Opportunity Knocks For a Few Texans
The Houston Texans’ season could not get any more bleak than what it is right now, and the team is currently sitting at the number one overall draft pick after their tenth straight loss. Players have changed and there has been a semi youth movement put into place by the Texans to see what they have with some players.
Once again, the Texans are depending on finishing the season with players who are pushing to find a spot on this team past this season. Last year was the same, injuries broke the team down. This year the team has opted to use younger players to get them some playing experience on the field.
He was brought in off the streets and contributed early against the Arizona Cardinals and then put up a 10 tackle game when the Oakland Raiders came to town. Now Tapinian has become the dime linebacker sending the two starters of Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton to the bench. His coverage ability is a plus and he has the ability to spot start and be a contributor on special teams. When you build an NFL team, you need players who can do more than one thing and Tarpinian is one of the more versatile linebackers the Texans have had here in some time not named Brian Cushing.
If Tarpinian can keep putting up good film and producing positive plays on the field, there is a high possibility that he will have a chance to return beyond this season.
Key Stats: 23 total tackles, .5 sacks and 1 pass deflection, 95 defensive plays, 28.6 % completion rate
Pleasant struggled with special teams penalties but he has been more of an impact player than Ed Reed was when he was on the team. In three games, Pleasant has provided some good run support and even put together some nice coverage skills to break up passes. He really showed up against the New England Patriots, making some plays in space and being in the middle of two key third down situations that forced the Patriots to punt.
His ability to make sure tackles has been the best thing about Pleasant’s game, especially from some questionable tackling from the safety position.
Key Stats: 14 total tackles, 2 pass deflections
Johnson is starting to understand the NFL game and he showed some of that against the Patriots on Sunday. He broke a tackle to gain extra yards, and that is one thing he struggled with since he came back to the team. Then he showed on a screen pass the patience to get back behind his blockers to set them up for extra yards. Johnson is starting to understand the offense and get what it takes to be an NFL running back.
Johnson right now could help this team in the coming seasons as the team’s third running back and returner when needed. He has been showing enough improvement in the recent weeks to show that he has a future here in Houston.
Key Stats: 30 carries, 132 yards, 4.4 yards a carry, 4 receptions, 38 yards, 5 games
We have been critical of Keenum and what he has done in the recent weeks as a starter, but he will have a place on this team next season. He has some tools that you like in a quarterback but he hasn’t been able to put together a complete game since taking over the offense. Keenum has a knack for creating big plays and has produced exciting moments for a team that has very little to be excited about. There is plenty of work to be done for Keenum and getting more accurate with his intermediate passes is key for his long term success.
The book is not written on Keenum but there will have to be a big jump at some point in his play to feel like he is the long term option here in Houston. Right now, Keenum will assure himself he will get the last year of his deal in 2014 for the Texans.
Key Stats: 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 1,433 passing yards, 86.1 QB rating,