The Leftovers: The deep ball, chemistry & run game

Drew Dougherty of Texans TV answered a few questions from fans in the video above. He answered quite a few more, submitted via Facebook, in the article below.

Ross Lange: Dear Drew, Will the Texans throw the ball deep more with the addition of Kenny Stills?

DD: It's certainly possible, Ross. Will Fuller, V is healthy as well, and he's been good for 17.4 yards per catch in the 11 career games he's played with Deshaun Watson. Now with Stills, who's a burner as well, the opportunities to go deep might be multiplied. He's averaged 16 yards/catch in six NFL seasons, and led the League with 20 yards per in 2013. Keep in mind, All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins is still here. So is Keke Coutee. And DeAndre Carter. And Duke Johnson. Those guys, along with the tight ends, are capable of getting loose underneath and in the intermediate areas, and secondaries will have to be wary of them, too.

Derwin Jordan: Dear Drew, Where do you rank our WR group vs all the previous years? I think this is the strongest we've been on offense in the history of the organization.

DD: Let's let them play some games, first. But yes, on paper, this looks like an explosive group. Hopkins continues to look like the greatest pass-catcher in all the land. Adding a healthy Fuller, Stills and Coutee and Carter to the mix gives the Texans a potential for fireworks. But health needs to work in Houston's favor.

Marcos Castelan: Dear Drew, How do strong do you think the chemistry of the OL be by game day?

DD: Great question. It would be foolish to say these guys will look like a seasoned group together by Week 1. Laremy Tunsil just arrived, and is learning a new offense. Bill O'Brien said the left tackle has been working "double-time" to pick it up, and he'll be ready to go against the Saints. Chemistry with his new linemates will need to develop, and that takes a little time. But being here is a big bonus for the rest of the line, and the rest of the offense, and I'm excited to see these guys grow and improve as a unit.

Dan Flores: Dear Drew, How have the new additions been doing in practice? Chemistry is so important. Is everyone getting along and starting to click?
DD: According to O'Brien, they've been doing well. He's said a few different times about the importance of having players who are tough, smart and dependable. In terms of the 'smart' aspect, assimilating to a new system can be tricky, and even trickier a week or so before the season starts. In that regard, the new players have been coming along nicely in the view of the head coach.

Debbie Bobo Kunkel Kerschen: Dear Drew, How are you? Do you think with all the additions made to the offense they we will able to protect Watson better this year?
DD: I'm great, Debbie. Thanks a lot for asking. Great seeing you all at Fuddruckers on Tuesday I definitely think Tunsil and company will go a long way toward protecting Watson better this year and beyond. Young, quality, proven offensive linemen like him are rare, and the Texans are excited he's here.

Felipe Alarcon: Dear Drew, How healthy do players look with Brian Cushing as assistant strength and conditioning coach?

DD: They look pretty good. Head strength and conditioning coach Mike Eubanks, along with the rest of his staff, the sports science guys, the medical and training group, and the nutrition crew have a detailed plan in place to keep the guys as healthy as possible and ramp them up to peak performance as the season progresses. Football's a violent sport, so injuries can happen no matter how strong you are. But the Texans are relatively healthy heading into 2019.

Scott N Julia Ford: Dear Drew, Who will start at Left Guard Since Tunsel is at LT?

DD: If you believe the depth chart the team released on Tuesday, rookie Tytus Howard will play at left guard. But that depth chart is always marked as "unofficial", so keep in mind that Zach Fulton played some left guard in the preseason. He's listed as the right guard right now. Senio Kelemete was the starter there for the majority of last season, and he was a New Orleans Saint for four seasons prior to joining Houston. Kelemete's listed as Howard's backup at left guard on the depth chart.

Alfredo Portillo: Dear Drew, Which road game are you most excited about this year?
DD: Baltimore. I have a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins that live in the area, and I get to see some of them when the Texans play the Ravens. I'm also really excited about the London trip.

Bryan Luckey: Dear Drew, How long will Coutee be out?

DD: O'Brien said last Friday that Coutee was "trending in the right direction", but he wasn't sure about the second-year receiver's availability for Week 1. Carter's the guy in his place, and you might see Stills line up in the slot from time-to-time, also.

Aaron Givens: Dear Drew, What do you think we will do to try to slow down Drew Brees' tempo? It’s proven that if you get pressure in his face good things will happen for us but I don’t think we are going to apply as much because he going to get the ball out quick. So what will we do?

DD: You nailed it. The Texans have to get pressure up the middle, but that's a lot easier said than done. Brees will be in Canton five years after he retires, and he's showing no signs of slowing down or deterioration. The front seven of Houston will need to make him uncomfortable, and the back end must give the pass rush some time. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will no doubt have a good game plan drawn up. It's all about the Texans executing and getting it done.

Kellen Taylor: Dear Drew, Will Hopkins have a 300-yard game with the chemistry he and Watson now have?

DD: If anyone can do it, it's Hopkins. That's tough though. Only six players have done it in League history, with Julio Jones pulling it off in 2016. But sure, in the course of a double-digit receptions game, I could see Hopkins breaking a few long ones for a touchdown or three, and getting the yardage. His best yardage output in a game came when caught nine passes for 238 yards and a pair of scores in the Week 13 win over the Titans here in 2014.

Houston Texans Fans come to NRG Stadium for the fourth preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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