A botched roster build sometimes looks like a botched play. We’ve all seen them, when the quarterback takes the snap and turns to hand the ball off, but there’s no one there. The running back either ran the wrong way or the QB turned the wrong direction. Either way, bad things ensue.
NFL history is littered with cautionary tales of bright, young quarterbacks on teams that offer no help when the QB needs it most. David Carr anyone?
Thankfully, Nick Caserio has done a decent, if not great, job of ensuring Mills has someone on the other end when he needs to get rid of the pigskin.
Houston Texans Running Backs
While the Marlon Mack experiment ended with the veteran back landing on the practice squad, there’s still hope.
Rookie runner Dameon Pierce lit the preseason on fire, hype wise at least. The rookie played in two games, had 11 attempts for 86 yards, a whopping 7.8 yards per carry and a touchdown. For those keeping score at home, that’s the highest average league-wide for any running back with 10 or more carries.
While it’s only preseason, the force is strong with this one.
Behind Pierce, dependable veteran Rex Burkhead waits in the wings to spell the rook and hit the holes in short yardage situations.
Houston Texans Wide Receivers
While the spotlight has landed on giant paydays for other wide receivers this offseason, Brandin Cooks has quietly continued to be one of the most effective pass catchers of the last few years. Since arriving in the great state of Texas, Cooks has caught 171 passes for 2,187 yards and 12 touchdowns. This is the sort of highly dependable, big play pass catcher a young quarterback needs.
Behind Cooks stands sophomore receiver Nico Collins, a player many believe is poised for a breakout season in 2022. While Nico only gained 446 yards as a rookie, his average yards per catch was phenomenal at 13.5 - and he did all this in David Culley’s Three Stooges carnival show. Under newly minted offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, expect Collins to light it up.
Houston Texans Tight Ends
Another rising second year player, Brevin Jordan had a strong outing in the preseason, securing the top tight end slot on the depth chart. As one of the very few consistent players returning from the 2021 offense, Jordan should provide a familiar stop gap for Mills in the passing game.
Brevin Jordan's phone screensaver has the names of all the TEs drafted ahead of him in 2021.— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) August 23, 2022
He may, in fact, have that dog in him. https://t.co/t90KI658UI
Another returning tight end, Pharaoh Brown, is waiting in the wings and should see the field often in two tight end sets.
While the offensive line still has a few question marks, Mills should have a better 2022 than 2021 simply from having more dependable talent around him, a better offensive coordinator and ahead coach who understands that players benefit from playing time, not canceled practices.