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**Houston Texans Offseason Debate Thread**


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Guest eagle eye

Houston lost to New Orleans on Sunday afternoon but didn't it feel better than that? I mean Ben Tate showed he's back to his 2011 breakout season with 11 carries for 74 yards including a one yard TD where he seemingly effortlessly bulled his way into the end zone.


Then there was the seven catch 131 yard receiving day for Andre Johnson and you nod knowingly and say wow. Consider WOW because it was in only a half of play!


Matt Schaub looked pretty good getting the ball to Johnson and the plethora of receivers he spread the ball around to. Schaub's line was 15 of 26 for 213 yards and 0 TD's and 0 INT's for only a half of work.


The pass defense needs work but Drew Brees will do that to you.


All in all, Houston did a nice job and especially when you consider they failed on two 4th and short plays inside the Saints red zone.


Thursday's finale against Dallas will probably be the game that decides whether the No 2 QB job goes to T J Yates or Case Keenum. They shared the 2nd half snaps with Keenum going 10-14 for 79 yards, no picks, no TD's. Yates went 7-9 for 73 yards and a TD. Still gotta think Yates' experience will put him over the top but Keenum is certainly intriguing. Another year and Yates may want a starting job of his own or another team will be willing to trade for Yates which will be great for Keenum because he'll be ready to step up his game too.


The kicking game is well manned. Shane Leckler had two kicks and both were perfect for what was needed. Randy Bullock is routinely booting kickoffs out of the end zone and he has flashed why he was an important draft pick last year with his field goals seemingly never out of his range.


One last thing. I've watched the 3 games Houston has played so far and one thing seems pretty clear. TE Garrett Graham is better than he was last year when he made people forget ole whatshisname that left for Denver. Just in case you think I forgot, whatshisname is Joel Dreessen. I think Graham will be very important to Houston's passing game this year. Maybe even surpassing Owen Daniels.


Is it really important to beat Dallas with only backups playing?

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Guest eagle eye

Houston showed why they need to be considered a top contender for the Super Bowl this year. This team has depth and it showed last night as the Texans backups dominated the Cowboys backups. In a game that didn't really mean much unless you are a Texans fan AND a Cowboys hater it was clear that Houston is on a different level than the Cowboys talent wise. The final 24-6 score was totally indicative of the talent gap between these two teams. Houston was just flat better.


Nobody got hurt and that's a blessing. Now the cut to 53 will be done on Saturday and the countdown to their Monday night debut vs the San Diego Chargers will commence. Houston has the featured game in the Monday double header being the second game but it also means I'll be one tired boy on Tuesday. Being the second game of the double header Houston's game won't be over until 12 or 1 AM. But for opening day of Houston's season I am happy to suffer a little bit.


It was cool to see DeVier Posey in the game last night and it continues to amaze me how fast these players with torn Achilles are coming back off what used to take 2 years to fully recover from. Is it me or do all the Houston receivers go 6'5" and 220? Every receiver dwarfed the Dallas cornerbacks. It's awesome to see how freaking deep the Texans receiving corps is. Running back is pretty well represented too. Cierre Wood and Dennis Johnson are definite keepers and with Arian Foster's health in so much doubt it's nice to see quality depth at the position.


Am I crazy? Maybe so but mentioning Arian Foster reminded me of one of my fantasy drafts this past week. I had the third pick and I had Foster available but I couldn't pull the trigger on him. My mind told to pick him but my gut wouldn't because you just don't know if Foster is healthy enough to play. He has been taking injections to relieve pain in his back that caused his legs to go numb. Holy crap! For Foster's and Houston's sake I hope I regret passing on Foster but maybe if I get the chance again I say WTF and take him anyway.

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Guest eagle eye

The Texans are going to be pretty darn healthy going into their season opener vs San Diego a week from Monday. They came out the last preseason game vs Dallas virtually unscathed and they look to get even healthier this coming week.


Actually, the Texans got good news yesterday with the return to practice of Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus has missed all of training camp and all the preseason games with a hamstring he tweeked on July 29th. He has been working on the side with trainers throughout training camp but he's missed valuable reps with the team and the work he really kind of needed in games. Beginning only his second year in the NFL Mercilus really missed a lot by missing out on regular training camp activities. However, return with a full nine days before the opening night is way better than not having him at all. He is slated to start at outside linebacker opposite Brooks Reed now that Connor Barwin is long gone to Philadelphia.


The mystery if Ed Reed will be able to start for the Texans when the season begins Sept 9th will be over soon. Gary Kubiak said yesterday that Reed will be back from the rehab specialist who helped recover from the similar surgery that Reed had on a torn labrum in his hip 4 months ago today. He will likely begin field drills with Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan on Monday and Tuesday. Kubiak said he will make the call early next week about whether or not Reed will play in the Monday night opener.


Arian Foster will be back on the field against San Diego but Gary Kubiak cautions that fans should not expect a 30 carry night in his first game action since last season's playoffs with no off season or training camp work to prepare for the season. Foster will share carries with Ben Tate but that was going to happen anyway expecially since Tate is back healthy and has looked like the BT who was so good in 2011 gaining nearly a thousand yards while Foster led the league in rushing.


The hardest choice Houston has to make with final cutdowns due at 6 o'clock today will be how many of the running backs they will keep on the final roster. Veteran Deji Karim will likely make the squad as the 3rd down back but because Cierre Wood and Dennis Johnson played and practiced so well cutting either of them will be hard. To be honest Cierre Wood performed better in games and the muffed punts that Johnson had in the Cowboys game wasn't good. We'll see but it looks like somebody outside of Houston is going to get a nice running back after the cutdowns tonight.


With Ed Reed out all of training camp it has given Houston a long look at some young players on the roster that will be needed for depth this year and to step in at safety as the incumbent after Reed retires. One player has stepped up and taken hold of that position and that's D J Swearinger. Swearinger has been in the spotlight all preseason. In the first game he was hammered for missing a tackle on a play that resulted in a 61 year TD run and against Miami he made the hit on TE Dustin Keller that ended his season and maybe his career. Through it all Swearinger has stayed focused and has gotten to be a very good prospect which is something a second round draft pick should be. Even if Ed Reed is unable to play in the season opener the Texans should be alright with Swearinger playing free safety against San Diego.

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Guest eagle eye

As the Texans finished up their third practice with LB Whitney Mercilus on the field and Mercilus has declared he is back and ready to go when they finish off Week 1 with a late Monday Night Football matchup vs the San Diego Chargers. Mercilus missed all of training camp after injuring his hamstring on July 29th but he has been working on the side and on this past Friday after the Cowboys game he was back on the practice field. Great news for the Texans.


Here's a link to Texans.com who give us their list of players they signed to their practice squad. Unfortunately, from my point of view, they were not able to sign RB Dennis Johnson to the PS. As I posted the other day I believed that somebody was going to get a good player when Houston made it's final cuts. As it turns out the Cleveland Browns snapped up Johnson as well as fellow RB from the Ravens, Bobby Rainey. The Browns have definitely upgraded a very thin position at what is a definite loss by the Texans.



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