Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) walks on the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Texans have been slowly learning their new offense over the last two months. Ipads stuck to their hips, eyes held open with toothpicks. Veterans feeling like rookies and rookies trying not to be “that guy” in camp who everyone forgets. The general vibe from the players has been “On message” with the O’Brien “team first” message. No J. J. Watt personal goals this season. It’s all about intensity. What’s becoming clear from the offense, aside the lack of a quarterback is that for the foreseeable future the Texans are no longer a boring team.
With a healthy Arian Foster ready to prove he’s not done yet Bill O’Brien said “the most important thing to do is to make sure that you look at the player’s skill set and figure out how they fit your system or our system.” Can you think of a better player right now then Foster? Gary Kubiak slowly moved away from Foster in the passing game, to the point he was an after thought for most teams. Not anymore. With the multiple tight end formations and the very real threat of stretching the field with the receivers having Foster not just be a one cut and burn guy but he’s pretty sneaky slipping into the flats for passes.
Dec 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) under center during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
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With the tight ends, “Those guys have multiple roles.” O’Brien is making it clear everything is based on flexibility. And that’s really something the Texans have not had. Flexibility. Kubiak was a “by the numbers plan” guy. And that’s all well and good till the plan fails. The concern with flexibility is consistency. This makes the “team first” and competition more important. Competition will drive them, team first will bring them together.
Once we know who the starting QB is, and if Andre Johnson returns we’ll have a much better idea of what to expect come the preseason skirmishes. Here’s a thought, who will the Texans cut of the quarterback quartet? They aren’t going to carry all four into the season, the best case for each player is that they take Fitzgerald, Keenum and Yates while stashing Savage on the practice squad for a year. Reality says either Keenum or Yates gets waved and they keep Savage as the third string back up.
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