We make a big deal about cut-down day as NFL teams shave their rosters to 53 players, as we should. It's a big occasion.
However, the roster is an amoeba. If it were food, it'd be pasta, not a piece of meat. It's always changing. The 53 man roster released today could look different by the time Labor Day hits. In fact, as you're reading this, I'm paranoid news is breaking and this is as out of date as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
However, let's press on, shall we? A few things jumped out at me at the initial 53. In no particular order, let's start with the running backs. There are five of them and no fullbacks. Scottie Phillips made the squad after looking good in the preseason. The other four vets with the high TVQ rated names are the others.
'Only' three tight ends and 'only' five receivers are on the current 53. It's not that unusual, but it's notable that these two groups are a bit light in numbers compared to many other Texans seasons. We haven't seen much from Anthony Miller and Andre Roberts yet, but they should really help in the slot and in the return game, respectively.
Eight offensive linemen is a relatively low number as well, but there's plenty more flexibility with elevating practice squad players during these Covid-19 years. In fact, Nick Caserio was very clear all off-season how you're basically dealing with almost 70 players, including practice squad, instead of just 53. Great to see Marcus Cannon back in the fold and on the active roster instead of PUP.
Tyrod Taylor and David Mills will be in the quarterback room. Deshaun Watson is on the roster. Taylor is beginning his 11th season and is eager to get the opportunity to lead this team.
Now for the defense. The line was energetic and productive in the preseason in getting to the quarterback, getting the ball out and stopping the run. Ten spots were given out, for now. We knew it was a tough cut and it looks like Caserio, David Culley and Lovie Smith did their best to keep as many of these players as possible
There are six linebackers and five of them were brought in during the offseason. Christian Kirksey, Neville Hewitt and Kamu Gruigier-Hill have been hard to miss in the preseason games. Kevin Pierre-Louis is a seasoned vet who will be heard from.
10 defensive backs are currently on the roster including five safeties and five corners. Bradley Roby is set to be back after week 1.
In all, this is still under construction but it's more in the punch-list phase. These are basically your 2021 Texans. They'll look to run and be opportunistic on offense and create havoc on defense. They'll be sharp on special teams. They'll kick off in 12 days. Find tickets here. Let's go!
The Houston Texans roster in photos.