By Eighty Six @86ThePoet on June 22, 2014
The Houston Texans began 2013 with wins over the San Diego Chargers and the Tennessee Titans, then crashed and burned in epic fashion for the next 14 games. At least they got the No. 1 draft pick. Coach Gary Kubiak and quarterback Matt Schaub lost their jobs. Can new coach Bill O'Brien get the Texans stampeding in the right direction again? Hundreds of questions must be answered after a 2-14 season, but here are five big ones.
Frustrated with a history of losing, Houston's all-time receiving leader skipped minicamp in hopes of a trade or a better deal. Johnson is worried, and with a new coach and unclear quarterback situation, the Texans will be rebuilding for a while. The 32-year-old receiver wants to win now. A swap with the New England Patriots for Ryan Mallett would make some sense for both sides, but Johnson's huge salary will be tough for a new team.
Foster missed much of 2011-12 on the injury report with a mixture of hamstring, quadricep, hip and calf issues. He missed half of last year after having back surgery. He is medically cleared to return to practice now, but can he survive another 300-touch season? Ben Tate is with the Cleveland Browns now. Newly acquired Andre Brown will be a big part of spelling Foster.
Last year the Texans were worst in the league with a -20 turnover differential. Schaub's 14 interceptions were a big part of that. Don't forget the sparse seven interceptions grabbed by the defense. Jonathan Joseph led the team with only three picks. Can rookie defensive backs Lonnie Ballentine or Marcus Williams have greater success? Will Ryan Fitzpatrick and his 93 career interceptions turn the ship around? That just doesn't sound right.
Fitzpatrick is currently slated to start, but how long before his poor ball control costs him his job? Who steps up next? TJ Yates is with the Atlanta Falcons. Case Keenum returns to battle rookie Tom Savage for the backup spot. Keenum threw six interceptions to nine touchdowns in 253 attempts last year. Savage had some turnover problems with Pitt last year, throwing six picks in the first four games.
The No. 1 overall pick is currently recovering from sports hernia surgery. The Texans say he will be healthy in time for training camp. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel says Clowney's still learning the system and making rookie mistakes, but he's very studious and is progressing as expected. Houston has reason to be careful with its new toy. How will they utilize a player with defensive back athleticism and defensive end size?
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