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Houston Texans: The best plan of action for the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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The Houston Texans had a historic season but there’s plenty of room for improvement. What’s the best plan of action for the 2019 off season. It’s time to take a look at what matters most to ensure this team continues to contend.

The 2018 season for the Houston Texans was full of turns as they started the season 0-3, won nine straight games and clinched the third seed in the AFC with a record of 11-5. J.J. Watt‘s return to form as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players coupled with an offense spearheaded by the team’s Clemson duo of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins made the Texans a sleeper pick to get to the Super Bowl in the AFC.

The 21-7 loss to the Indianpolis Colts last Saturday ended the Texans’ dreams of winning the Super Bowl as Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense picked apart the Texans’ secondary. The normally stout run defense was gashed by Marlon Mack as he ran for 148 yards and a touchdown off 24 carries. Watson was consistently under pressure and Hopkins was unable to create much separation against the Colts’ defense.

Rookie receiver Keke Coutee was a bright spot for the Texans as he caught 11 passes for 110 yards and the team’s only touchdown. His health is vital for the team’s future success as he gives Watson a safety blanket in the slot to compliment Hopkins and Will Fuller on the perimeter.

The offensive line has been a problem all season for the Texans as the 62 sacks allowed are the most in the NFL since Jon Kitna experienced that same fate 63 times back in 2006. Julién Davenport and Martinas Rankin struggled the most on the team as they were consistently getting beaten by opposing defenders. Seantrel Henderson was brought in to help the Texans’ offensive line but he was injured in the opening game of the 2018 season.

Bill O’Brien needs to address the issues along the offensive line as Watson will not have a successful career as a quarterback if he is constantly running for his life. An upgrade is needed at essentially every spot along the line, so the Texans do not have to be picky on who they sign in free agency. Another issue that O’Brien has to address in the off season is the secondary as they were exposed at various points throughout the season.

Kevin Johnson, a 2015 first-round pick, missed most of the season due to injury but has contributed very little in his time with the Texans. Tyrann Mathieu could leave in free agency, while Shareece Wright struggled in coverage. O’Brien desperately needs to make an addition in the secondary as Luck and Nick Foles torched them late in the season.

The Texans could potentially lose Jadeveon Clowney to free agency but the three-time Pro Bowler has stated that he wants to play the entirety of his career in Houston. Outside of Clowney, additions on the offensive line and secondary are a must for a team that has the potential to make deep playoffs runs over the next couple of seasons.

What do you think the Houston Texans need to address first?  Let us know by commenting below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

My name is Joseph Esquivel-Murphy and I graduated from Penn State in May 2018. My affinity for the Texans started when the franchise drafted Andre Johnson in 2003 and have continued to follow them. I have an aunt that lives in Houston and loved the city when I visited as a kid. Before joining the LockedOn team, I was a freelance writer for the Centre Daily Times.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

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