Everyone is looking forward to Week One: JACKSONVILLE v. HOUSTON, but all I’m looking forward to is the preseason. See, for your Houston Texans, a team without positions, numbers on the jerseys, or names on the back of the helmets, the preseason is more important than the regular season. Painting the house all day. Which linebacker can step up against the Packers’ balanced offensive attack? Drunk off the river. How will Tyrod Taylor look against Dallas’s new Cover Three defense? Sunburned and scorched. Will Houston’s newest offensive line unit have any success against the marauding Tampa Bay front?
These are important things, but before we get even to then and there, the Texans’ training camp has to begin. Competition, competition, competition. Before training camp opens next month, which positional battle are you most excited for?
This was the question I asked the masthead. These are our responses:
Well of course it’s the LAN raid of a competition that is inside linebacker. What dark forces will control the Kevin Pierre-Louis vs Neville Hewitt vs Joe Thomas vs Garrett Wallow vs Christian Kirksey battle? Will they platoon each player for 5 snaps per game? Riveting.
All the ones across the offensive line.
Sure none of those spots are sexy, Sportscenter-centric positions, but finding out if new O-Line coach James Campen can actually coach up young players Tytus Howard and Max Scharping while integrating newcomers Justin Britt and Marcus Canon will tell us everything we need to know for the future of the Texans. Putting Davis Mills behind the same line that saw Deshaun Watson take a league high number of hits again and again is a quick trip to coach town for that kid.
That is, unless the nameless, numberless, faceless competition mantra has Christian Kirksey, Justin Reid and Tyrod Taylor all lining up on the o-line to zone run block for Ka’imi Fairbairn as he takes a bulls on parade bootleg screen from quarterback Mitchell Fraboni to the house against the All Field Goal Offense masquerading as the new Tampa 2 Texans D.
These are confusing times...
Nothing about the 2021 Texans truly equates to exciting. However, I am curious to see how the linebackers and running backs shake out. Given the 11 LBs on the roster, what will the final composition look like? Presuming that we don’t run a 1-7-3 Defense, how many of our LBs will make the field as LBs, how many play special teams and how many are looking for another job? As for the RBs, that could be quite the battle. David Johnson is the incumbent, but what will the Texans do between him, Lindsay, Ingram, Burkhead and the other RBs? Even the fact that Johnson is the presumed starter does not guarantee his final role or position on the squad. If this team is to have any sort of slim hope of offensive success, it will require the use of a better than serviceable running game. Thus, the RB actions will bear a great deal of watching.
Assuming we don’t try to bring the wishbone/veer to the modern NFL, one of these backs may not be on the roster come Week 1. Will that be a good thing or bad? Depends on the strategic plans/nature of the Texans, which right now, I don’t know if they even have a clue what their strategic outlook/plan will be. It might help if we can develop a decent run-blocking offensive line, but we won’t know that until the coaches actually get a chance to coach up the players. That can be an alien concept in this part of the NFL woods.
Excited about? How about dreading!
The “competition” between Marcus Cannon and Tytus Howard at right tackle is one of the stupidest things I can remember a team doing. It’s an absolute waste of time, and it’s yet another example that competition is more about performance art rather than actually improving a football team.
If Nick Caserio and the rest think that messing with Howard’s development to give the 33-year old Cannon a shot at RT, it goes to show we have learned nothing from the Bill O’Brien experience. BOB jerked around offensive linemen throughout his entire stay at the Texans, and nothing good ever came from it. It did, however, blow up potentially promising careers from Martinas Rankin and Julie’n Davenport.
This “battle” is an act of stupidity and futility that absolutely screams incompetent ownership and management. Or, you know, the Houston Texans.
BFD is me, and I am BFD. Howard beating out Cannon at right tackle is the only thing I care about. Steel sharpens steel or something, but I wish this wasn’t even a thing to begin with.