Week two of the preseason tends not to matter too much in a deep playoff run or draft picks, but in last night’s case it more than likely had some impact on the opening day roster. Yesterday I posted five simple questions as things to watch for in the Texans preseason home opener. It turned out that they were all answered rather emphatically.
Can the Electric Trindon Holliday Catch Lightning in a Bottle Again?
The former LSU speedster proved that he may just have a spot on this team yesterday with an 87 yard punt return for touchdown, giving him back to back games with a return for touchdown. Coming in to camp Holliday’s days appeared to be numbered, but through his explosiveness and vision he has more than likley taken a spot as one of the final 53. If Holliday keeps this up for the next two games the Texans special teams could become as deadly as their offense and defense already are.
Who Will Miss a Kick?
This question ended with a surprise answer, as it was not the journeyman Shayne Graham that missed first, it was in fact the rookie, Randy Bullock. Thought by many to be the guy coming in to camp, Bullock has been pushed by Graham everyday, and while it is unlikely that a fifth-round pick will be cut in favor of a veteran like Graham, it may mean that the Texans will carry two kickers this season. We’ll see how the rest of the preseason plays out, but it is increasingly likely that the Texans will have two special teams specialists in Bullock and Holliday on the opening day roster.
Can Newton and Brooks Step Up to Take a Starting Job?
Derek Newton played well but his challenge of taking the starting job away from Rashad Butler was significantly harder than third-round pick Brandon Brooks’s challenge of taking it from Antoine Caldwell. However, after giving Caldwell his second consecutive start ahead of Brooks because he was “not ready,” Kubiak must be considering Caldwell as taking broad steps ahead of his counterpart as Brooks had two holding penalties in a single drive on Saturday night. Much like the kicking competition this is definitely not over yet, but consider Caldwell well ahead of Brooks and Newton still nipping at Butler’s heels.
Who Will Take the Third Wide Receiver Job?
While it looks like last year’s undrafted free agent, Lestar Jean, is coming into his own very nicely, he proved last night that he is definitely an outside receiver. Keyshawn Martin on the other hand, had another 20+ yard catch in the slot, his second in as many games. In the two games Martin has played, he has looked like the player that the Texans front office expected to groom Jacoby Jones into. With the injury bug that has plagued Andre Johnson over the last few years it’s nice to see Jean step up the way he did last night with three catches and a touchdown on Schaub’s last drive. If those two continue to step up, the Texans passing game should be able to match the running game’s success and lead to a phenomenal season.
Will the Youth be as Exciting as Last Week?
Unfortunately, this was the one question that was answered with a resounding no. Whitney Mercilus registered a single tackle, Case Keenum completed one of his three passes and played significantly less than many expected in the home opener, Colin Kaepernick was largely irrelevant and of the players I said to watch Jonathan Grimes was the most productive with two carries for 22 yards. While we can definitely expect to see more of the young talent in the next two preseason games, especially the finale, the week two matchup provided fewer sparks in this category than many would’ve expected.