least he showed flashes during his rookie season; Travis Johnson never even did that. He was an unadulterated disaster, and nothing I can write about him will be better or more accurate than this post by BFD more than seven years ago.