Rising Texans for 2015


Oct 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) talks with defensive end Jared Crick (93) and linebacker Ricky Sapp (91) against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014 we heard a lot about J.J. Watt, Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins. These were guys that, unless injured tend to perform at amazing levels of play and lead the Texans drive to a winning season. They are superstars, names everyone knows and faces we all recognize. Some of their fellow teammates also had some pretty good games or showed signs they were hitting their own stride. These players have potential that is being realized and in the new system under head coach Bill O’Brien are starting to thrive. We’re going to take a look at two of the rising Texans for 2015.

Jared Crick

Here’s a young man who you really don’t notice, he’s that “guy on the other side” from J.J. Watt. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of Nebraska this young man had a pretty good 2014 season. During his first two seasons he played in 29 of thirty games with one spot start, recording 24 solo tackles along with 23 assist and no sacks. He also racked up 5 passes to go along with those numbers. They were, back up defensive lineman numbers. Nothing to get excited about.

2014 however, Crick started 15 of 16 games and really started to shine. With 29 solo tackles, 27 assist and 3.5 sacks Crick made opposing teams trying to move away from Watt regret that decision. He also knocked 6 passes down over the course of the season. My son likes to call him “Watt’s little brother”. Standing in the shadow on the line across from a generational talent it’s easy to get lost, but Crick’s showing he’s got his own talents and drive and has improved each game. Worries about the front line without Antonio Smith were not realized. Crick has the skill and drive to more then hold his own moving forward.

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Alfred Blue

When Ben Tate left to prove he was an every down back in Cleveland the Texans turned to a bevy of running backs, one really stood out. Alfred Blue. In his rookie year he showed promise in role, when Foster was down the running game wasn’t a disaster. Foster’s health as long as he plays will be a question as he get’s older but having a young stud like Blue waiting in the wings for either the spot start or to give Arian a breather is a good thing for the Texans.

Averaging 3.1 yards on 169 carries for a total of 528 ain’t too shabby. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a blocked punt and didn’t once cough the ball up. As he get’s a little experience under his belt he’s liable to improve on those numbers next season. He also showed some talent receiving out of the backfield, which increases his value.

Who were your favorites not named Watt, Foster, Hopkins or Johnson?

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