Jun 17, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) goes through drills during mini camp at Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
This is the doldrums of the Football season. Sure teams are sending out players and cheerleaders, mascots trying to get people fired up for the pending season. Normally we manage to get through this with a half felt smile, knowing that training camp is soon upon us. However, this off season is something Texan fans haven’t dealt with in a while. The start of a new era of Texans football. A new head coach, a quarterback not named Matt Schaub, a new offense we haven’t seen.
That right there is enough to give one heartburn. Toss in the fact our starter is perennial journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, formerly of Buffalo and the hated Titans one starts to get a sinking feeling in the gut. Arian Foster is back, healthy and ready to go you say? He’s a running back trying to return to form in a new system after back surgery. Historically running backs are great till they break, from there it’s a sad slide into retirement. See Terrell Davis 2002 as an example. Granted, Adrian Peterson returned to monster form, but that man is a candidate for the X-Men, most players aren’t. We can hope Arian has a successful recovery but…
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Headlining the 2014 draft was overall number one pick Jadeveon Clowney. Who missed the back end of OTA’s due to sports hernia surgery. Reportedly he’s recovering well and all will be good. New big man in the middle, Louis Nix picked up in the third round from Notre Dame had knee surgery his senior year. See a trend here? One player, we can get root for and hope he makes good, start adding up those injured players and suddenly your friends start wondering if they should invest in the anti-acid pill company whose product you are downing like candy.
To top off our dreary list of things to worry about happens to be the guy for many a long year in Houston, you never worried about. Andre Johnson. The most gifted receiver the city of Houston has seen in it’s football history, may not even take the field as a Texan this year. No, he’s not injured and no there isn’t a contract pending stopping him. He’s looking at the Texans, the total fail of a season that was 2013 and realizing that 2014 is a rebuild, even if the front office tries to tell us all it isn’t. At 32, Andre has at most, three solid years left before the inexorable decline time takes on his body makes being an elite receiver impossible. His best football relegated to highlight reels on the NFL Network at 3 AM. He doesn’t want to squander his remaining productive time as a player for a team with little hope of making the playoffs, let alone a championship. Right now, as summer moves on, players do their best to get fans fired up and teams start gearing up for the coming season the long dark teatime of the soul sets in as it were. Fans need this time to search deep, and then decide whether the season is worth getting excited for.
Tomorrow, I’ll lay out why these dark clouds aren’t the harbinger of a coming storm of disappointment, there is a sun ready to shine on NRG Stadium, so stay tuned to the Torotimes and get your Battle Red gear dusted off, the season is soon upon us!
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