For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Houston Texans hold their Training Camp away from home. Just like the Saints have done in the past, the Texans now call the beautiful Greenbrier resort home for a few short weeks. The staff from players on the field, to the equipment managers raved over the beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges, weather, historic district of Lewisburg, and everything in between. Owner, Bob McNair, stated that “we can do a few more things in practice out of the 100 degree heat in Houston!” He would also go on to say that the facility was beautiful. But getting away from the big city life was a focus that is far in the rear view mirror. The Texans look to improve upon a somewhat successful 2016 season. The Texans would go on to win the AFC South, but would be bounced in the playoffs. From my perspective, their success on the field will solely lie on the offensive side of the ball, and who’s distributing it. By first glance a look at the teams defense would be intimidating enough with names like J.J Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing, Jonathan Joseph. And you would be right, as long as the defense stays in tact and healthy they will do their job, and do it quite efficiently.
The other side of the ball is what will get them over the hump, and make a deep run in the playoffs. There is one position on this team that the weight truly supersedes the talent and experience, and that’s the quarterback position. Your options are as follows: Tom Savage, first round selection Deshaun Watson, and Brandon Weeden. Tom Savage has been taking the most reps in practice, with Watson also getting his fair share. From my assumption, I would say that the plan would be to start Savage all the while bringing Watson in to change things up a bit. Bill O’Brien stated that “Tom has had a great camp so far.” He also went on to say that “Deshaun is well beyond looking like a rookie out there.” Savage still makes some questionable throws at times, but is fit to win a few games with the weapons he is surrounded with. DeAndre Hopkins is primed to have a great year, and so is Lamar Miller. While both quarterbacks are young and needing a security blanket, they will turn to big time Tight End C.J Fiedorowicz who will also have a great year. Deshaun Watson’s maturity level does look well beyond his years right now. I need to see what he can do in an NFL game that counts. According to Tom Savage and DeAndre Hopkins, they have taken him under their wing. By saying that “when things happen on the field our communication is there.”
Getting the ball to the new “human joystick” Braxton Miller would also be wise. Miller makes things happen when the ball is in his hands. College Free Agent out of Iowa, Riley McCarron had a couple nice grabs too. Whether he makes the team or not will be up to him in the preseason games. He and some other CFA’s will have to make every play count.
In closing, I believe that the Houston Texans will improve upon their 9-7 record last year. A record of 10-6 seems more likely, repeating as AFC Champs, and making a little noise in the playoffs. If one thing has proven true, the Texans know how to draft. Also having a former WVU Mountaineer in KJ Dillion never hurt either. What KJ lacks in size, he makes up with physicality. Look for the Texans to be at the Greenbrier for a couple more weeks before heading back home on August 21st with a couple sessions at Houston Methodist Training Center.
Written By: Joshua Petry