March 19, 2018

SOTT Mailbag: The End of OTAs Edition

The Houston Texans wrapped up their OTAs for the 2014 season and now will be headed into a three-day Mandatory Mini-Camp next week.

We opened up the mailbag for you the readers to ask questions about the Texans coming out of OTAs.


SOTT Mailbag 


This was about the Texans finding a quarterback that fit what Bill O’Brien wants to do with the offense. O’Brien even said they liked Ryan Fitzpatrick’s intelligence, leadership, how much football he has played in the NFL, and the system he ran in Buffalo under Chan Gailey is similar to what the Texans want to do. The signing of Fitzpatrick was all about him fitting the system for the Texans and they think they can give him the coaching to turn him into an efficient quarterback.

Throw in the fact he is a bridge to the next Texans quarterback if it is Tom Savage or someone else.

This is something we have been trying to keep an eye on and both Andre Hal and Marcus Williams are in that rookie mode of learning and sometimes watching more than they want to at the moment. With that said, Hal looks much more prepared for what the Texans defense is asking, but that all could easily change when training camp arrives.  With a cornerback position with some depth issues, one or both could make the team. We were high on Williams when he arrived from North Dakota State, but he is dealing with a big jump from college to the NFL in terms of talent he is facing. 

I think this is the order that it is safe to put them in our minds at the moment: Mike Thomas, Alan Bonner and Keshawn Martin. The slot wide receiver position is going to be a vital part of the offense and knowing the offense and having the ability to read the defense on the run is key. All three can play the slot and, most importantly, return kicks and punts which gives them all a legitimate shot to be on the team when the season opens.

Bonner has impressed with the work he has put in during this OTAs session.  Last season, during his rookie training camp, he was on his way to being on the 53 man roster before hurting his hamstring which landed him on the injured reserve. He has been one of a small group of Texans that have really stood out in this non contact portion of practice for the Texans.


Talking that every position is up for grabs is coach speak and looking back we don’t think there was a threat to take Derek Newton‘s spot as the starting right tackle. We have said this many times that the focus and weight loss over the offseason is evident with Newton and mentally he appears to understand what is needed from him this season.  We felt watching from voluntary mini-camp to the end ofOTAs that Newton was who the Texans wanted to be the right tackle and O’Brien ended all the speculation on Friday.   

When talking about Tom Savage it is a mixed bag and there has to be a sense of keeping expectations realistic on the rookie. Savage has every skill you want for the quarterback to be successful for this offense and it is apparent he has the height, pocket presence and the best arm strength of the four quarterbacks.

Savage is still trying to learn the speed of the game and he has some hesitation when reading the defense. The slight hesitation is the difference between a completed pass versus an interception, pass defended or an incompletion. He has to get to the point where he trusts the system and he can throw with confidence, but he has been eased into the system early on.

Now, the Texans are pushing Savage as hard as the other veteran quarterbacks on the roster and from the eye test he has been looking comparable to the other quarterbacks.


No question and DeVier Posey has taken advantage of the time Andre Johnson has been away from the team. Posey has taken this opportunity and proved he can be relied on by O’Brien in the new offense. If and when Johnson returns, Posey will more than likely be waiting for his opportunity again, but expect his time on the field to increase either way compared to previous seasons.


It is tough to talk about the offensive line, especially with no contact, but they have three solid players in Duane Brown, Chris Myers and Brandon Brooks. All three are above average and considered to be in the top 10 of their respective position.

As for the offensive guards, Brandon Brooks will be the starting right guard and he is looking to build on a solid sophomore season. As for the left guard, it will be between Ben Jones and rookie Xavier Su’a-Filo when he returns from UCLA. Our thoughts are that Su’a-Filo will be the left guard sooner than later, but how quick will all depend on the rookie’s ability to get the offense down before week one of the regular season.


Friday was the first time that Randy Bullock and Chris Boswell kicked for everyone to see. They worked on kick-offs and like we noted in our Day 10 OTAs notes, Bullock is ahead of Boswell in terms of leg strength and ability to hang the ball up in the air enough for coverage to get down the field.  The field goal portion of the kickers has not really been put on display yet, but that will be seen soon enough when training camp starts.   

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