Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Something terrible happened in 2013, and following a 2-0 start the Houston Texans lost 14 consecutive games to finish 2-14. This slide included almost comical performances such as quarterback Matt Schaub’s NFL record 4 straight games with an interception returned for a touchdown. This was a shocking collapse for a team considered by many to have Super Bowl hopes.
"“I’m ready to kick 2013 the hell out the door.” said Texans owner Bob McNair towards the end of the 2013 season."
This terrible season came on the heels of two straight playoff appearances, and it had looked like Houston had finally arrived as a perennial contender. Instead, the Texans were forced to clean house and re-build.
Head coach Gary Kubiak was fired in December, and Houston hired former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien to fill his position, ushering in a new, promising era for the franchise. O’Brien managed to drastically improve from the 2013 season with a 9-7 record in 2014, narrowly missing the playoffs.
As we prepare for the 2015 NFL season, it is important for the Texans to remember their history in order to see exactly what needs to happen if they hope to become contenders in the league. The mistakes the team has made in the past cannot be repeated if they want to be one of the nation’s best. Luckily, Houston is poised to enter a new era that promises to be its best yet.
The first key, is consistently efficient draft picks. Players such as 2002 first overall pick quarterback David Carr and defensive tackles Travis Johnson and Amobi Okoye, proved to be not worthy of their high first-round picks. For Houston to be successful they need to replicate the success of picks such as receiver Andre Johnson in 2003, linebacker Brian Cushing in 2009, and defensive end J.J. Watt in 2011.
While this may seem obvious, the difference in the successful picks versus the unsuccessful ones is Houston’s willingness to take the player they believed to be the best available rather than reaching for a player to fill a particular role. The picks who have been successful for the Texans have been versatile athletic players, who have all the physical tools necessary for success, if not the flashiest highlights and statistics.
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