One preseason game down, two to go. The Houston Texans walked away with a win last week against the New England Patriots, but fans walked away with a better understanding of the roster. We got to se our rookies shine or quiver under the lights.
Several quick takeaways:
- Austin Deculus is simply not pro-material
- George Fant already slid into the second team and this roster
- Jake Hansen is right on the bubble but on the outside looking in
- Cory Littleton didn’t impress either
- The tight end battle is more complicated than we think
- Thomas Booker is further down the depth chart than he should be
- It will be Mike Boone vs. Dare Ogunbowale for the third RB role, with Boone slightly ahead
- Steven Nelson-Derek Stingley-Tavierre Thomas are the CBs, Jalen Pitre and Jimmie Ward are the safeties. After that it’s anyone’s guess, especially at safety
- Houston will have to sacrifice depth either at defensive end or offensive line. Right now, it’s D-lineman due to injuries on offense.
Let’s update the Rosterology after the first preseason game and all the knowledge we took from it.
LAST FOUR IN:
FIRST FOUR OUT:
Kendall Sheffield, Xazavian Valladay
ANALYSIS: Houston cut Sheffield and Valladay shortly after the game on Thursday. We then Saw TE Eric Tomlinson play a significant role in the office ahead of Brevin Jordan. Kurt Hinish received significant reps, which makes me believe he’s in the team’s general plan. Houston signed Rashaad Coward (great last name) as a flex guard or tackle and it will be interesting to see where Houston values their new lineman.
C.J. Stroud, Davis Mills, (Case Keenum as QB-reserve)
ANALYSIS: No new news from this position outside of the well covered sluggish start in his first and only two drives. Stroud’s difficulties further improves Mills “long-term” standing with the team.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Dameon Pierce, Devin Singletary, Mike Boone, Andrew Beck
ANALYSIS: A Rosterology gut punch in the first week of preseason? Tough to swallow for Xazavian Valladay fans. From last week:
The news surrounding Valladay has been few and far between thus far. I’m afraid he has yet to make an impact and is purely lost in the shuffle at the moment. It’s early. It’s a bold prediction. I just want to be on the right side of history.
The more I re-watch the Texans offense, the less I feel confident in Andrew Beck. Eric Tomlinson played the wing/tight end lead blocker role. The second preseason game will shine light into how offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik prioritizes these tight ends and fullbacks. If Houston chooses to not keep either fullback on the roster, expect them to keep an extra offensive lineman.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Noah Brown, Robert Woods, Nico Collins, John Metchie III, Tank Dell, Xavier Hutchinson
ANALYSIS: Tank Dell was a marvel in his first professional outing. It was also great to see Metchie in the flesh and more importantly in the offense. He looks ready to play. Hutchinson’s one catch for 20 yards felt great to help validate his place on the offense. No movement here in the most well rounded, but not talented offense.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Dalton Schultz, Teagan Quitoriano, Eric Tomlinson
ANALYSIS: Quitoriano looks fantastic in the offense. He will be a lock and key for the team on third down and potential boom player on the team. Eric Tomlinson is another utility guy in an offense that craves utility more than I crave popcorn at midnight.
Keep an eye out for Mason Schreck. The veteran tight end had two targets and two catches in the game and it’s a great move by Slowik to add another player who can be utilized more than Brevin Jordan in the run game.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN (10)
Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Kenyon Green, Juice Scruggs, Jarrett Patterson, Shaq Mason, Michael Dieter, George Fant, Charlie Heck, Rashaad Coward
ANALYSIS: Adding Coward and removing a player from the defense is necessary due to Tytus Howard’s multi-week hand injury. Howard’s injury is critical to the entire offense’s success.
Several of the Texans’ starters didn’t suit up for the first game and I don't expect them to look the part in the preseason. Juice Scruggs struggled in his first game and will be a long development process for the center. Charlie Heck could be a casualty after mediocre play, again. If it comes down to it, Heck will be sacrificed to keep DE Derek Rivers or CB Darius Phillips, both who can contribute on special teams.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (6)
Will Anderson Jr., Jerry Hughes, Jonathan Greenard, Dylan Horton, Jacob Martin, Chase Winovich
ANALYSIS: Greenard looked dominant in the preseason game, which gives the team enough confidence to let veteran like Derek Rivers walk.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4)
Sheldon Rankins, Roy Lopez, Maliek Collins, Hassan Ridgeway
ANALYSIS: For the first time, second year defensive lineman Thomas Booker has been cut from the roster. He’d be resigned immediately to the practice squad, but it’s a necessary move to keep a player such as Chase Winovich on the team. This next preseason game will be make or break for his career in my opinion.
This group of four appears fairly entrenched. Kurt Hinish is the only fifth player that could foreseeably make his way back onto this roster with a better performance this game.
Former USFL player Khalil Davis recorded three tackles late in the game. He could be a player to watch for if there’s an injury or roster shake up.
Christian Harris, Denzel Perryman, Christian Kirksey, Cory Littleton, Henry To’oTo’o, Blake Cashman
ANALYSIS: Linebackers can be difficult to evaluate in the preseason given the backups get the majority of the reps. With that said, there’s only enough room for one of the three players: Cory Littleton, Jake Hansen, and Neville Hewitt. Littleton appears to have the inside track, but he wasn’t dominant in the game and left with only one tackle in limited reps.
Garrett Wallow won’t go quietly into the night either. He had a solid outing against the Patriots and is a fringe roster player himself. He’s subjugated due to new rookie and veteran talent, but he’s the type of player to find himself on a roster somewhere else in 2023.
Steven Nelson, Derek Stingley Jr., Shaq Griffin, Desmond King, Tavierre Thomas
ANALYSIS: Special teams ace Darius Phillips will make the CB room interesting. He’s the next best player Houston has brought in and I imagine they did so with good reason. The ruling is still out of Shaq Griffin and his presence on the roster. His role may be less safe than his name projects him to be.
Jimmie Ward, Jalen Pitre, M.J. Stewart, Eric Murray
ANALYSIS: No real adjustments to this group. It’s doubtful Brandon Hill makes this veteran led roster and no other team will put him on their team considering he’s a seventh round pick. Eric Murray has been quite quiet this offseason and needs to make more positive noise to avoid a surprise cut in favor of other option.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Ka’imi Fairbairn, Jon Weeks, Cameron Johnston