With the hiring of new coach Bill O’Brien the Houston Texans have seen drastic changes in a short time frame. All but one of the previous assistant coaches have been fired and new faces brought in to turn around a team that finished 2-14 this season.
While much of the attention has been on the coaches I have chosen to put the focus on some player changes that could be made this off-season. There are many players who will enter free agency, some that will be traded, and some that will be let go. All in preparation for the Texans to make their bid for the playoffs and possibly superbowl next year.
Let’s take a look at the quarterback position and see how things will turn out for next season.
It is pretty much understood that Matt Schaub probably won’t be in a Texans uniform next year. Schaub has come under fire and to many is the blame for the Texans falling into the slump that resulted in 14 straight losses. Even with his bad reputation for this season he will be a great backup for any organization in the NFL. His experience could be key in helping a young quarterback transition. However his days as a starter are behind him.
Case Keenum had the opportunity to show that he could be the quarterback of the future. In his games as the starter for the Texans, he showed great promise in some but failed to win any. While stats look great, Wins look even better and Keenum lacks wins. I believe Keenum will stay with the Texans as they will try to bring in a quality quarterback who can help them win now.
TJ Yates will be released.
With the first pick in the NFL Draft they have a choice to chose any player they’d like. I think this pick should not be a quarterback. There is not the QB talent in the draft to warrant a #1 pick considering you have special talent like Jadeveon Clowny and Jake Matthews. Both players are almost once in a blue moon athletes that would be hard to pass up.
Many may argue a case for Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, or Derek Carr could potentially become franchise quarterbacks.
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: He’s listed as 6-3, 205. He’s probably closer to 6-2, 195. He needs to put on 20 pounds, which might limit his mobility. He’s inconsistent, spectacular at times, not so much at others. His receivers often have to come back for the ball on deep passes.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: He’s listed as 6-1, 210. He’s probably closer to 5-11, 195. He has more patience in the pocket than he did as a freshman but still has a tendency to run before going through his progressions. His passing style when rushed is “wing and a prayer.”
Blake Bortles, Central Florida: He’s listed at 6-4, 230, which is exaggerated. But he is a big man, although clumsy at times as if still growing into his body. He’s a “see it, throw it” quarterback, not yet adept at reading defenses or looking off receivers. He more than the others could have used another year in college.
Derek Carr, Fresno State: Carr comes from good NFL bloodlines, as his brother, David, was the No. 1 overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2002. This may also hurt him. He played primarily out of the shotgun, and must show the ability to take snaps from under center and read defenses while dropping back. He rushes passes when blitzed, frequently staring down and overthrowing his targets.
Fellow sports journalists Jayson Braddock thinks the Texans should bring in Matt Scott from the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He believes Scott will be a starter in the NFL and compared him to a taller Russell Wilson during the 2013 NFL draft process.
I think the Texans should bring in Ryan Mallett, who new Coach Bill O’Brien helped draft in 2011 and has had the opportunity to learn under Tom Brady. He is from Texas and should love playing close to home.
O’Brien likes big quarterbacks and Ryan Mallett is listed as 6’7, 245. He has a great arm and is familiar with O’Brien’s schemes. The Texans can use their second pick in the Draft to bring in a quarterback and Ryan Mallett, Keenum and the new QB draft pick prepare for the 2014 season.