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The Leftovers: Rookies, Additions, Improvements and Grumpy Cat

Rashad Collins: Dear Drew, Nick Martin says the O-line is hungry. Is that because there is more competition or do they have something to prove after that Colts playoff game?
DD: I'm sure they're hungry for a variety of reasons, but yes, the competition in the offensive line group will certainly be a spirited one. With the two draft picks, some of the undrafted rookies, along with Matt Kalil, there are some new faces up front. Plus, the players returning all have a chance of improving, too. That's a very underrated aspect to remember: guys who are already in the system can get better. Ultimately, though, I think you'll see improvement from this line.

Gary Myers: Dear Drew, A lot of us are very upset with the Texans sleeping on top free agents when they have the money! We are growing tired of just being a good team. Banked a lot on unproven draft picks. Any thoughts on this?
DD: When the Texans have gotten splashy in free agency and signed the "top free agents", it hasn't always worked out. Remember 2016? Quarterback Brock Osweiler was the marquee signing. Remember 2013? Safety Ed Reed came in. The first guy was benched the following December and the second guy was cut the next November. On the flip side, GM Brian Gaine and company made a splash last year and signed safety Tyrann Mathieu. He was a good addition. Based off what Gaine's done in his short time here, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Be patient, because the development of the players on the roster combined with the draft picks and the free agents the Texans signed should prove dividends.

Antonio Perez, Junior: Dear Drew, If you could bring a former Texan back on to our team who would it be?
DD: RB Arian Foster. Teaming him up with Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman would make a dangerous offense even more dangerous.

Brian Thomas Jackson: Dear Drew, What do you think of the death of grumpy cat?
DD: I hope his owners handle the grieving process okay. They probably miss their grumpy cat right about now. It's tough to lose a pet. (Sky point to our family's departed weiner dog, sweet Lucy.)

Lori Wingard Bushnell: Dear Drew, Of all the undrafted rookies we signed, who stands the best chance to make the final 53?
DD: Wonderful question. Two or three typically make a roster in any given year, and there's almost always a surprise player that makes it. The Texans pride themselves on having so many contributors who were undrafted in their careers. Keep any eye out for running backs like Michigan's Karan Higdon and Missouri's Damarea Crockett, and receivers Johnnie Dixon from Ohio State and Tyron Johnson from Oklahoma State.

Roman McPeake: Dear Drew, Do you think the Texans will try to bring in someone like Muhammed Wilkerson or Ndaukong Suh to help strengthen the defensive line?
DD: I don't think they'd add either of those two. Maybe a different veteran defensive lineman, but probably not Wilkerson or Suh.

Dan Isaacks: Dear Drew, What are the chances that Matt Kalil actually plays a meaningful snap this year?
DD: Good. He's going to be in a very competitive position group, but he certainly has a chance at getting on the field. He, last year's starter Julién Davenport, along with the rookies will all be competing at the left tackle spot.

Jorge Balderas: Dear Drew, Who do you see being our #3 RB?
DD: That's a wide-open competition behind Miller and Foreman. In addition to the undrafted rookies Higdon and Crockett, there are also some vets in the mix. Guys like Buddy Howell, Josh Ferguson and Taiwan Jones. I think one or two of those names will wind up getting some carries behind the Miller/Foreman combo.

Josh Ramirez: Dear Drew, will Nuk finally get the recognition he deserves?
DD: Who doesn't think he's awesome? DeAndre Hopkins was a First-team All-Pro each of the last two seasons, and that's voted on by the media. Deshaun Watson knows Hopkins is good. The coaching staff knows he's good. Opponents know he's good. I think the word is out about Hopkins: he's an elite player and atop the League when it comes to receivers.

Willis Odika: Dear Drew, How many undrafted rookies do you think will make the 53 rosters?
DD: About two or three make it in a typical year. I think that number will likely get repeated again in 2019.

Joseph Boyd Drew, Texans have been making a lot of moves. Its been exciting. Very pumped for this season. My question is, do you believe the Texans will be ready for this tough schedule?
DD: I do. But when has the schedule ever been "easy"? Plus, how many of the "tough" teams wind up backsliding next year? Additionally, think about last year's road game at Jacksonville: when you faced the Jaguars, both teams were 3-3. Houston was coming off a 4-12 year, while the Jags had played in the conference title game. So on paper, this time last year that was viewed as a "tough" game, which it was. But "on paper", when you look at it now, the Texans beat a 5-11 team they were supposed to. It's all very fluid, and every game is tough.

Brandon Leteff: Dear Drew, Who do you believe will / needs a breakout year to help our team be even more successful?
DD: A couple of offensive linemen, and Will Fuller, V. If you get improvement up front, and you get a full season from Fuller, this offense will explode.

Cee Brinx: Dear Drew, How's your Pitfall game? Any other classic favorites?
DD: It's rusty, Cee. Very rusty. But I imagine I could do okay again after a few tries. My favorite Atari classics would be Pac Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders and the baseball game. Favorite Nintendo games are Baseball Stars, Tecmo Bowl, Mike Tyson's Punch Out and Super Mario Brothers. Last video game I really played a lot was the James Bond "Goldeneye" one on Nintendo 64.

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