March 20, 2018

Three Game Audition Big for the Texans

Reality has set in that the potential head coaching search will take center stage for the Houston Texans as the 2013 season winds down. There are still games to be played, three to be exact, and the “Phillips Era” starts in Indianapolis on Sunday.

The chatter has started as to who the Texans should look at in the draft, but there are still players who are playing for their futures here in Houston. Players will be looking to put up enough film to have the Texans want them on the roster next season, and some could be key in what direction this franchise heads moving forward.


Audition Time


Case Keenum

Case Keenum

Case Keenum

Keenum is key to the Texans future, especially in terms of where this franchise is headed. If he can show any type of progression to a better NFL quarterback, it could help ease the mind of the front office coming out of the season. The reality is Keenum needs to make some serious steps as an NFL quarterback these last three games, and most importantly improve his completion percentage and get a win. The verdict is still out on Keenum, but the most important factor is that the Texans are sticking with him as the starter for the rest of the season.


Whitney Mercilus

Mercilus has been the epitome of hot and cold this season and has yet to put together a consistent stretch of play. He has shown some first round ability and when he is not thinking on the field he looks impressive. The big concern for Mercilus is he is still making rookie mistakes and his awareness of football situations still needs development. Mercilus will be on this team next season but he has been part of a disappointing outside linebacker group. He should be a penciled in starter for next season but he still has to put up some better film for his coaches next season for them to have confidence in the former 1st round pick.


Derek Newton

Another up and down player for the Texans, Newton has shown he can be serviceable in the run game but still has issues in pass protection. He has improved as the season has moved on and since Ryan Harris started taking some offensive series from him, Newton’s play has also gotten better. Newton was coming off a knee injury from last season and put on some serious weight during the offseason. It looks like Newton is slowly getting into playing shape, and that is a concern. He is carrying too much weight and does not have enough strength right now as an NFL right tackle. He has the size to be an NFL offensive lineman, but he too could be helped if he had a position change to the interior to help his poor footwork. Newton’s low contract and starter experience should keep him on the team in 2014, but where is the next question.


Brooks Reed

Brooks Reed

Brooks Reed

Don’t know if there has been more of a disappointing player for the Texans this season than Reed. He has been anything but a difference maker for the Texans on the field defensively. He is limited as a player, and we feel if he wants to prolong his career a move to inside linebacker could be the way to go. His limited athleticism and speed off the edge hurt him in the scheme of the defense that turns him into a glorified stand up defensive end. In the 3-4, the defense needs difference makers off the edge to bring heat to the quarterback on passing plays, and able to hold up in the run game when needed. Reed has the run game defense down pretty well, but his pass rushing ability is non existent. Reed is a player without a position moving forward and his position needs to be upgraded before next season kicks off.


Eddie Pleasant 

He has taken his opportunity and run with it since the departure of Ed Reed. Pleasant has put together some solid games, and the second year player will have the chance to play more. He has shown he can tackle inside the box and even had an interception taken away from him due to a penalty. He has provided some solid play since being inserted in as the third safety in dime personnel. How he progresses could lend some answers to the safety positions. With all four safeties on the roster under contract, keeping them intact could lead to fewer moves to make next season.


McCainBrice McCain

It is tough to say what McCain brings to the team right now. His biggest asset as a player, his speed, has not been the same since he broke his foot in 2012. He has been victim to offenses in the middle of the field and teams are playing physical with him in routes. He has had trouble working through pick routes and just struggled with his overall game this season. His contract is not a killer but his future in Houston is in serious doubt after his poor season in 2013. He has gone from one of the best slot corners in the NFL in 2011, to a depth player for the defense. His nickel corner back position needs to be upgraded in a big way this offseason and, if there is anything left in the tank for McCain, he better show it in these last three games.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

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