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After overseeing an attack that led the NFL in passing yards in 2020, Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly is back to lead a group that returns some key players and has added a lot of talent.
Kelly is not only working with a new head coach in David Culley but he has several new position coaches to help the cause. Veteran mentor Pep Hamilton, fresh off a productive year with the Chargers, will coach quarterbacks while Super Bowl Champion and former Green Bay offensive line boss James Campen will coach the big men up front.
Robert Prince, who has a long resume including stints as an assistant QB coach in Atlanta when Michael Vick and Matt Schaub were there and coaching Calvin Johnson and company in Detroit, will instruct the wide receivers. Andy Bischoff, who coached in Baltimore, Chicago and the CFL, will lead the tight ends. Speaking of the CFL, former Canadian league signal caller Danny Barrett returns to coach running backs.
Among the QBs Hamilton will coach is a player he had last year in veteran Tyrod Taylor, who has started 47 NFL games including a standout 2017 campaign in which he helped lead Buffalo to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years - under then-QB coach Culley. Rookie Davis Mills, the third round pick out of Stanford, threw the most passes in the preseason including his first TD pass in the game against Tampa Bay. Deshaun Watson remains on the roster.
There's no shortage of talent in the pass-catching department. Premiere playmaker Brandin Cooks is back and he has some company with added veteran talent. Chris Conley flashed right away in the preseason with four receptions against Green Bay. Anthony Miller was acquired in a trade with Chicago at the start of training camp. Third round draft choice Nico Collins turned heads in camp practices and caught a TD against Tampa Bay. Veteran chain-mover Danny Amendola was added before week one practice. Return man extraordinaire Andre Roberts fills out the line-up. It's safe to say that when the regular season begins the Texans will have a talented crew that can also be productive on special teams.
The running backs are 'names you know' as Mark Ingram III, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead will vie for snaps with incumbent David Johnson who averaged over 130 yards from scrimmage in his final three games last season. Scottie Phillips, an undrafted rookie from 2020, was a workhorse in preseason games, leading the team with 155 yards and a TD.
At tight end, Jordan Akins and Pharaoh Brown are back in the fold. Brown caught his first TD last season at Cleveland and made some other big plays while also holding things down as a blocker. Akins has turned into a solid starter at the position. Fifth round draft pick Brevin Jordan was an outstanding threat with the Miami Hurricanes.
The offensive line features some intriguing players who could make this one of the strongest position groups on the team. Pro Bowl Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil leads the charge. Tytus Howard is back and has shown versatility, playing guard in camp to go along with his tackle skills.
Fellow 2019 draft choice Max Scharping returns and former Patriot and three-time Super Bowl Champion Marcus Cannon joins the crew after opting out last season in New England. Former Seahawks stalwart Justin Britt has fortified the center position.
Veteran Justin McCray can play guard or center and Geron Christian filled in nicely at left tackle in August when Tunsil was unavailable during preseason games. Charlie Heck, a rookie a year ago, has gotten a boat load of time at right tackle in training camp.
There are a lot of new faces and old friends to help make the offense more consistent and balanced in 2021. It'll be interesting to see how they line up on opening day and how Kelly and company will orchestrate the attack.