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Texans GM Nick Caserio relentless in protecting CJ Stroud - and himself

There’s no such thing as a straight set in this deck of cards.

NFL: Preseason-Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There must be a tropical storm in the Gulf Coast because that was a whirlwind of a roster cut day. There were surprise cuts, trades, re-signs, and one notable Injured Reserve designation. Through it all, we’ve learned a few things about the coaching staff and what the priorities are of the front office.

For starters, GM Nick Caserio will do everything in his power to revamp this offensive line in an effort to protect his new QB. Caserio knows his job is intertwined with the health and success of CJ Stroud. After two seasons with a combine total of seven wins, the slack is all but gone from his leash with the organization. The slowly turning ship that is this rebuild needs to hit warp speed quickly, and that starts with CJ Stroud at QB.

Let’s put together a timeline starting the start of the offseason:

March 21: Houston extends the contract of Laremy Tunsil

March 20: Houston acquires starting OG Shaq Mason via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Houston swaps late round draft picks with Tampa in a great deal

April 27-29: Houston Texans trade up to draft OC Juice Scruggs in the second round. They double down to draft OG Jarrett Patterson via a trade with the Vikings

July 26: Houston Texans extend former first rounder Tytus Howard in a three year deal

July 28: Houston signs OT George Fant

August 4: starting center Scott Quessenberry tears his ACL and MCL at the start of training camp and will miss the season.

August 7: starting RT Tytus Howard breaks his hand in a preseason game and is out for 4-6 weeks

August 25: Houston trades for OT Josh Jones from the Arizona Cardinals

August 29: 2022 first round pick OG Kenyon Green lands on the injured reserve and is out for the season

August 29: Houston cuts Austin Deculus, Tyler Beach, Michael Dieter, Jimmy Morrissey, Rashaad Coward. Charlie Heck is placed on Physically Unable to Perform list

August 29: later that day, Houston trades for OG/OC Kendrick Green from the Pittsburgh Steelers

That doesn’t include several other signings of players who didn't make the roster. Needless to say, Caserio has been busy compiling enough talent to suitably protect C.J. Stroud.

It doesn’t help that Caserio can’t catch a break in his construction of the offensive line. He had to rid himself of several late round draft picks who weren’t progressing and were hogging up precious roster spots. Austin Deculus and Charlie Heck were shown the door (Deculus has since been added to the practice squad) and Caserio ushered in veteran talent capable of starting in the league. Kenyon Green failed to impress this offseason before getting injured. Speaking of injuries... losing Tytus Howard was a gut punch.

Notice I don’t mention improving the run game? The Texans has been abysmal at running the ball ever since Carlos Hyde’s 1,000 yard season in 2019. Improving the run game will benefit the team in countless ways. Even so, it’s not what Caserio will be graded on. Wins and the passing game are what matters this season. Houston could have the worst rushing game in the league, but if CJ Stroud can stand in a clean pocket and deliver the football... then Caserio can sleep peacefully throughout the season.

What Caserio knows is that DeMeco will be graded on the defense, and he will be graded on the offense. Are you going to blame a first time offensive coordinator? Oh, what about the fourth new offensive line coach in as many years? No and no. Caserio knows above all else, his career is in the hands of the big men up front.