The best ideas are ones that just come out of nowhere. Thursday afternoon I was sending Deepi Sidhu a text about what I wanted to talk about that night on our Texans All Access radio program. Then, playing on Deepi's name an idea hit me - let's call the segment "Three from Deep." I'd hit her with three topics needing three answers each. I was very proud of idea generation at that point #humblebrag…and I just hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back.
Regardless, I liked the idea and thought I'd turn that into an article for my answers as Deepi answered on radio - check out her answers here ⤵️
So, let's take a look at Three from Deep - the Harris Trilogy. See, another naming idea - just let me run marketing from now on :)
Three areas in which I feel the Texans are definitely better than last year.
- The OL is going to be better, health permitting. I just wrote about the OL in a Position Breakdown article and the one thing that stood out was that the Texans original starting five on the OL started just 46 out of a possible 85 times. If this line stays healthy, given the additions and the lack of deletions, there's a chance it can start rounding into an OL that we'll love to watch.
- The running back room has to be better. I love the addition of Marlon Mack, again, health permitting. To see what he has left in the tank after a couple of injury riddled seasons was worth the risk. Rookie Dameon Pierce was one of my favorite RBs in this draft class as well.
- The defensive front will be deeper, better and more explosive than it was in 2021. There are 17 players in the front four at this point, so it'll be one heck of a competition for the final eight or nine spots in the 53-man roster. That competition should make for an even more effective group than in 2021.
Three opponent additions that worried me the most.
- Tyreek going to Miami. Yes, it's Miami and not Tennessee or Indianapolis but just facing him in Miami won't be fun.
- Matt Ryan to the Colts. He's on the back nine of his career, but he can still swing a pretty mean seven iron, especially with the run game/OL that resides in Indy.
- Stephon Gilmore to the Colts. Why did he have to pick Indy? I think he's got some more still in the tank, maybe just a year or two, but it's still a juiced up Gilmore playing for a division opponent. Yuck
Three players I'm most excited about for the Texans - any position, any level of experience.
- WR Nico Collins - I remember a "year one to year two" jump a certain receiver made back in 2014. Some guy named DeAndre Hopkins stole the show as a second year pass catcher after a decent rookie campaign. I'd love to see Collins make a similar jump, even if it doesn't result in the massive numbers Hop put up in his second campaign.
- DB Jalen Pitre - the rookie out of Baylor was such a fun watch last year, in particular, and he could give this defense a jolt in many ways.
- DL Rasheem Green - When he was at USC, I was high on his future. As such, I found my Harris 100 Scouting Report from 2018 when he was #51 in that year's Harris 100:
"Drafting Green is more about the future benefits than the current benefits. He's raw as can be, but is incredibly well put together and more than looks the part. He reminds me of a poor man's Jonathan Allen (Alabama/Redskins). He bumps inside to pass rush in sub-package or passing down situations and I love the length. He doesn't do any one thing, though, that I'd say is elite. He has adequate play strength, but doesn't really have a true position. He more than likely has to play a one-gap 3-4 DE. As a one-gap 4-3 DT/3-technique, he's still 10 to 15 pounds lighter than he needs to be to live inside permanently. He needs to use his hands way better, but he has the strength to do it, just doesn't know how to do it yet. He's freakishly fast, better put, he eats up space with his long strides. He plays up and down the line of scrimmage and I saw a number of teams run zone read at him and forced him to play in space when he's aligned at defensive end. As such, he didn't play it well. He plays with high pad level and I've seen him get pushed around way too much. He's too athletic and gifted to get shoved around. In all, he's raw clay with a bright future, he's just choosing to get his NFL clock started now and will blossom at that level, instead of in his final year at USC."
Here's hoping that my thought about "future benefits" is right on and it happens in Houston.