Saturday, the Texans will roll into Arizona a new team. A team with a mission, to make us forget 2013, to make us remember why we’re Texans proud. To… okay that might be a bit much for a preseason game. Our first real look at the new era in Texans football kicks off. We’re willing and ready to see what our beloved team is going to look like. The growing pains of a new offense, a new defensive scheme coming together before our eyes. We will however have to keep in well in mind that this is still preseason meaninglessness. Mistakes will happen, the score doesn’t really matter and the depth chart is still fluid. What are you looking forward to in this game? What will you be focusing on as you watch the Texans rise from the ruins of last year? Here are my three areas of focus for this little get together with Arizona.
1. Quarterback play. We know what we have in Fitzpatrick. He’s had ten years to prove he’s a solid starter. Is this the year it finally all comes together for him? Has Keenum grown from the pain of last season and can he take the lessons from O’Brien and rise to the top? Savage, he’s a big raw talent. Where is he at right now?
2. The running back situation. We’ve been spoiled in Houston with a one-two punch of Foster and Tate. That punch is now gone. Tate’s off playing with Johnny Football in Cleveland and Foster is a giant question mark. Can return to form or is his time as an elite running back finished? Also, who will step up and fill that role Tate have and do we have a rising star in our stable of backs that can take over should Foster falter. We’ve been hearing good things about Alfred Blue, an explosive rookie from LSU whose making waves in practice. He’s one option. The other is Jonathan Grimes, back again after some minor injury issues. Are either of these men able to carry the load?
3. Defense. What is it really going to look like? I’ve watched some KC games from Crennels time, but the personnel we have changes that equation significantly. While I don’t expect Watt to see much if any play this game, that shouldn’t change the basic look of the defense and the new, more complex system going in. One guy I will be watching is DJ Swearinger. He’s just flat out a beast. Can he adapt to the new system and bring something more to the table?
Those are the big three areas for me. It’s no secret I’m not impressed with Fitzpatrick, but O’Brien has given him the reigns so here’s his first chance to show the fans that he’s not Fitztragic. I still think Keenum got the raw end of all this with how the team fell apart and too much blame was placed on him. The way some sportswriters are talking about him you’d think he shouldn’t even be on the team. That’s just, dumb. I think he ends up starting before the bye week.
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