The Texans suit up to play for real, for real on September 12th against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's 87 days to the day of this article being posted. Prior to that Sunday noon kickoff, the Texans have a few things to do so I sat down to construct the Texans To-Do list between now and then.
From June 17 - July 25th-ish
- Stay healthy. Duh, right? Yes, I know but there have been a few times over the past couple of seasons in which the Texans have had a player miss valuable time at the beginning of training camp due to an injury working out during the break. Tight end Kahale Warring's rookie campaign was the perfect example, in which he tweaked an injury and missed a valuable period of training camp prior to the trip to Green Bay.
- Examine the list of unsigned veterans as it sits today to see if any one "on the street" makes sense ala Quintin Demps in 2015. QD signed week two of training camp in 2015 and was one of the best safeties the team has ever seen in 2015 and 2016. It may not make sense signing anyone during this period, but there's going to be a need at some point in training camp and a veteran with pelts on the NFL wall will be valuable.
From the start of camp to trip to Green Bay
- Find the five bodies that make the most sense on the offensive line, then fit them together up front. The offensive line has seen some fairly drastic changes over the past six months and finding the right fit is paramount. To me, it's about finding the right five guys and then fitting those five together somehow, some way.
- Rookies must start adapting to the speed of practice with the whole team together.
- Rookie pass catchers MUST stay healthy for the first time in a few seasons
- Pass catchers, as a whole, must be able to practice together on a consistent basis. Last year, the top four receivers didn't practice together one time and it showed in a slow start to the year offensively. That group MUST be together prior to preseason games.
- Interior defensive game-wrecker must emerge - I'd really like to see Ross Blacklock turn his game up a few notches and that's not too much to ask given the fact that he'll be playing in a defense suited even more to his skillset.
- A 30+ year old veteran must turn back the clock, so to speak. The Texans have a few on the roster pushing 30 or beyond 30 and it would be a fine sight to see one or more of those veterans find the fountain of youth prior to Green Bay.
Post Green Bay trip through the end of preseason game number three
- A rookie/2nd year player emerges that, perhaps, we didn't see coming.
- Linebacker competition is pushing more than just two or three guys to the forefront. There are a ton of veterans in this group with plenty of snaps in the league and the more of them that make the 53-man cut down decision difficult, the better.
- Running backs are healthy and sharing the wealth, heading into September.
- It's clear that the defense has a bona fide, complete three down edge player emerging... And it would be even more impressive if there were a couple that fit the bill.
Post preseason game three through cutdown day to the opening week
- Study that waiver wire HARD. I've had conversations with people throughout the league that said their teams treated that time period like a pseudo-second draft, so to speak. The Texans will sit in the three hole, behind the Jags and Jets, in terms of priority. Furthermore, the Texans have found waiver wire gems in the past too (A.J. Moore and Buddy Howell come to mind)
- Distinct, clear cut quarterback decision going into Jacksonville, no matter how it shakes out.
- The last two draft classes are significantly contributing to all three phases and should be in the rotation, at a minimum, heading into week one.
- Coaches have worked out gameday role/responsibility kinks through the first three preseason games. There will be some ups and downs, no matter how the team looks on the field in the three preseason games, due to the new nature of David Culley and his staff. There are a lot of new voices and big brains that'll have to find a way to work together each and every Sunday this year and the best way to find that fit is through the three preseason games.
September 12th, 2021
- High noon. Time to ball out.
Experience Gameday Together. Join us for the 2021 Liberty White Out Game presented by BHP vs. Jacksonville Jaguars here.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 6/14/2021)