The Houston Texans are generating more interest this offseason than they have in at least three years. They hired DeMeco Ryans after two lackluster coaching searches and hires the previous two seasons. They have actual cap room to spend on free agency and they have two high picks in the first round. It’s also a fun time to be covering the Texans.
Jake Asman is a co-host on ESPN Radio 97.5’s The Wheelhouse along with Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner from 3 PM to 7 PM Monday through Friday. You can also find him on his YouTube channel when he is not on the air with 97.5. The local host was generous enough to sit down with us to discuss DeMeco Ryans, the draft, and free agency.
Battle Red Blog: What was your initial reaction to the DeMeco Ryans hire? Now that all of the teams have hired a head coach, where would you put Ryans in that grouping? How do you anticipate Texans football looking different under Ryans?
Jake Asman: I believe that with DeMeco Ryans, the Texans finally have a coach that the fanbase can believe in and really give a fair shake. DeMeco was beloved as a player and was obviously qualified for the position so he will get the benefit of the doubt early which is huge. I think the fact that all five teams with openings requested to speak DeMeco and he only took two total interviews is telling. He really did consider Houston his dream job which is awesome.
BRB: We have heard it reported that the Texans will be drafting a quarterback at number two. Are there any scenarios where you see that not happening? If you had your pick of any of the quarterbacks on the board which one would it be? If that guy were gone at number one, who would your next quarterback be?
JA: I would be stunned of the Texans don’t take a QB at #2. The only scenario I could see it happening is if they truly don’t like any of the top four QBs but I find that hard to believe. I would take Bryce Young or CJ Stroud. My concern with taking Will Levis or Anthony Richardson is that they are considered to be more of a project and I don’t trust a first-time head coach and first-time OC in Bobby Slowik to develop a project so I rather go with the more ‘sure thing’ in Young or Stroud despite both guys still being risky by nature of the position they play.
BRB: The Texans obviously have more free agency cash to play with this offseason. Which positions do you think they should target on the free agent market? Are there any specific names we should be on the lookout for?
JA: I’d prefer the Texans to spend a ton of free agent money on fixing the defense. This team needs help at basically every position so you can’t go wrong in free agency spending but I’d like to see the resources poured into the defense and bringing in guys that DeMeco wants help rebuild that horrendous unit.
BRB: Nick Caserio has come under some fire the past two years over some of the decisions that have gone south. Some people blame him for these decisions while others blame others within the organization and/or ownership. Where do you fall on the debate? How much more rope are you giving him to get it right?
JA: Nick Caserio has been I believe fairly criticized. The last game against the Colts was a disgrace in how it played out and he never should have allowed Lovie Smith to coach that game, or Cooks and Mills to play in that game, etc. That all being said, this is his last shot at getting it all right. He won’t be hiring a fourth coach and he’s likely taking his big swing on a QB in the first round. His clock starts right now. If the Texans don’t make significant improvement this season and then the following season, he’s going to be fired and it would be justifiable. You don’t get 5-6 year rebuilds in the NFL anymore. The Jaguars, in the Texans’ own division, went from the worst record in the NFL to winning a division title and winning a playoff game this year. It’s time for the Texans to start winning way more games and showing true progress.
BRB: The Jaguars managed to go from three wins to nine wins in one season. Do you think the Texans are capable of that kind of jump this next season? If not, what do you see as realistic expectations for DeMeco Ryans first season as the Texans coach?
JA: I don’t expect the Texans with a rookie QB to take a Jaguars-like leap but I do expect more wins than this year. If we end next season feeling like the young QB got better and other cornerstone players on the team became established, even if Houston ends up with only 5-6 wins that can still be viewed as a step in the right direction.
We wanted to thank Jake again for agreeing to sit down and discuss the Texans with us. You can catch him locally from 3 PM to 7 PM on 97.5 FM or can listen to the podcast version on their site. Hopefully we can catch up with him in the future to discuss more Texans news when it happens.