People keep asking me if the Rosenfels deal was a good one for the team. Look, it's not like Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith dreamed this up on a wild Vegas weekend. Much thought went into letting Sage walk for a fourth-round pick and signing Dan Orlovsky.
We all appreciate what Sage did for the team and despite the highly unfortunate events contributing to the home loss to the Colts this year, he had his hand in some pretty special Texans moments.
But Matt Schaub is clearly the starter, and the Texans have a new backup that comes in with more experience than Sage had when he joined the squad. Sage had two starts. Orlovsky has seven starts, more passing yards and a better completion percentage than Rosenfels did upon his Houston arrival. Orlovsky also had an even TD to INT ratio (8-8) for one of the worst teams in NFL history. He's ready for this job.
It's been a productive offseason for the Texans with the tagging of Dunta Robinson and the acquisition of Antonio Smith and Orlovsky among the more notable achievements. Smith makes the defensive line better right away, but so far he's the only new starter that's been injected into a defense that needs to improve. In six of the Texans eight losses, they gave up 139 yards or more on the ground. In seven of their eight wins, they gave up 108 rushing yards or less.
You get the idea. Stop the run, force long down and distance, pin your ears back and fire away at the quarterback. The Texans will play more aggressively on the defensive side of the ball under Frank Bush. It will be interesting to see if any instant starters are picked in the draft or if the team feels they have the first stringers to get it done.
Every day on the show I get calls about getting a complimentary back to alternate with Steve Slaton. You know at least five backs if not more are coming to camp. By now you should have faith in this team drafting well enough to find a new weapon or two. I love Gartrell Johnson out of Colorado State (the Texans unofficial AAA affiliate), but John McClain tells me scouts are down on his speed. Still, in the East-West Shrine game and practices he looked spry. Truth is, there are a lot of solid backs that should be available in the wheelhouse of the third and fourth round.
We'll get to more on the draft later, but keep in mind that you'll probably never predict what they are going to do. No media expert on the planet had them dropping down to take Duane Brown last year, and that worked swimmingly well. If you had the Texans taking Owen Daniels in 2006, I'll give you a segment on Sports Radio 610. If you had them taking Mario Williams in the same draft, you should probably replace Miss Cleo and have your own 1-900 fortune telling service.
The draft is an inexact science and highly unpredictable, unless you have a high first round pick. Even then, it's a tough call. Did you have Amobe Okoye dropping to the Texans at No. 10 in 2007? Be honest. By the end of April, we'll have a clear picture of what this team is going to look like. And 2009 could look like the best season yet.