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Dear Drew: Extended edition on position battles

Posted May 18, 2017

Drew Dougherty answered fan questions in writing in this extended version of 'Dear Drew'.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Drew Dougherty was inundated with fan questions this week on Facebook, so in addition to the handful he answered in the video above, he also answered a few more below.

Christopher Paschalis
: Dear Drew, If the Texans end up keeping 4 running backs, I know Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman will make the cut, but what about the other 2?

DD
: Good question. Also on the roster at that position are Alfred Blue, Tyler Ervin, Akeem Hunt and Dare Ogunbowale. In 14 games last season, he averaged a career-best 4.2 yards per carry. He’s also always been praised for his work on special teams. Ervin returned kickoffs and punts, and Hunt returned kickoffs, while Hunt saw more action at the running back spot. He gained 109 yards on 20 carries, compared Ervin’s three yards on one carry. Ogunbowale is a rookie free agent out of Wisconsin. He wasn’t the featured back for the Badgers last season, but he still picked up 5.6 yards per pop, and gained 819 yards in 2015. Ultimately, I think Blue is back, and there’s a competition between Ervin, Hunt and Ogunbowale.

Lindsey Hicks
Dear Drew, Since the Texans are having training camp at The Greenbrier, have they set any open practice session days in Houston for us fans to attend?

DD
: No dates have been decided, but yes, there will be a handful of open practices back here in Houston this August.

Jaafar Anwar
: Dear Drew, Can you give me a brief description of our new signing on the offensive lineman?

DD
: On Tuesday the Texans signed veteran tackle Breno Giacomini. He was a 5th-round Draft pick in 2008 by Green Bay, and won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks in 2013. In all, he’s started 70 games in the NFL, and he spent the past three seasons with the New York Jets. Giacomini will compete with Chris Clark and Kendall Lamm for the right tackle spot.

Chris RoyalDear Drew, Who are our starting safeties?

DD
: Quintin Demps left for Chicago in free agency, but Andre Hal remains. A combination of Corey Moore, Eddie Pleasant, Kurtis Drummond and K.J. Dillon will vie for the other starting spot. Moore started eight games last season for Houston, while Dillon played in five games before leaving due to a knee injury. In 2015, Drummond saw action in nine contests.

Douglas Humphrey
Dear Drew, if TORO and Orbit were to race, who would win?

DD
: I love the Astros and Orbit, but c’mon: TORO wins. With ease. He’s an athlete. He’s an acrobat. You seen the stunts he’s pulled over the years?

John Martinez
: Dear Drew, Do you think Julién Davenport can compete with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus and potentially start at RT Week 1?

DD
: Yes and no. He can compete with those guys, but I don’t think he’ll start at right tackle in Week 1. Competing against that fearsome trio is a tall task for an All-Pro offensive lineman. Davenport is a rookie from Bucknell, and making a major leap in terms of competition. Someday he might start for the Texans, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen in Week 1 of his rookie year.

Dalyn Hernandez
: Dear Drew, Do you think Deshaun Watson can change the team?

DD
: Sure, but first he has to beat out Tom Savage for the starter’s job. Based on what we’ve seen from the veteran, that might be tough for Watson initially. Savage is entering Year 4 in the Bill O’Brien offense and knows it better than any player on the roster. He’s had awful luck, however, with odd injuries in his time as a Texan. His first three seasons were submarined in succession by a knee injury, a shoulder injury and a concussion. If he stays healthy there’s a pretty good chance he’ll have a chance to build a rhythm and move the offense. He does that, and you won't see Watson on the field for awhile.

Jonathon Lovil
: DEAR DREW I DON'T HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, BUT I'M GLAD THE TEXANS GOT A RIGHT TACKLE

DD: OKAY, THANKS JONATHON.

Jake Bingham
: Dear Drew, What will Treston Decoud likely play: safety or nickel cornerback?

DD
: General manager Rick Smith said Decoud is a cornerback with the capability to contribute as a safety. I don’t think he’s going to crack the Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Kevin Johnson trio initially, so he’s likely not your nickel corner. But I do think you’ll see him contribute initially as a cornerback, and perhaps eventually as a safety too.

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.

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