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Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

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Old 08-25-2019, 08:51 AM   #1
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Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty



**Preview Taken from footballfanspot.com**

HOUSTON TEXANS 2109 PREVIEW
Quarterback


From 2014 to 2016, the Texans went 27-21, but were carried by their defense and started 8 different underwhelming quarterbacks over those three seasons: Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, TJ Yates, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, and Tom Savage. Hoping to find their missing piece, the Texans were aggressive trading up from 25 to 12 in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Deshaun Watson, giving up a future first round pick in the process.

Watson appeared to be that missing piece as a rookie, completing 61.8% of his passes for an average of 8.33 YPA, 19 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, while adding 269 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, but then he tore his ACL in practice week 9 and missed the rest of the season. Dealing with an injury situation from hell, the Texans were also without their top defensive player JJ Watt for most of the season, as well as several other key starters, leading to the Texans finishing just 4-12.

In 2018, they were healthy and went on to win 11 games, but still seemed short of being a true contender, finishing 8th in first down rate differential at +2.99% and losing at home in their first playoff game against the Colts. Their defense was back to being dominant with Watt healthy, finishing 3rd in first down rate allowed, but their offense was a middle of the pack unit, finishing just 17th in first down rate, even with Deshaun Watson making all 16 starts.

Watson was not the problem though and in some ways he played better in 2018, even though he was coming off of a serious injury. He completed 68.3% of his passes for an average of 8.25 YPA, 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions, while adding 551 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground, and finished 12th among quarterbacks on Pro Football Focus. His best improvement came in his accuracy and his completion percentage jumped 6.5% as a result.

Durability is always going to be a concern for Watson because of his playing style and even last season he played through a serious chest injury for much of the season, but as long as he can stay on the field, he has the talent to continue developing into one of the best all around quarterbacks in the league, still only going into his age 24 season. The Texans did improve their backup quarterback situation this off-season by signing AJ McCarron, who has a career 91.4 QB rating on 136 attempts in 13 games (3 starts), but they’d obviously still be in a lot of trouble if Watson was to get injured again.

Grade: B+


Offensive Line


This biggest thing that held this offense back in 2018 was their offensive line, which has been a problem for years. Watson led the league with 62 sacks taken and was pressured on a league most 44.7% of his dropbacks last season, making his high completion percentage all the more impressive (he finished 5th in the NFL with a 57.9% completion percentage under pressure). The Texans started 8 different offensive linemen, but only one earned an average or better grade from PFF, guard Greg Mancz, who started just 4 games.

The Texans did make upgrading the offensive line a priority this off-season, signing Matt Kalil to a 1-year, 7.5 million dollar deal in free agency and using first and second round picks on offensive linemen, taking Alabama State’s Tytus Howard and Northern Illinois’ Max Scharping. All three players will compete for roles, but it’s unclear if any of them are going to move the needle upfront. Scharping was a solid value in the 2nd round, but Howard was a reach in the first round, after the Eagles moved up one spot ahead of them to select original target Andre Dillard, and Kalil missed all of 2018 with a knee injury and was a head scratching signing at that salary. Those three will be among 10 players potentially competing for jobs upfront this off-season.

Kalil’s salary suggests he’ll start, probably at left tackle. He was a solid left tackle early in his career, making 64 of 64 starts for the Vikings from 2012-2015, but he’s had two of his last three seasons wiped out by injury and finished just 56th out of 92 qualifying offensive tackles on Pro Football Focus in his one recent healthy season in 2017. With Kalil now going into his age 30 season, it’s unclear who the Texans were competing with to sign him for 7.5 million dollars, especially since his deal doesn’t give the Texans any long-term option beyond 2019 on the off chance he does bounce back. He’ll likely be an upgrade over Julie’n Davenport, who finished 77th out of 85 qualifying offensive tackles in 16 starts last season, but that could largely be by default and he could easily miss time with injury again.

Right guard Zach Fulton’s salary also suggests he’ll start. He finished 65th out of 88 qualifying guards on PFF last season in 13 starts, but the Texans signed him to a 4-year, 28 million dollar contract last off-season and his 7 million dollar salary for 2019 is fully guaranteed, so they don’t have much of a choice but to give him another shot. He was a better player in the first 4 years (46 starts) of his career in Kansas City before signing that contract, so he has some bounce back potential, but he’s never been better than a middling starter.

Draft picks Tytus Howard and Max Scharping both played tackle in college, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if the latter moved inside in the NFL because of his arm length. Howard will likely be in the mix to start at right tackle week 1, where he would replace free agent departure Kendall Lamm. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Howard struggle as a rookie though and most expected him to go in the 2nd or 3rd round. Davenport could also compete at right tackle, but the 2017 4th round pick has shown very little in two seasons in the league and likely isn’t a roster lock.

Also in the mix at right tackle is Seantrel Henderson, who was re-signed to a 1-year, 4.5 million dollar deal this off-season. He started at right tackle week 1 last season, but missed all but 11 snaps with a broken ankle and has played just 89 snaps in the past 3 seasons. The 2014 7th round pick made 26 starts at right tackle in the first 2 seasons of his career and is still in his age 27 season, but he also earned below average grades in both of those seasons and could easily struggle again if he manages to win the job.
If Scharping moves inside to guard, he could compete with incumbent left guard Senio Kelemete, who finished 59th out of 88 qualifying guards in a career high 14 starts last season. He earned average grades from PFF as a spot starter with the Saints from 2015-2017 (22 starts), but he may be overstretched as a full-time starter. Kelemete could also be pushed for his job by 2018 3rd round pick Martinas Rankin, who struggled mightily at tackle as a rookie and is now moving inside to guard, and veteran Greg Mancz, who wasn’t bad in 4 spot starts last season. Mancz was also a solid starter at center in 2016, making 16 starts as an injury replacement, though his experience at guard is more limited (11 career starts).

Mancz could also be an option at center, but it’s likely the Texans will continue starting Nick Martin. Martin was underwhelming last season, finishing 22nd among 39 qualifying centers on PFF, but he played every snap and the 2016 2nd round pick has made 30 starts at center over the past 2 seasons. He was underwhelming in 2017 as well, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take a bit of a step forward in his 4th season in the league in 2019, now in his contract year. The Texans added talent to this unit this off-season and it would be hard for them to be worse than last season, but there’s a lot of uncertainty upfront and this looks likely to be weakness again.

Grade: C-


Running Backs


The Texans also didn’t get much from their running backs in 2018. They ranked a decent 19th in YPC as a team with 4.28, but that was buoyed by a 5.57 YPC average on 99 carries by Deshaun Watson. Lead back Lamar Miller averaged 4.63 YPC on 210 carries, but did a poor job of consistently keeping this offense on schedule, finishing 35th out of 47 qualifying running backs with a 44% carry success rate. He had about 10% of his season rushing total on one carry, so that distorts his average a little bit. Meanwhile, #2 back Alfred Blue averaged just 3.33 yards per carry on 150 carries with a 41% carry success rate, 39th among qualifying running backs.

The Texans didn’t do anything to address the running back position this off-season, only using a 7th round draft pick on fullback Cullen Gillespia, so they’ll once again be relying on Lamar Miller as their lead back. Miller is unspectacular, but he’s about as reliable as they come, topping 150 carries in 6 straight seasons (one of 3 running backs to do so over that stretch), averaging 4.31 YPC, totalling 203 catches in 92 games, and missing just 4 games due to injury. He’s also somehow only still in his age 28 season, so he could easily have another couple solid seasons left in the tank, and much of his struggles consistently keeping this offense on schedule last season were due to the offensive line’s inconsistent run blocking. He’s a good bet for another 200 or so carries in 2019, but could be inefficient on a per carry basis again if the offensive line continues to struggle.

The Texans will also be hoping to get more from third year running back D’onta Foreman, whose 2018 season was ruined by injury. It would be hard for the Texans to get less from him in 2019, as he actually lost rushing yardage on the season with -1 yard on 7 carries, but the 2017 3rd round pick showed promise as a rookie before tearing his Achilles late in the season, averaging 4.19 yards per carry on 78 carries and he could easily bounce back in 2019 if he’s healthy, which he never was last season. He could see a significant role as a rotational running back, though he doesn’t do much in the passing game (13 catches in 27 career games in college and just 6 catches as a rookie in 2017). With little depth behind Foreman, they need him to bounce back.

Grade: B-


Receiving Corps


The most valuable player the Texans have on offense around Deshaun Watson is #1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who finished last season with a 115/1572/11 slash line, finishing in the top-5 in the NFL in all 3 categories. A first round selection in 2013, Hopkins has averaged a 95/1327/9 slash line in the past 5 seasons, despite having underwhelming quarterback play for much of that, and he has 153 catches for 2123 yards and 17 touchdowns in 22 career games with Deshaun Watson (111/1544/12 slash line over 16 games). Still very much in the prime of his career in his age 27 season, Hopkins is arguably the best wide receiver in the entire NFL.

The rest of this receiving corps was a weakness last season though. Will Fuller had a 32/503/4 slash line in 7 games, but then he tore his ACL and in his absence no one else topped 305 yards receiving on the season. The Texans didn’t make any big additions this off-season and will instead be counting on better health from Fuller and 3rd receiver Keke Coutee, who had a 28/287/1 slash line in just 6 games last season.

Both players have upside, especially Fuller, who has 45 catches for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 career games with Deshaun Watson (65/1137/16 slash line over 16 games), but both have significant injury histories as well, with Fuller missing 17 of 48 games in 3 seasons in the league and Coutee having chronic hamstring problems dating back to his collegiate days, part of why he fell to the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s concerning that the Texans didn’t do anything to improve their depth behind Fuller and Coutee this off-season.

The one addition they did make to their receiving corps this off-season was 3rd round tight end Kahale Warring. His addition coincided with the release of veteran Ryan Griffin, who was 3rd on the team in receiving last season with a 24/305/0 slash line, but he averaged just 0.84 yards per route run and was not much of a blocker either. With Griffin gone, the Texans are going with a youth movement at the position, with 2018 3rd round pick Jordan Akins and 2018 6th round pick Jordan Thomas also in the mix for snaps, after playing 388 snaps and 470 snaps respectively as rookies last season.

Neither Akins nor Thomas showed much though, averaging 1.17 yards per route run and 1.38 yards per route run respectively and underwhelming as blockers. Warring enters the league pretty raw, with just 51 catches in his collegiate career, so it’s possible the Texans don’t get much more out of any of their tight ends again in 2019. This receiving corps could easily be better in 2019 than 2018 with better health and some young talent, but this group remains a concern.

Grade: B


Edge Defenders


As mentioned, the Texans were led by one of the best defenses in the league last season. A huge part of their defensive success is the edge defender trio of JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus. The Texans have to get creative to get three all on the field at the same time, frequently playing JJ Watt as a defensive end in 3-4 base packages, with Clowney and Mercilus as 3-4 outside linebackers, and also using both Clowney and Mercilus as off ball linebackers occasionally in obvious passing situations, with Clowney seeing snaps as a blitzer from the middle linebacker spot and Mercilus leading all edge defenders with 168 coverage snaps in 2018.

Watt used to be primarily an interior defender earlier in his career, but he’s played more and more on the edge in passing situations in recent years, as the Texans feel it’s a better use of his pass rush ability. It hasn’t really matter where he’s played, as he’s finished in the top-2 at his position on Pro Football Focus in each of his past 5 healthy seasons, including #1 ranked seasons in 2013 and 2014. In total, he has 92 sacks, 176 hits, and a 13.4% pressure rate in 104 career games. He’s going into his age 30 season and missed close to two entire seasons with injury (he played just 8 games in 2016 and 2017 combined), but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was one of the best defensive players in the league again in 2019.

Like Watt, Mercilus missed most of 2017 with injury, going down with a torn pectoral in the same game Watt broke his leg, and he was a welcome re-addition last season as well. He had just 4 sacks, but added 11 hits and an 11.4% pressure rate. A first round pick in 2012, Mercilus was a bit of a late bloomer, but he’s earned an above average pass rush grade from PFF in 4 straight seasons dating back to 2015 and he has 24.5 sacks, 31 hits, and a 12.9% pressure rate in 52 games over that stretch.

Mercilus has also been relatively durable aside from the 2017 pectoral tear, missing just 2 games in his other 6 seasons. Still only in his age 29 season, he should have another solid season in 2019. He did struggle mightily in coverage last season, allowing 23 completions on 25 targets with no pass breakups, and the 258 pounder is not a natural coverage athlete, so it’s possible they scale back his coverage role this season, but the Texans like lining him up in different spots and using him in different ways.

The Texans also like lining Jadeveon Clowney in different spots, though he also saw 29 coverage snaps in 2018. The #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney had durability problems early in his career, but he’s missed just 3 games with injury over the past 3 seasons and has played close to every snap in those games, averaging 56.3 snaps per game. He doesn’t have the big sack totals, with a career high of 9.5 sacks in a season and just 24.5 sacks in the past 3 seasons, but he’s added 35 hits and a 10.9% pressure rate in those 3 seasons and is a great player against the run as well.

Clowney finished the 2018 season as PFF’s 7th ranked edge defender, a career best, and could still keep getting better, only going into his age 26 season. The Texans made the obvious decision to franchise tag Clowney this off-season, keeping him off the market with a 15.967 million dollar salary for 2019, but they are reportedly not close on a long-term extension. Assuming he doesn’t hold out, he should continue being a part of a dominant edge defender trio.

Grade: A


Interior Defenders


With JJ Watt playing primarily on the edge in 2018, DJ Reader, Angelo Blackson, Brandon Dunn, and Christian Covington led the team in snaps by an interior defender, with 639, 429, 347, and 257 respectively. Covington is no longer with the team, but he had the smallest role of the four and the Texans have an obvious replacement for him in 2017 5th round pick Carlos Watkins. Watkins has played just 371 snaps in 2 seasons in the league, but has shown some potential and should have a bigger role in his 3rd season in the league.

DJ Reader will likely continue to lead the way. He plays on the nose in the Texans’ base 3-4 defense, but the 347 pounder isn’t just a base package run stuffer, with a 7.8% career pressure rate and an average of 583 snaps played per season over the last 2 seasons. The 2016 5th round pick has earned an above average grade from Pro Football Focus in all 3 seasons in the league and finished last season 41st among interior defenders on PFF. Still only in his age 25 season, Reader could keep getting better in 2019 and beyond. He’ll be owed a steep pay increase on his next contract, owed just 2.025 million in the final year of his rookie deal in 2019.

Brandon Dunn will likely continue starting at defensive end opposite JJ Watt in base packages (10 starts in 14 games in 2018). The 2014 undrafted free agent has developed into a solid run stuffer, which is what he’s primarily relied on for, but he gets no pass rush, with just 4 pressures on 171 pass rush snaps last season. Angelo Blackson isn’t much better as a pass rusher, with a 4.4% pressure rate in 2018, but he’s relied on as an interior pass rusher out of necessity. The 429 snaps he played last season were a career high and the 2015 4th round pick will play a similar role in 2019, after being re-signed on a 3-year, 12 million dollar contract this off-season. This is a strong group in base packages, especially when JJ Watt plays defensive end, but they lack interior pass rush, with nose tackle DJ Reader arguably being their best interior pass rusher.

Grade: B-


Linebackers


Starting middle linebackers Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham return, after playing 919 snaps in 16 games and 753 snaps in 14 games respectively last season. A 2nd round pick in 2017, Cunningham has made 27 starts in 2 seasons in the league and has been solid in both seasons. He’s better as a run stuffer than in coverage, but he holds his own in coverage as well. He could easily take a step forward in his 3rd season in the league in 2019.

McKinney also is better against the run than he is in coverage, but he earned above average grades from Pro Football Focus for both last season and finished a career best 8th among off ball linebackers on the season. Also a former 2nd round pick, McKinney has earned an above average grade from PFF in all 4 seasons in the league and has made all 48 starts over the past 3 seasons. He might not quite match his career best season in 2019, but he should be one of the better off ball linebackers in the league again.

Depth is a problem for the Texans at this position though, with only former undrafted free agents Dylan Cole and Brennan Scarlett behind McKinney and Cunningham on the depth chart. Cole is a 2017 undrafted free agent with 326 career snaps, while Scarlett went undrafted in 2016 and has played just 523 career snaps. Mercilus and Clowney do play some inside linebacker in certain situations, but they couldn’t play the position every down, so the Texans would be in trouble if McKinney or Cunningham suffered a serious injury.

Grade: B+


Secondary


While not much is changing for the Texans in the front seven, they had some big losses in the secondary. Safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Kareem Jackson were their top-2 defensive backs in terms of snaps played last season with 1,045 and 985 respectively and both signed elsewhere this off-season. Safety Andre Hal and cornerback Kevin Johnson only played 237 snaps and 65 snaps respectively last season, but they both have prior starting experience and are also no longer with the team.

Not only did Mathieu and Jackson play significant snaps last season, but they also played at a high level, finishing 20th among safeties and 4th among cornerbacks respectively on Pro Football Focus last season, so they won’t be easy to replace. Mathieu was replaced by ex-Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson, who signed a 3-year, 22.5 million dollar deal in free agency this off-season. Gipson was released by the Jaguars ahead of an 8.25 million dollar non-guaranteed salary, so it’s a surprise he was able to get a deal that basically guarantees him 15.5 million over the next 2 seasons.

Gipson has started 87 games in the past 6 seasons, including all 48 in the past 3 seasons, but he’s been an inconsistent player. He finished last season as PFF’s 40th ranked qualifying safety, but he’s finished as high as 15th among safeties in 2014 and as low as 94th among 101 qualifying safeties in 2016. He’s not a bad starting option and he’s still in the prime of his career in his age 29 season, but he’s not reliable and he’s an obvious downgrade from Mathieu. He’ll start next to second year safety Justin Reid, who finished as PFF’s 28th ranked safety on 906 snaps as a 3rd round rookie in 2018. He should have another solid season in 2019.

Jackson, meanwhile, is being replaced by ex-Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby, who signed a 1-year, 10 million dollar deal this off-season. A first round pick in 2014, Bradley Roby earned average or better grades from PFF in each of the first 4 seasons of his career, playing about two thirds of the snaps as the 3rd cornerback behind the talented duo of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. With Talib traded to the Rams last off-season, Roby became an every down cornerback and matched up with opponents’ top outside receivers more often than not, but he got exposed in that role, allowing a 117.3 QB rating into his coverage and finishing 102nd among 131 qualifying cornerbacks on PFF. Giving him 10 million dollars on a deal that doesn’t even give the Texans an option to keep him beyond 2019 if he bounces back doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and he could easily struggle again.

Roby will start outside opposite Johnathan Joseph. Joseph is coming off of an impressive season, finishing 12th among cornerbacks on PFF, but the 13-year veteran is going into his age 35 season and could see his abilities fall off a cliff in the next season or two. Joseph has earned an average or better grade from PFF in 10 straight seasons, but last season was his highest ranked season since 2015. I don’t expect him to be as good again in 2019 and there’s a chance he declines significantly.

At slot cornerback, the Texans are counting on a bounce back year from Aaron Colvin. Colvin was signed to a 4-year, 34 million dollar contract in free agency last off-season, becoming one of the highest paid pure slot cornerbacks in the league, but ended up playing just 317 snaps in 8 games and finishing as PFF’s 120th ranked cornerback out of 131 qualifiers. His 7.75 million dollar salary for 2019 is guaranteed, so the Texans don’t have any choice but to give him another shot, but he’s still only going into his age 28 season and has bounce back potential if he’s healthy. The 2014 4th round pick earned average or better grades from PFF in each of his first 4 seasons in the league prior to last season, but he’s had injury problems dating back to college, including a torn ACL that caused him to fall in the draft and an ankle injury that ended his 2016 season.

With Joseph getting up there in age, the Texans used a 2nd round pick on Kentucky’s Lonnie Johnson as a long-term replacement. Johnson is a workout wonder, but wasn’t a standout player in college and may need a couple years to develop. He’s unlikely to start the season higher than 4th on the depth chart, but could be forced into action if Colvin gets hurt again or Joseph declines significantly. With Mathieu and Jackson gone and Joseph likely to regress, this could be a very average secondary in 2019.

Grade: B


Conclusion


The Texans were a good, not great team last year, with 11 of 16 games decided by a touchdown or less (6-5 record). They should be similar this season. On defense, their secondary likely won’t be as good in 2019 as it was last season, while their offense has more talent around the quarterback, but still some significant questions, especially on the offensive line. They’ll be in contention for a playoff spot, even with a tough schedule in a suddenly tough AFC South, but I think they are behind at least the Colts in the division.

Prediction: 8-8, 3rd in AFC South
Team Score: 74.71 (16th in NFL)
Offensive Score: 73.63
Defensive Score: 75.78
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

TEXANS FIRE GM BRIAN GAINE AFTER 17 MONTHS







The Texans, an organization that takes pride in its front-office stability, rocked the NFL on Friday when the franchise fired general manager Brian Gaine after just 17 months.

Chris Olsen, senior vice president of football administration who negotiates contracts and oversees the salary cap, was put in charge of the front office on an interim basis. The search for Gaine’s replacement will begin immediately, according to Cal McNair, the team’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager,” McNair said in a statement issued by the team. “While the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of our organization.”

On txsportsnation.com: Brian T. Smith says team giving more power to Bill O’Brien

Even though the Texans wouldn’t comment publicly beyond the statment about their reasons for the decision, people familiar with what transpired said McNair did not like the direction the organization was going under Gaine and the general manager’s relationship with coach Bill O’Brien had eroded. Rather than allow his concerns about Gaine to extend into next season, McNair elected to make the decision Friday, the week before the team’s final offseason minicamp.

Those familiar with the move said there was no one incident that triggered the decision and that it was made over time. McNair determined that Gaine was a better personnel man than a general manager and didn’t want to redefine the job with the Texans. Gaine, who had 3½ years left on the contract he signed in January of 2018, was in charge of everything on the personnel side, including the draft, free agency, medical, training, strength and rehabilitation and nutrition.

Janice McNair, the Texans’ controlling owner, signed off on her son’s decision.

Gaine had previously worked with the Texans for three seasons as the team’s personnel director before taking a job in Buffalo in 2017. He was brought back to replace Rick Smith after the 2017 season. A search committee that included O’Brien, late owner Bob McNair, Cal McNair, team president Jamey Rootes and the search firm of Korn Ferry picked Gaine after two other choices did not pan out.

The Texans’ first choice to replace Smith was Nick Caserio, New England’s director of player personnel. The Patriots refused to let Caserio interview.
People in the organization say the Texans are interested in Caserio again because of his ties to O’Brien although it is unclear if New England would allow him to seek another job.
O’Brien and Caserio worked together for five years (2007-2011) at New England. O’Brien has said on multiple occasions how he considers Caserio a close friend.

Another close friend of Caserio’s is Jack Easterby, who left the Patriots for the Texans after the 2018 season for the newly created position of executive vice president of team development. Easterby, who won three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, is gaining widespread influence within the organization and has a close working relationship with O’Brien.

Another member of the Patriots’ personnel department who also might get consideration is Monti Ossenfort, their director of college scouting. Before he went to New England in 2006, Ossenfort was a scouting intern and college scout with the Texans for two years under their first general manager Charley Casserly.

When the search committee put together its initial list of candidates to replace Smith, Ossenfort was included.
The consensus around the Texans’ offices is the new general manager will be someone who has worked with O’Brien or knows him well.

When the Texans hire their new general manager, the McNairs will be paying three of them, including Gaine and Smith, who resigned with multiple years left on his contract because of his wife’s illness.

O’Brien worked closely with Gaine during his first tour with the Texans under Smith. Gaine was part of four drafts and free agent periods before leaving to for Buffalo. When New England wouldn’t let Caserio interview, O’Brien pushed hard for Gaine.

In Gaine’s one season as a general manager, the Texans had an 11-5 record and won an AFC South title. He overhauled the scouting department, had an excellent 2018 draft featuring safety Justin Reid and receiver Keke Coutee — and without picks in the first and second rounds.

This year, Gaine oversaw the rebuilding of two primary positions, offensive tackle and cornerback. He also left the Texans with what could be three conditional draft choices next year, including a possible two selections in the third round for losing safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Kareen Jackson in free agency.

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Old 08-25-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

CLOWNEY'S OUT!!! TEXANS TRADE STAR TO BENGALS



Houston - After firing GM Brian Gaine last week, Head Coach Bill O'Brien has been acting as the de facto decision maker. Today, he made his first move in jettisoning 2014 first overall draft pick and star DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney to the Cincinnati Bengals for their 2020 First Round Draft Pick. The Texans will also be sending their 4th Round Pick in 2020 and a 3rd Round Pick in 2021.

Clowney, who had 9 sacks last year and was franchise tagged, told the team he would not report to training camp in hopes of negotiating a long term deal. In order to make the deal official, Clowney had to sign his franchise tender.

"When it became apparent to me that Clowney wasn't going to report and hold true to his word, I was obligated to find a solution. I wasn't going to allow this to drag into the season and become a distraction to this team." O'Brien told reporters.

"Is it ideal? No. We wanted him in here to continue to build on his success the last two years. Unfortunately, that just wasn't going to happen here. We wish him the best and thank him for all he did for the Houston Texans."

What he did do was have 18.5 sacks and 2 TD's over the past two seasons. With franchise superstar JJ Watt on the line and Whitney Mercilus playing on the opposite side of the field, The three were cornerstones of a feared defensive unit.

However, he only played a full season one time over his 5 year career.

With Clowney now gone, and rookie ROLB Duke Eliofor already lost for the season, the team will enter training camp with 22 year old 5th round draft pick Charles Omenihu penciled in as the starter.

Clowney goes to a Bengals defense loaded with Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Dre Kirkpatrick.

"I think I went to an ideal situation. I want to thank the Texans organization and Bill O'Brien for speeding this process up. I am confident that my contract situation will take care of itself in Cincinnati. I am focused on this season and keeping all the other white noise in the background."
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

TEXANS FINALIZE ROSTER AHEAD ON TRAINING CAMP

Houston - A day after trading star ROLB Jadaveon Clowney, Texans GM/Head Coach put the final touches on the 75 man roster that he will take into training camp by signing 8 players. The eight are:

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Former 2nd Round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seferian-Jenkins hasn't lived up to his hype, coming out of The University Of Washington. He has been plagued by off field issues, now signing with his 5th team in 6 professional seasons. His best season came in 2017 with the Jets, catching 50 passes (3 TDs). He will compete with Darren Fells, Kahale Warring, Jordan Akins, and Jordan Thomas during camp.

QB Bryce Petty: The heralded QB out of Baylor, Petty washed out with the Jets after they took him in the 4th round of the 2015 draft. With AJ McCarron and Joe Webb III already in the QB room, he will be a long shot to make the team.

ROLB Nick Perry: Former 1st round pick in the 2012 Draft, Perry has played his entire 7 year career with Green Bay, collecting 32 sacks over 81 games played (48 starts). Perry will more than likely fill the void left by Jadaveon Clowney.

FB Ryan Hewitt A veteran of 5 seasons with the Bengals and Colts. Primarily a lead blocker, he also has the skills to catch the ball out of the backfield, collecting 23 receptions over his career. Was signed to create competition with Cullen Gillaspia during camp.

K Phil Dawson The 44 year old veteran, and Cleveland Browns all time leader in FGs made, was sitting in his Austin Texas home when Bill O'Brien talked the one time Pro Bowler (2012) out of retirement to compete with Kaimi Fairbarn.

P Bryan Anger: The powerful Punter played the last 3 season with Tampa and will compete with Trevor Daniel in training camp.

DT Cornelius Washington: The former Georgia Bulldog has collected 55 tackles and 5.5 sacks over 6 years with Chicago and Detroit.

RG: Joe Greco 2008 3rd Round Pick by St Louis after an illustrious career at Toledo where he was named to the first team All-MAC team three times. The veteran has 121 games played with 73 starts with the Rams, Browns, Saints, and Giants.


To make room for the signings, the team has released:

WR Issa Whitney
TE Jon Weakes
C Marquice Shakar
RT David Steinmetz
MLB Tyrell Adams
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

Houston Texans 2019 Training Camp Roster
#OFFENSEPOSAGEHTWTCOLLEGE
-Deshaun WatsonQB236'2221Clemson
-AJ McCarronQB286'3215Alabama
-Bryce PettyQB286'3230Baylor
-Joe Webb IIIQB326'4235UAB
-Lamar MillerHB285'10220Miami
-D'Onta ForemanHB236'1233Texas
-Taiwan JonesHB316'0195E. Washington
-Josh FergusonHB265'10200Illinois
-Buddy HowellHB236'1215FAU
-Ryan HewittFB286'4255Stanford
-Cullen GillispiaFB246'1235Texas AM
-DeAndre HopkinsWR276'1215Clemson
-Will Fuller IVWR256'0185Notre Dame
-Keke CouteeWR225'11180Texas Tech
-DeAndre CarterWR265'8190Sacramento State
-Johnnie DixonWR245'11198Ohio State
-Vyncint SmithWR236'3202Limestone
-Steve Mitchell JrWR255'10186USC
-Austin Seferian-JenkinsTE266'5262Washington
-Darren FellsTE336'7270UC Irvine
-Jordan ThomasTE236'5277Mississippi State
-Jordan Akins TE 276'4243UCF
-Kahale WarringTE226'5250San Diego State
-Jerrell AdamsTE266'5254South Carolina
-Matt KalilLT306'7317USC
-Max ScharpingLT236'6327Northern Illinois
-Julien DavenportLT246'7325Bucknell
-Senio KelementeLG296'3300Washington
-Martinas RankinLG246'5311Mississippi State
-Nick MartinC266'4295Notre Dame
-Greg ManczC226'4302Toledo
-Zach FultonRG276'5321Tennesse
-John GrecoRG346'4318Toledo
-Tytus HowardRT236'5322Alabama State
-Seantrel HendersonRT276'7351Miami
-Roderick JohnsonRT236'6306FSU
-Rick LeonardRT226'7305FSU
#DEFENSEPOSAGEHTWTCOLLEGE
-JJ WattLE306'5288Wisconsin
-Carlos WatkinsLE256'3297Clemson
-DJ ReaderRE256'3347Clemson
-Angelo BankstonRE266'4318Auburn
-Joel HeathRE266'6300Michigan State
-Cornelius WashingtonDT296'4280Georgia
-Brandon DunnDT266'2310Louisville
-Albert Huggins JrDT226'3305Clemson
-Whitney MercilusLOLB296'4258Illinois
-Peter KalambyiLOLB246'3254Stanford
-Davin BellamyLOL246'5259Georgia
-Bendarick McKinneyMLB266'4260Mississippi State
-Zac CunninghamMLB246'3237Vanderbilt
-Dylan ColeMLB256'0237Missouri State
-Brennan ScarlettMLB266'4260Stanford
-Xavier Woodson-lesterMLB246'1219Arkansas State
-Nick PerryROLB296'3265USC
-Duke Ejiofor **IR**ROLB246'4255Wake Forest
-Charles OmenihuROLB226'5280Texas
-Chris LandrumROLB266'2245Jacksonville State
-Johnathon JosephCB355'11185South Carolina
-Bradley RobyCB275'11194Ohio State
-Aaron ColvinCB276'0193Oklahoma
-Johnson BademosiCB296'0219Stanford
-Lonnie Johnson JrCB236'2210Kentucky
-Xavier CrawfordCB235'11187Central Michigan
-Jermaine KellyCB246'1204San Jose State
-Deante BurtonCB256'2205Kansas State
-Derrick Baity JrCB226'3188Kentucky
-Justin ReidSS226'1202Stanford
-Brien Buddy-CalhounSS265'9193Minnesota
-AJ MooreSS235'11200Ole Miss
-Tashaun Gipson SrFS295'11212Wyoming
-Jaheel AddaeFS295'10195Central Michigan
-AJ HendyFS266'0209Maryland
#SPECIAL TEAMSPOSAGEHTWTCOLLEGE
-Kaimi FairbarnK256'0183UCLA
-Phil DawsonK445'11200Texas
-Bryan AngerP306'3205California
-Trevor DanielP246'1231Tennesse
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

Following, very well-researched and in-depth. I appreciate all the time you took to write that up.


The trade of Clowney was necessary and you sold high -- Cincy can't possibly think they're ready to compete for a division title this year, but I can buy that they want a high-impact defender on that defense that can anchor it the next few years as Geno Atkins gets older.



Perry is a good signing, at least going by what he did in my franchise -- dude can still play and I think he'll thrive in your defense. Love Sefarian Jenkins too, he was a stud in my Jags franchise a few years back and I'm surprised he hasn't found a spot to really stick in the NFL.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by trekfan
Following, very well-researched and in-depth. I appreciate all the time you took to write that up.


The trade of Clowney was necessary and you sold high -- Cincy can't possibly think they're ready to compete for a division title this year, but I can buy that they want a high-impact defender on that defense that can anchor it the next few years as Geno Atkins gets older.



Perry is a good signing, at least going by what he did in my franchise -- dude can still play and I think he'll thrive in your defense. Love Sefarian Jenkins too, he was a stud in my Jags franchise a few years back and I'm surprised he hasn't found a spot to really stick in the NFL.
Thanks!! I try to be as realistic as possible, so if Clowney was going to sit this year, I didn't want to play with him. I looked for all the bottom dwellers and tried multiple trade offers and settled on this one. I hated giving up a future 3rd, but Cincy's 1 this year will more than likely net me a Top 10 pick.

I've always liked Perry, so when I saw him available, it was an easy choice.

When Tampa drafted ASJ I was ecstatic, but his biggest issue is himself. All the God given talent, but incredibly immature, so I think that's why he is without work. I mean, New England brought him in this Summer only to waive him like 2 weeks later, that should tell you something considering their need at the position. Luckily for Madden players, we don't have to worry about off field issues
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:13 PM   #8
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Re: Everything Is Bigger In Texas: A Houston Texans Dynasty

MINUS KEY STARTERS, TEXANS TOPPLE PACKERS 18-13 IN PRESEASON OPENER




Green Bay - Without key starters Deshaun Watson, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and JJ Watt the Houston Texans opened the 2019 preseason with a 18-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. Backup QB AJ McCarron played the entire first quarter, looking very uninspired with a 4-7, 49 yards, 0-1 stat line.

Jaire Alexander picked off the Houston backup during the first series, setting up the first score of the preseason, when Mason Crosby connected on a 41 yard field goal.

McCarron gave way to Joe Webb III in the 2nd quarter, but the offense still stalled. However, Webb III put up better stats, going 5-8 for 70 yards, and set up a Kaimi Fairbarn 33 yard FG.

While the offense was mundane, the defense had 2 sacks (Nick Perry and Dylan Cole) in the first half, and finished with 5 for the night. Perry, playing in Green Bay for the first time since he was released by Green Bay, looked good in the limited time he played.

"It felt good to get out there and play. It was weird dressing in the other locker room, but when I sacked Rodgers, I felt right at home with this team. Aaron even gave me a playful nudge when he got up." Perry said after the game.

Bryce Petty, who was signed less than a week ago, came in at half time and took command of the game. Playing against the Packers backups, Petty went 12-19, 158 yards, and hit Jordan Thomas for a 11 yard TD.

Phil Dawson, the 44 year old veteran kicker missed the extra point attempt, but did connect with a crucial 37 yard field goal in the 4th. Kaimi Fairbarn
went 1/2 on FG attempts, connecting on a 33 yarder but missing on a 38 yard attempt in the waning moments of the first half.

Rookie WR Johnnie Dixon out of Ohio State made a strong case for a roster spot with a 6 catch 87 yard performance.

"I am just trying to make plays, and make an impact anytime my number is called. I gotta prove myself in this league, so anytime I get a chance to do so, it's a blessing."

Next week the Texans are home for a match up with the Detroit Lions. Expect to see the starters play, however sparingly.






Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers
Sep 9, 20191ST2ND3RD4THSCORE
Houston Texans (0-0)036918
Green Bay Packers (0-0)307313
Team Stats Comparison
HOUGNB
Total Offense330272
Rushing Yards5332
Passing Yards257240
First Downs1614
Punt Return Yards
Kick Return Yards
Total Yards
Turnovers10
3rd Down Conversion
4th Down Conversion
2-Point Conversion
Red Zone Touchdowns/Field Goals
Penalties
Posession Time
Scoring Summary
FIRST QUARTER SCORINGHOUGNB
(GNB) Mason Crosby 41 yd FG03
SECOND QUARTER SCORINGHOUGNB
(HOU) Kaimi Fairbarn 33 yd FG33
THIRD QUARTER SCORINGHOUGNB
(HOU) Jordan Thomas 11 yd catch from Petty (Missed XP)93
(GNB) Jake Kumerov 75 yd catch from Kizer (XP Good)910
FOURTH QUARTER SCORINGHOUGNB
(HOU) Phil Dawson 37 yd FG1210
(GNB) Mason Crosby 34 yd FG1213
(HOU) Buddy Howell 2 yd run (2P No Good)1813
Houston Texans
PASSINGC/AYDSTDINT
Bryce Petty12-1915810
Joe Webb III5-87000
AJ McCarron4-73901
RUSHINGATTYDSAVGTD
D'Onta Foreman8293.60
Joe Ferguson6264.30
Buddy Howell231.51
Taiwan Jones252.50
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
Johnnie Dixon68714.50
Taiwan Jones4328.00
DeAndre Carter34615.30
Darren Fells33612.00
Jordan Thomas24321.51
Keke Coutee11111.00
Austin Seferian-Jenkins11111.00
Jordan Akins111.00
DEFENSETACKSACKINTTD
AJ Hendy6000
Dylan Cole3100
Justin Reid3000
Charles Omenihu21.500
Davin Bellamy21.500
Lonnie Johnson Jr2000
Nick Perry11.000
KICKINGFGXPPTSLONG
Kaimi Fairbarn1/20/0333
Phil Dawson1/10/1337
PUNTINGNOYDSAVGIN20
Bryan Anger150
Trevor Daniel140
KICK RETURNRETYDSAVGTD
Josh Ferguson12727.00
Taiwan Jones12222.00
PUNT RETURNRETYDSAVGTD
Josh Ferguson11818.0
Green Bay Packers
PASSINGC/AYDSTDINT
Deshone Kizer19-3124710
Aaron Rodgers4-54900
RUSHINGATTYDSAVGTD
Jamaal Wiliimas6274.50
Aaron Jones551.0
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
Jake Kumerov715121.51
Jamaal Williams6111.80
Trevor Davis23618.00
Geronimo Allison22010.00
Equanimeus St Brown12222.00
Jimmy Graham11919.00
Kapri Bibbs11616.00
J'Mon Moore11212.00
Mercedes Lewis133.00
Robert Tonyan133.00
DEFENSETACKSACKINTTD
Darnell Savage3000
Mike Tyson3000
Josh Jackson2000
Oren Brooks2000
Blake Martinez1000
Mike Daniels1000
Jaire Alexander1010
KICKINGFGXPPTSLONG
Mason Crosby2/21/1741
PUNTINGNOYDSAVGIN20
JK Scott33939.0
KICK RETURNRETYDSAVGTD
Kapri Bibbs23819.0


***Some of the stats are blank, as I forgot to write them down...Except the blocking stats..I am not tracking those***
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