Are you ready for some Texan football?
The 2017-2018 campaign for the Houston Texans was an injury filled roller-coaster. Whether it was the savior at quarterback you’ve been searching years for, or the defense falling apart. Everything just seemed to break down. Now everyone in the organizations and fans are looking at the upcoming season with high hopes and expectations.
How could you not? Before the ACL tear Texans rookie quarterback; Deshaun Watson; could have made an argument that he was playing the best football in the league for anyone playing at the quarterback position.
The connection with his All-Pro receiver Deandre Hopkins and second year receiver Will Fuller was utterly beautiful when the three were on the field at the same time, and everybody else looked good on the offensive side of the ball. Watson finished with 21 total touchdowns before his season ended early. The anticipation is building week by week, now everyone has one question on the mind. “How’s Watson going to bounce back”?
Training camp kicks off this Wednesday at Greenbrier in West Virginia. Going into training camp, the Texans has given the green light to Deshaun for this upcoming season. “I feel great, I’m getting ready for next week when we report to Greenbrier and I‘m gonna be a full-go” Watson told American Flag Football League on Thursday.
The most excitement may come from remembering what Watson and the Texans Offense was able to accomplish prior to the injury. Before things went south, the Texans offense averaged 29 ppg with Watson behind center.
Another big component with having a healthy season is the dynamic play-calling fans have been calling for since Coach Bill O’Brien’s arrival. Before the injury, O’Brien had a quarterback he trusted enough to open the playbook, which has been lethargic and predictable without Watson on the field. The play–calling we believed O’Brien would bring from his days in New England was not a myth, he finally has his unicorn.
It is not just hype this season holds but it is very promising. Not only are the Texans banking on a full healthy season, but the offseason acquisitions makes this upcoming season more intriguing. Going into the offseason, the elephant in the room was addressing the offensive line.
The Texans firmly addressed this issue by inking deals with Seantrel Henderson, Senio Kelemete and Zach Fulton across their offensive line. Adding stability to a group that was a combination of banged up, and below average. Beefing up your o-line can immediately impact your running back; Lamar Miller, who previously rushed for 1000 plus yards the prior season. It also helps keeping your franchise quarterback upright.
On the defensive side of ball, I believe the motto this year should be centered around proving them wrong. I say “us” because it will be a collective group of key players bouncing back from an injury riddled season.
The team’s biggest offseason acquisition on defense was signing former All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. The American Flag Football League also caught up with the Honey Badger. He was asked what was he looking forward to this season to which he replied “I’m excited about it, I just really want to compete…I ready to my get my head in the pile and help those guys”. He is a guy that when healthy and on the field, he can cause major problems for offenses because of his versatility.
However, the issue has never been his talent; it has been seeing the talent consistently on the field. Mathieu alongside Whitney Mercilus, and super star J.J Watt all have points to prove on the field. Watt recently posted a Hulk like picture on social media with his shirt off with the caption “soon”.
Pictures are nice, and we all know the kind of person the NFL three time Defensive player of the Year Watt is, what he means to the franchise, and what he means for the city of Houston. But are pictures are only pictures. Back injuries in any sports are tough to recover from, and he has only played a total of 8 games in two seasons. The hulk picture comparison is nice, as long as it is the Hulk from any MCU movie besides Avengers: Infinity wars.
There is absolutely no doubt the Texans has the talent and coaching to make them a threat in the AFC. Now is execution time. There has been a lot of Super bowl talk being thrown around and justifiably so, due to the glimpse of football we saw from this team when they were on a roll!
The Texans did a great job this offseason with filling roles that were necessities, instead of signing big name players that do not fit the team’s scheme. Training camp is around the corner, expectations are high, and the grass is freshly cut! Only question that remains is, are you ready for some Texan football?