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Breakfast: 2018 Texans coming into view


Thursday was a jam-packed day for your Houston Texans as there was news aplenty throughout the day. The transaction wire went a bit haywire yesterday with the arrival and official signings of four unrestricted free agents, a retirement and a number of signings of Texans free agents.

So, in a nutshell, here goes…

Additions to the offensive line:
G/C Zach Fulton
G Senio Kelemete
T Seantrel Henderson

Additions to the secondary:
CB Aaron Colvin

Re-signings – offense:
WR Bruce Ellington

Re-signings – defense:
DE Angelo Blackson
OLB Ufomba Kamalu
ILB Brian Peters
CB Johnathan Joseph
S Corey Moore

Re-signings - specialists
P Shane Lechler

TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

Signings elsewhere:
QB Tom Savage (Saints)
S Marcus Gilchrist (Raiders)

It was a crazy day in Houston, but one that was experienced throughout the league as well. The addition of three offensive linemen sent a message that this group must take three steps forward. There could be another piece added in free agency and there will be a piece or two added in the draft as well. Ask me the depth chart and I'd have no clue today, but I know Fulton, Kelemete and Henderson will push for starting roles, no question. If Derek Newton is back to full health and shakes the rust off... if the Texans find a hidden gem on Day 2 of the draft... if last year's rookie class takes that Year 1 or Year 2 leap... who knows, this OL can transform itself in a hurry.

In the secondary, the Texans added one of, if not the best, slot corners in the league. However, I think Colvin can play outside. The pleasant surprise, if you will, was the re-signing of J-Jo. Although it was a tough year for the entire unit, there's one football Yoda in that locker room and it's him. If Kevin Johnson rounds back into form... Colvin is as advertised... J-Jo doesn't have play every single down... a rookie, or two, is added that immediately produce... the secondary will be in a much different spot, no question about it. Keep in mind, the secondary's best friend is that pass rush and if 99 and 59 are fully back, it significantly helps all of them in the back end.

I've been a huge Ellington fan dating back to his days at South Carolina. The only thing that's held Bruce back is his body. He's only played 37 games in four years in the league, missing 2016 completely. In 11 games in Houston, he was targeted 57 times, so there's no question that he's vital to this offense and now will continue to do so.

The loss of Fiedorowicz was something we all feared for a while. I certainly didn't want it to happen, but I want the best for C.J. He was an awesome dude in the locker room and his 2016 season was outstanding. He'll be missed without question. So how to move on? Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson held down the position and have been impactful for this offense but a third, and maybe even fourth, piece is needed. Ryan Malleck signed with the Texans late in the season and showed some potential. This draft has a bunch of pass-catching athletic types and the Texans got a chance to see some of those up close at the senior bowl. My guess is that tight end moved up the priority list a bit after C.J.'s unfortunate news.

GM Brian Gaine said he wasn't done in free agency and that is something to keep in mind - it's a 24/7/365 deal, honestly. Players are constantly evaluated, in the building and out, to find the right 53 men that'll start the 2018 season. Unfortunately, it took well more than that to finish 2017. But, there are still some free agents that the Texans could add this weekend, next week or next month, and that makes this time of year truly exciting. The 2018 team is coming into view!

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