Texans Hot Button: Trindon Holliday
The great thing about preseason is there are always storylines the fans love to run with and the early part of preseason look no further than the Houston Texans’ return man, Trindon Holliday. He captured the attention of Texans’ fans everywhere with his electric 90 yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers.
If you have been following the Texans, we all know he is gifted with unreal speed. At the NFL combine (2010), he ran a 4.34 second 40 yard dash and he impressed enough to be drafted by the Texans. After a thumb and hamstring issue that put him as a non factor the previous two seasons, he has only appeared in one career NFL game in two seasons.
Fast forward to training camp this season, while talking to a few select people we were able to find out that Holliday is still in Houston because the front office and coaches are enamored with his speed. Head Coach Gary Kubiak wants to see him healthy before making the final decision on Holliday’s future with the team.
Holliday has improved as a wide receiver and looks good in one on one situations with the Texans defensive backs. The harsh reality is that the Texans are carrying 10 wide receivers in camp and he is probably 10th on the depth chart. Last Saturday, Holliday received zero snaps at wide receiver and that was with both Andre Johnson and Bryant Johnson sitting out of the game. If he wants to be a part of the team, he will have to prove his worth as a kick and punt returner, and we mean a very special kick returner.
The NFL is turning the specialty kick returner into a dying breed, especially with the new kickoff rules, as the opportunities can be taken away with a kick through the end zone. If the Texans would keep him heading into the season, that would be a luxury for the team and, if the roster was healthy with no question marks, it could be the right decision. With injury concerns on the defensive line and an unsettled offensive line, very few roster spots are up for grabs. Keeping Holliday could handcuff the Texans roster and maybe push an important player out the door that could be signed or claimed by another team.
The positive of keeping Holliday is that players like Danieal Manning could concentrate on defense and keep from taking unnecessary hits on kickoff returns. Also, it would keep less on the plate of rookie Keshawn Martin who is working to be a vital piece of the Texans offense this season, and taking away punt return duties could also help Martin focus on the offense. There could be an advantage of keeping Holliday around and his potential to take kickoffs and punts for a touchdown is almost too good to pass up.
If Holliday wants to make this team, he needs to have some more big returns during the preseason to garner any consideration for the final roster. The odds are stacked against him but that is what the preseason is for, to see who is worthy of a roster spot. It will be interesting to see how Holliday handles himself moving forward and the Texans will have an interesting decision on him in the upcoming weeks.