When it comes to the 2019 Houston Texans’ off-season, most seem to fall into one of two camps: A) Houston did right by cleaning out the Brian Gaine and handing the keys to the kingdom to Bill O’Brien or B) this was the worst off-season in Texans franchise history.
But, rarely is everything black or white, on or off, win or loss, outside of the actual games. With that in mind, the question was thrown out, what are your off-season wins and losses for H-Town football? Here’s what the masthead had to say:
The biggest “Win” in the offseason? I’m not sure I have seen the Texans have a worse offseason than this one. I suppose the retention of J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson could be considered a “win.”
The biggest “Loss?” Well, where do you start? Here’s a top-3:
#1 Failing to acquire a veteran LT, LG or draft a top “proven” offensive lineman in the first round. #2 Failing to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney.
#3 Not replacing Mike Devlin as the OL coach.
The only good thing I can say is that Ryan Griffin and Alfred Blue aren’t on the roster. That’s pretty much it. By default they won’t have two of the worst players at the league in the respective positions, and Griffin was second on the team in targets, and Blue was second on the team in carries.
The bad, oh so many. I love all my children equally. They never added an interior rusher, they didn’t add another cornerback in free agency despite their being plenty of bargain bin options, they didn’t extend Jadeveon Clowney despite having $40 million in cap space still and could have used it as an opportunity to front load it, they drafted two project offensive linemen, they drafted a cornerback who lacks the quickness to play man coverage and doesn’t know how to use his size, and they didn’t add an impact offensive lineman in free agency: Rodger Saffold, Matt Paradis, etc.
The two biggest additions to the roster were by subtraction: removing literally the worst HB and TE in the NFL from your roster is an improvement. How Alfred Blue got to carry the ball 673 times as a Houston Texan is easily the worst use of a player I’ve seen in the NFL.
As far as the biggest loss of the off-season? The lack of strategy, cohesion, and vision for the team throughout the off-season has been a shining example of how not to run a franchise.
Deshaun Watson is a wizard. DeAndre Hopkins is the best WR in the NFL. JJ Watt is the mayor of Houston. But these guys can’t do it all.
The biggest win I can see (and this requires some faith) is trading for Duke Johnson. If newly minted offensive coordinator Tim Kelly can utilize Johnson as a receiving threat out of the backfield, Houston’s offense just became that much more lethal as that was really the only missing link. Franchise QB is Deshaun Watson. Check. Best wide receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins. Check. Solid tight end corps in Jordan Thomas, Jordan Akins, Darren Fells and the rest (going to go ahead and say this is the best tight end group the Texans have ever had). Check. Running back who can break one for 90+ yards. Check. Adding Johnson should scare the snot out of opposing defenses, as long as Kelly can use him properly. Honorable mention: bringing in Tashaun Gipson and Bradley Roby.
The big loss is the general manager snafu and all that comes with it: Failure to lock down Jadeveon Clowney (and if Houston trades him that will be THE worst front office move in franchise history), the inability to leverage $72 million in cap space to significantly improve the offensive line, the baffling decision to not add immediate pro-ready starters in the draft, allowing Bill O’Brien to have control over the team at the level of Bill Belichik - and the facepalm move of trying to sign Nick Caserio, then going without a GM altogether. And, the worst par is that this train is still wrecking...