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NFL Houston Texans

The Houston Texans’ 5 Most Intriguing Players Of 2014

The Houston Texans' 5 Most Intriguing Players Of 2014

Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just a short time ago, the Houston Texans were the class of the AFC South and Super Bowl contenders. Then, a disastrous 2013 season happened, which led to a bit of a makeover for the franchise. Still, with much of the same group of players that were once in the playoffs intact and the welcoming of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 Draft, the Texans will look to get back into contention just like the Colts and Chiefs did in the last two years.

5. Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2009, Brian Cushing was the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was once a force for a stingy Texans' defense. But the last two seasons, Cushing has been plagued by injuries and has only suited up for a combined 12 games. Cushing will look to once again get back on the field in 2014 and stay there for the full season. However, if he is unable to stay healthy for a third straight year, it could be the beginning of the end for him in Houston.

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With Matt Schaub now gone, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently penciled in as the starting quarterback. In the draft, Houston decided to pass on one of the headline quarterbacks in the draft and opted for Tom Savage later on. Fitzpatrick is a viable option in the short term, but can he become a playoff-caliber QB? How long will his leash be before Savage, Case Keenum, and T.J. Yates get auditions under center?

3. Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

3. Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Johnson is an 11-year veteran having played his entire career in Houston. But this offseason, the wideout has voiced his criticisms about the direction of the franchise. The Texans need to keep Johnson happy and in the fold if they hope to turn the corner sooner rather than later. He still has a lot left in the tank. A big factor for the Texans will be how Johnson responds week to week if things start to go south early on.

2. Arian Foster

Arian Foster
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Arian Foster

Arian Foster
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

A short time ago, Arian Foster was the premier back in the league. But in 2013, he had just 121 attempts due to injuries. With extended time off and now fully healthy, how will Foster fare in 2014 within a new offensive system? Can he get back to being a dominate factor in the backfield and be able to carry an offense once again? With question marks surrounding the quarterback spot, the running game will be huge for Houston early on.

1. Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney was arguably the best all-around talent in the draft this year. Houston selected him with the first pick and will pair him up with J.J. Watt to form one of the most intimidating duos on the defensive side of the ball. But Clowney's past has also tagged him as a potential distraction as well. Will he show up every play? Will he avoid off-field troubles? Clowney has the makings of a beast if he truly wants to be.

 

Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.