Take a minute and consider the best and brightest Houston Texans that ever were. Imagine taking one of them, at the height of his career, and placing that version of the player on the Texans’ 2020 roster. What could Deshaun Watson do with the 2008 version of Andre Johnson? What would the current defense look like with a 2009 Brian Cushing? How about a 2012 J.J. Watt? Or Chris Myers in his prime? Duane Brown?
To get things started, let’s roll with 2010 Arian Foster. While there’s a fair bit of unknown with David and Duke Johnson in the backfield this season—they could be amazing, underwhelming, or anywhere in between—planting a healthy, dynamic, determined 2010 Arian Foster off Deshaun Watson’s back pocket would create absolute nightmares for opposing defenses.
Do you stack the box to stop Foster, only to have Watson squirt out the other side or throw a deep slant over your head? Or do you double team Foster until he glides into the flat for a swing pass that he takes 20+ yards before you even realize it’s not a run play?
Having a prime Foster on the 2020 Texans would create a season full of highlight reel fireworks never before seen. Between him and Watson, you could realistically expect a combined 2,500 yards on the ground. Talk about running to set up the passing game. Trying to contain Foster while worrying about the track team of Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks and Kenny Stills might just get some poor opposing defensive coordinator fired.
In the doldrums of NFL news, amidst the uncertainty of potential for a COVID-19 condensed campaign, there’s nothing wrong with imagining things that could never be.
The question of the afternoon is: Who would you bring back?