March 22, 2018

On The Clock: Texans Have to Address Team Needs





The clock is ticking for the Houston Texans to put all the rumors and unrest to sleep that have been circling NRG Stadium with the draft. The Texans need to address some key needs, but they need to do it the right way . Even though General Manager Rick Smith has said that the Texans keep their current roster different from what they want to accomplish in the draft, there are still some glaring issues.

Here are the needs the team needs to take care of coming out of the draft.



1. Quarterback

How the Texans address this situation will be the story of the 2014 draft. There appears to be no quarterback worth the #1 overall selection, which will lead the Texans a different direction to find a rookie quarterback. There are no guarantees when it comes to the quarterback position, but the Texans have to find one that could possibly be the guy within a year to run the offense.

Current quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum


2. Pass Rush

This is the other biggest need of the Texans, especially when it came sacking the quarterback. The defense spent too much time on the field, and there were plenty of times where opposing quarterbacks had enough time to sit in the pocket and survey the field with little issues. The Texans have to improve their pass rush, which will in turn help the secondary.

They need to find a real edge presence and a player who can rush the interior and push the pocket.


YearQB SacksQB HitsQB Hurries



3. Defensive Line Help

The feeling of Jared Crick and Jerrell Powe, does not infuse confidence on a defensive line that was suspect in 2013. With the departure of Earl Mitchell (Dolphins) and Antonio Smith (Raiders) the Texans have to replace some durable players that the team has counted on for the past couple seasons. There are no real starters on the defensive line with the exception of J.J. Watt and the Texans need to find players who are going to fit into Romeo Crennel’s system.

The rush defense has taken a nose dive since the 2011 season, and the 2013 defense was a shell of its former run stuffing form. The Texans have to improve their rush defense to stay competitive and Crennel’s thinking involves a stout run defense.


YearAvg./RushRushing TDsAvg. Rush/Game


Derek Newton

Derek Newton

4. Right Tackle or Left Guard

The Derek Newton experiment in year two was a crippling one for the offense and the rookie Brennan Williams was a non-factor with his knee injury the entire season. The Texans have to solidify the position, but with question marks in Newton and Williams there needs to be a plan B.

Heading back to the draft will be an option the Texans must explore to find their next right tackle. Finding a key player to be the guy for the next four seasons will take pressure off the one position on the offense that has been not played at a NFL level since 2011.

Second year offensive lineman David Quessenberry is one player to factor into this discussion. If he can win the right tackle position, the focus of the offensive line turns to correcting the open hole left at left guard with the departure of veteran Wade Smith.



5. Running Back

The Texans are depending on Arian Foster to shoulder the load, but he is coming off a season that ended in back surgery. Foster’s health is in serious question and trying to keep him healthy throughout the camp schedule is important.

There needs to be a running back added to the roster that can complement Foster and recently signed Andre Brown on the roster. This back needs to be able to catch the ball and create mismatches in the passing game, and when Brown’s time is up in Houston have the ability to slide into the #2 option for the offense.


Running Back on the Roster: Arian Foster, Andre Brown, Dennis Johnson, Ray Graham, Toben Opurum, Chad Spann, Jonathan Grimes


6. Inside Linebacker

The lack of healthy has hurt the position group the past seasons, and losing their defensive leader the past two seasons in Brian Cushing has not helped. The Texans need to find a compliment to Cushing, but good enough to be a player if he goes down again.

The Texans let go of two inside linebacker last season who played majority of the season in Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton. Both were one-dimensional in terms of being able to play the run but struggled in coverage.

The position needs a critical youth infusion this year.


Inside Linebackers on the Roster: Brian Cushing, Jeff Tarpinian, Mike Mohamed, Justin Tuggle


7. Team Speed

The Texans were slow in terms of team speed that past couple of seasons. Offensive and defensively they were exposed by faster teams and the Texans have done little to address these issues. Improving team speed will help special teams play and even the playing field for the Texans.





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


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