The #Texans waived WR Isaiah Coulter and RB Dontrell Hilliard, traded DB Keion Crossen to the New York Giants and activated DB Bradley Roby off the Reserve/COVID-19 list.— Houston Texans PR (@TexansPR) August 16, 2021
In addition to cutting two players, trading another, and reactivating their best cornerback, Houston also welcomed back two more veterans.
Texans defensive end Charles Omenihu returned to practice with no setbacks from hip injury that sidelined him last week and against Green Bay— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 17, 2021
Texans linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis has cleared the mandatory NFL concussion protocol. That involves passing a baseline neurological exam and practicing for one day without recurrence of symptoms to be fully cleared for contact drills. @SportsTalk790 @iHeartRadio— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 17, 2021
And that’s not all:
Texans tight end Jordan Akins is close to returning to practice from leg muscle tightness, increasing his activity level— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 17, 2021
Isaiah Coulter was waived, presumably because he wasn’t going to crack a depth chart that has Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Keke Coutee, Anthony Miller (who could be back as early as the season opener), Chris Conley and several wideouts. Especially when Coulter hasn’t been much help on special teams or grabbed any brass rings when he did get a chance to take the field. Best of luck, Mr. Coulter!
Dontrell Hilliard was cut with an injury designation, a settlement that was getting worked out when Houston brought in Darius Jackson last week. The former Cleveland Brown has shown lots of potential, but never quite capitalized on it. Hopefully he heals up, catches on with another team, and takes advantage of his next opportunity to shine.
Keion Crossen marks a “bigger deal than it seems” moment in new general manager Nick Caserio’s battle red reign. Casesrio is the one who traded Crossen to the Texans two years ago for a sixth round pick. This time, Caserio again traded Crossen for a sixth round pick. While it isn't a big splash move, it shows Caserio can get good value for a player some may have just cut.
Even though cornerback Bradley Roby won’t suit up for Week One, getting him preseason reps in Lovie Smith’s new Texans-2 defense is huge. The difference in Smith’s players in the preseason opener and what Romeo Crennel trotted out last season is evident. Smith has the players hustling to the ball instead of sticking in their assigned areas while opponents race past them over and over. While it’s premature to get excited about this new D, in 2021 we’ll take what we can get in the positive vibes dept.
Defensive end Charles Omenihu is the “heir apparent” to J.J. Watt. I’ll pause and let you finish laughing before we continue.
No, still chuckling?
How about now? No?
Take a breath before you hyperventilate.
While there is no replacing a player like Watt, Omenihu is the best option currently wearing a Texans uniform. Barring some crazy trade for Aaron Donald or Cameron Hayward, or Whitney Mercilus suddenly taking his play to a level never before seen, Omenihu will have to do. It’s not that he’s a bad player; quite the contrary. Hopefully Omenihu learned a lot from #99 and does him proud, even if he’s not a tire-flipping, box-stack jumping, quarterback devouring Wisconsin boy paving a Hall of Fame career.
Kevin-Pierre Louis is one of the small nation of linebackers Caserio brought in early this offseason. Entering his eighth season with his sixth team, Louis will need to hone in on Smith’s defensive schemes, assignments, and strategies quickly if he wants to get on the field in a very crowded linebacker room. Otherwise the former Washington Whatever (seriously, how hard is it to name a football team?) might be on his way to Team #7 in a few weeks.
Jordan Akins, the only remaining half of the Jordan Twins from a few years ago, is arguably the best all-around tight end the Texans have. While he has some younger players with tremendous potential behind him, Kahale Warring, Brevin Jordan and Pharaoh Brown aren’t quite Akins-level just yet.
Definitely a busy few days in Houston Texans rosterology. We’re not anywhere near the end of the churn.