Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins has flourished despite a pronounced lack of stability at the quarterback position in Houston over the years. In 2015, he became the only receiver in NFL history to log 100 yards receiving in a game with four different quarterbacks in a season. The Texans are tied for the most starting quarterbacks (9) since 2013 with the Cleveland Browns.
This offseason at the combine, his head coach stared bug-eyed at a reporter asking why Hopkins had a down year in 2016 with 78 catches and 954 yards — a hint that Bill O’Brien understands Hopkins is doing everything in his power to be productive despite the mess under center.
After nine seasons in Houston, Brown finished last year as the 17th-ranked tackle league-wide, per Pro Football Focus. As the team’s most valuable lineman, the bookend is likely seeking security in the form of more guaranteed cash.
With Tom Savage and rookie Deshaun Watson set to battle it out for the starting quarterback job, Brown’s importance to the Texans this preseason and beyond is unquestioned. The next move belongs to Houston’s front office.
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While the Texans will take the field to the raucous cheers of their fans for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the franchise will make sure those in attendance and watching on television won’t forget the efforts of the brave in Houston. Area first responders, Houston city officials and related members vital to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts will be honored by the franchise before the game Sunday, the team announced Thursday.
The aforementioend group will be involved in roles including Texas flag holders, Color Guard and coin toss captains. The team will be selling Houston Strong T-shirts, with the proceeds benefitting the Red Cross.
At 29 years old, Gilchrist is immediately the senior member of a young Texans safety group. Before the addition, Andre Hal and cheap jerseys and Corey Moore were slated to begin the season as Houston’s starting safeties. The Texans lost veteran safety Quintin Demps to Chicago in free agency.
If Gilchrist is fully recovered from patellar tendon surgery and back in game shape by September, expect him to make a run at one of the starting safety positions and improve the weakest spot on an otherwise title-caliber defense.
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So it goes for the Texans, who were not much more potent with Savage at the helm. In three appearances (one complete game), Savage hit on 63 percent of his passes for 461 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Oakland Raiders are 24th against the pass in terms of total yards but are ninth in interceptions. Boasting one of the league’s best pass rushers in Khalil Mack, this will be a handful for any quarterback trying to advance in the playoffs. For someone who is simply trying to win back the trust of his head coach, it could be a steep mountain to climb.
The Davey O’Brien Award winner, as college football’s top quarterback, owns the heady leadership coaches love. However, he enters the NFL with question marks about his accuracy, turnovers and ability to dissect a defense.
The Texans have been adamant they plan to bring Watson along slowly and start Tom Savage as their rookie passer develops. Given coach Bill O’Brien’s impatience with quarterbacks in the past, even if Watson doesn’t win the starting gig before Week 1, expect to see the rookie on the field at some point this year.