Houston Texans Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
There have been four head coaches of the AFC South Division Houston Texans. Don Capers was the first, followed by Gary Kubiak, who was fired mid-season on December 6, 2013. ( He was replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the last 3 games.) In the 2013 off-season, Bill O’Brien was hired to be the 4th Texans’ next head coach. O’Brien had previously served as the NE offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick. Heading into his 3rd season, O’Brien serves as both the Texans’ head coach and offensive coordinator.
2016 Team Outlook– In 2014, Houston’s 9-7 record didn’t come close to winning the AFC South Division, but in 2015, the Houston’s record of 9-7 did win the AFC South. The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t match their 2014 11-5 record, with QB Andrew Luck out most of the season, so Houston leaped on top. With question marks still at quarterback, it will be difficult for Houston to challenge a healthy Andrew Luck and the Colts. ( the Jacksonville Jaguars are an interesting sleeper team)
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-
QB– The Indianapolis Colts have only needed only 2 great quarterbacks playing for them since 1998 (Prior to QB Andrew Luck’s injury in 2015). Meanwhile the Texans have struggled with Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, TJ Yates, Brandon Weeden, Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Matt Leinart, Sage Rosenfls, David Carr, Tony Banks and Dave Ragone! Texans owner Bob McNair has made to clear to the GM and head coach that he isn’t a fan of Hoyers. If there is a Week 1 starting quarterback in this NFL Draft, he probably won’t be there at Houston’s No. 22 overall. UPDATE: The Texans have signed former Bronco QB Brock Osweiler
RBs– Arian Foster has only played in 25 games over the past 3 years. Foster ruptured his Achilles tendon on October 25, 2015, in a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Two days later, Foster was placed on injured reserve. On January 14, 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texans would likely release Foster before the 2016 season. RB Alfred Blue played 14 games in 2015, ranking only 50th among NFL running backs. The top 5 running backs currently headed for the 2016 NFL Draft are 1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State, 2. Derrick Henry, Alabama, 3. Alex Collins, Arkansas, 4. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech and 5. Devontae Booker, Utah. UPDATE: The Texans have signed former Dolphin RB Lamar Miller
WRs– DeAndre Hopkins, also known as “Nuk,” was drafted by the Texans in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Clemson. You know that you have a great NFL offensive weapon, when he can put 1521 receiving yards and 11 touchdown receptions (ranking #6 wide receiver in the NFL) with 4 different quarterbacks in 2016. Houston selected two wide receivers back-to-back in the 2015 NFL Draft, WR 6’2″ Jaelen Strong in Round 3, and 6’0″ Keith Mumphery in the 5th Round.
TEs– Ryan Griffin, CJ Fiedorowicz and Garrett Graham all had minimal action in 2015. Griffin topped the group 251 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. There are talented free agents tight ends looking for new teams this year, including Dadarius Green, Dwayne Allen and Zach Miller, if Houston feels they are upgrades. 2016 Free Agents-
K– former Texan place kickers Randy Bullock and Nick Novak (13 games in 2015) are both free agents this year.
DEF– LE J.J. Watt earned his third Defensive Player of the Year award in the past four seasons. Despite this honor, the Houston defense took a few steps backwards in 2015, dropping from 6th top defense in 2014, to 8th in 2015. The Texans were a pedestrian 13th vs the run last season. Houston used their 1st two selections in the 2015 NFL Draft on 6’0″ CB Kevin Johnson and 6’4″ ILB Benardrick McKinney.
2016 Houston Fantasy Surprises– Only the Panthers ( Week 2), the Dolphins ( Week 7), the Saints ( Week 12) and the Patriots ( Week 14) were able to slow down wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in 2016. His best game of the season came in Week 6 vs the Jaguars- 10 catches for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Alfred Blue was moderately effective when given the opportunity, ending 2015 as the 40th running back in the NFL. In Week 3 vs Tampa Bay, he had 31 carries for 139 yards and 1 TD.
2016 Free Agents that Houston Needs to Address– WR Nate Washington, K Nick Novak, P Shane Lechler, RB Chris Polk, RB Jonathan Grimes (RFA),OG Brandon Brooks, OT Chris Clark, DE Jared Crick, C Ben Jones, FS Quintin Demps, SS Eddie Pleasant (RFA), OLB John Simon (RFA)
2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Houston is at quarterback, running back, at safety and on their defensive line. The Texan’s first pick doesn’t comes until the 22nd selection of the first round.
Did You Know– The name Texans has a long history in professional football. The Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs. The San Antonio Texans played one year in the Canadian Football League. The Houston Texans of the NFL began play roughly 25 years after the Houston Texans of the WFL left town.
Team Home Page: www.houstontexans.com
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS