2020 Texans – Where it went wrong and how it could have been less harsh

2020 Texans – Where it went wrong and how it could have been less harsh

When Coach and GM BOB (Bill O’Brien) took over GM duties it really went downhill because the fanbase is fed up with the owner Cal McNair and their executive Jack Easterby. But before they wanted their heads it started with Dwayne Brown wanting an extension. 

But rather than boring everyone with the Brown situation and fugazi trade with the Dolphins that just made them go backwards, it started by the DeAndre Hopkins trade. One of the best wide receivers in the NFL. I think THE best currently. Traded for not even a first-round pick. A running back that got overpaid and has injury concerns. 

Let’s fast forward again. There is no preseason, practices are being conducted by Zoom meetings, and because of the Covid rates, everything changes. Which also means chemistry. If teams are only allowed in the locker room on game day, that isn’t much to do for chemistry. And chemistry can’t be formed over Zoom. It gets made on the field, during practice, and when they were able to freely move around with their life. Grab food, head to the barbershop, and whatnot. In 2020 that doesn’t exist. 

A lose against the Chiefs. Super Bowl champs. Okay. Many expected this. 

A lose to the Ravens. One of the best AFC teams. Again, okay. Another great team.

The Steelers was another tough one. David Johnson ran 23 yards off of 13 carries with a touchdown. But the Texans defense allows James Connor to go 18 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown. The run defense regardless of JJ Watt who is still solid cannot stop a safety cone. Third loss in a row. 

Fourth game is the Vikings. And sure enough, Cook runs down their throat and has the Texans get served an 0-4 record as the Vikings go to 1-3. 

October 5th is when Coach BOB gets the boot. He lost the locker room and guys hated him. So this is starting to where I am getting to where my main concerns are. Romeo Corrnel is the Interim Head Coach. But as a Head Coach, he hasn’t been great. His greatest accomplishment? Surviving three straight seasons Head Coaching the Cleveland Browns during a cursed era, or helping the Chiefs get a vacant spot for Andy Reid and the number one overall draft pick.

No disrespect to Romeo. I’ll be fair. But at 0-4 this is where the tough decision comes to ride it out or plan for next year. But there is a small problem. No first or second round picks. In fact, earliest draft pick is #67 overall. UGH! With that said, Romeo was going to go okay, but he wasn’t going to give that spark. He couldn’t be that guy. It just isn’t in him. 

From here on out it comes down to where they could have been in a better position then where they are now. 

A.  Will Fuller V not getting traded.

There is a very likely chance that Fuller doesn’t get resigned. I will give him credit. My huge concern was his chronic hamstring and knee issues. Enough where you look at his medical history and you gasp. There was talks for him going to the Packers so they wouldn’t lose two NFC Championship games in a row (but they did). The problem was, Texans wanted a first round for a rental player. Green Bay wasn’t biting. 

I understand you want the best value possible. However, giving the time he would be on the team, his injury history, and expecting big money at the time, Green Bay decided not to make a deal. 

The problem with this is the Texans were going to have to settle so they could move forward. Very slim chance of Fuller back in a Texans uniform. That said, a second-round pick would have helped. Anything. Even a third-round pick. Texans first three selections are #67 #109 and #122. Will Fuller could have been traded for a late second round pick. 

B. Releasing Kenny Stills

This might be a big question mark to some. But there is a few ways to calculate this. First off, it is no secret that in and out of the locker room Kenny Stills has been a positive influence on his teammates. Being an approachable guy, getting guys registered to vote, and there isn’t much dirt on Kenny Stills. But at the end of the day, he was a 4th wide receiver. But with Fuller and Cooks the 1 and 2 guys having injury concerns, he needed to stay put. 

2019 in 13 games (5 started) Stills played 604 snaps. 55 targets with 40 catches and only 2 drops. 561 yards, 14 yards per catch, and 4 touchdowns. Not bad. 

2020 plays only 166 snaps in 10 games (no starts). There was rumored to him being unhappy. Unsure if it was about the team itself which wasn’t a shocker or his playing time. And with McNair and Easterby running the ship and trying to establish a “culture” which is something that aren’t telling anyone what fits the bill, KS12 was out. 

With Fuller possibly not back next year, who is the next best option for wide receiver? Cooks is the number one. Cobb is second. Stills would be third. Now who is the next man up? Coutee? Hansen? And mind you, the salary cap and draft needs leads me to think that they are not drafting wide receiver. 

C. PEDs.

I’ve been trying to figure out what substance. But awfully convincing that Fuller AND Roby test positive for PEDs two days apart. Fuller says he did seek help from a medical professional who gave him a prescription. What that is, hasn’t been released. Roby said something similar. 

Isn’t that odd? Two players from the same team have back-to-back days where someone tests positive for banned substances? What happened? Was Brian Cushing filling up the water bottles? It leans towards a team doctor issue potentially. Which is scary. This needs to be looked into. 

D. Discover what you have. 

Eventually the games became meaningless. First pick of the draft has a bust caliber tier level, wide receiver core has mysteries, defense is awful, and more. Though, there are things to reevaluate.

1 – The Tight End spot. Fells is getting up there and age. Then Jordan Atkins who is one of the most inconsistent at the position I have seen. The talent is there, but sometimes he shows up while other times he is a none-offensive factor. Akins had 49 targets for 37 catches, 403 yards, and a single touchdown. And one missed because the sunlight got him. Pain!

2 – Offensive Line. Outside Tunsil they had no one dependable. Deshaun Watson was the most sacked quarterback the last three years. Russell Wilson is second in that span. You want the run game? Want a protected quarterback? Get it together. Can it be a coaching thing? That should be evaluated closely.

3 – See what you have for pass rush. JJ Watt is gone. Who is on that line? The whole defensive line needs work and they need an Edge guy. Who makes it to 2021? That needs to be seriously addressed. I think it could be coaching since JJ’s wingman Ross Blacklock had a 30.2 grade from Pro Football Focus and the whole defense was in shambles. 

What to do from here?

Fire Jack Easterby.

Get Cal McNair and Nick Caserio on the same page to create an identity that isn’t questionable to players or the idea.

Coach well. They brought in guys so hope it works. 

Draft carefully.

Personally, I don’t think David Culley aka Cullwing was the right guy to hire. McNair and Easterby talk about this “culture” but with the organization going to ruins for the last almost year, this is starting to look almost as bad as the Washington Football Team. You know, the team without a name and problems dating back for decades from my sources tell me. 

Going forward it looks like my thoughts of the Texans being better than the Cowboys for an era is a lost cause. And this is with Jerry Jones hiring coaches that are not up to date. Doh the pain.