As we discussed last time here at the Torotimes, there are storm clouds over Houston’s 2014 season. I had someone ask why I didn’t include Brian Cushing recovering from another broken leg and knee. Simple, he’s a ray of sunshine, and not just the only one. How can I say this about a man whose been lost for parts of the last two seasons? Because he’s driven like few people I’ve ever seen. You can worry about a lot of things, Cushing making a return to form? That isn’t a worry, it’s something to eagerly await. Yes we can spend each game worrying that he’ll get injured again, he’ll worry about doing as much damage to the other team as he can muster.
Other reasons to be positive on the 2014 season, and no winning four games would double last years abysmal win total isn’t one of them. J.J. Watt. He’s in the next to last year of his contract. He knows next year will be his last under contract. While I don’t think money is nearly as important to him as being the best darned play to ever step on the field and take a team to the top is. Expect his work ethic and leadership to pay off with Jadeveon Clowney. Whatever hustle issues he has, Watt will fix.
On the offensive side of the ball, we have some pretty good tight ends in Garret Graham and Ryan Griffin. If that’s not enough to get you excited, there is always rookie C. J, Fiedorowicz to keep an eye on in an offense likely to feature quite a few two tight end formations. Bill O’Brien likes mixing up the offense with tight ends as well as another position in the passing game. Running backs. Arian Foster has always shown a talent for being a weapon out of the backfield. Granted for whatever reason Kubiak decided to forgo this option, O’Brien made it clear Foster will be used more as a passing weapon then in the recent few seasons.
Speaking of, that is the number one reason to be excited about the 2014 Texans. The man with the unique chin, the man some call OB1 for his amazing success at Penn State. Formerly the shrine of Joe Paterno, sadly forever sullied by the horrible abuses of Jerry Sandusky his long time friend and defensive coordinator. That scandal brought what many believed would be ruin to Penn State and keep it’s football program stunted for a generation.
Then, they hired the man with the gumption to get in the face of Tom Brady in a shouting match during a game. Bill O’Brien. He took a team heavily sanctioned, stripped of Bowl titles and banished to the backwaters of the collegiate sporting world. They posted 8-4 and 7-5 records, far surpassing the expectations of pretty much everyone. 40 lost scholarships didn’t stop O’Brien from landing good talent and fielding a team that could compete.
Granted the Texans thankfully were not so devastated or soiled by scandal, however the 2013 implosion of Gary Kubiak and the Texans as a whole has lead to many to write them off. They have great talent at many positions, a new attitude and coaching staff that aside Special Teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky, are completely new to the team. Whatever malfunctions were in coaching, have been erased. O’Brien coached for Bill Belichick, a master of empire building and one of the craftiest coaches to lead an NFL team. Granted, his assistants haven’t been as successful leading teams as he has. O’Brien has already made believers of his players. And that is why the 2014 Texans will make this season, something to remember and 2013 more easily forgotten.
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