Christmas in August? It sure feels like it as a real Houston Texans game day is finally here! Sure, it’s preseason and sure many of the key players won’t be on the field much. Still, the fans can finally get a good look at the quarterback battle as well as see the new free agents and rookies in action! Sadly, we still have several hours to kill before the 7 p.m. kickoff, but what better way than reading about the Texans? Enjoy;
First Glance: Texans vs. 49ers – by Drew Dougherty of HoustonTexans.com
"The nine-month trudge from the end of the 2014 regular season to the start of the 2015 regular season has morphed into a quick jog.The Texans first preseason game is Saturday evening at NRG Stadium against San Francisco. There are thousands of details to watch, but here are five of which I’ll keep tabs. I’m excluding the most obvious one, which is the competition to start at quarterback between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. We’re all watching that.1. The Comittee: With Arian Foster out due to injury, the Texans now lean on the likes of Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and Kenny Hilliard. I want to see what sort of order those four are givenreps, and also what that quartet is able to accomplish.Even before the Foster injury, we’d been told the offense was going to look differently than it did last year. Now though, it will likely change a bit more.Blue went through an offseason in which he worked out with Adrian Peterson and his trainer, in addition to the daily sessions with the team’s strength and conditioning staff. Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle wrote about it and we’ll see whether or not the bulked-up Blue takes a step forward from his rookie season.Grimes has consistently contributed to the squad on special teams, but with Foster out he’s seeing more time running the ball.“He’s a guy that really knows our offense well,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He plays a lot on third down, but now with Arian out, he’s playing more on first and second down in certain packages. Really dependable guy.”Polk has explosion and elusiveness, while Hilliard has been a power back that’s finished with spurts of controlled violence."
Texans’ QB mystery should be resolved by 3rd preseason game – by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle
"If I’m Texans coach Bill O’Brien and I’m deciding how to use my quarterbacks in preseason, I’m starting Brian Hoyer against San Francisco and Ryan Mallett against Denver.Then I’m announcing my starting quarterback before the nationally televised third preseason game at New Orleans.Hoyer should start the preseason opener Saturday night at NRG Stadium because this is his first season with the Texans, and the coaches need to see what he can do with the starters.They saw Mallett for two games last year – a solid performance in a victory over Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns, plus an injury-plagued loss to Cincinnati before he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.If Hoyer earns the starting job, the Texans need the quarterback who began his Cleveland career with a 9-3 record: Hoyer the Destroyer, as they called him at that time.The Texans don’t want the Hoyer who was merely destroyed in a 1-3 finish in which he threw one touchdown pass and eight interceptions before being replaced by Johnny Manziel.O’Brien gets irritated when he hears fans and media ridicule his quarterbacks, particularly Hoyer. He insists his quarterbacks are better than most believe."
Vandermeer’s View: Preseason storylines against the 49ers – by Marc Vandermeer of HoustonTexans.com
"It’s time for the first test drive of the 2015 Houston Texans. When you last left NRG Stadium you felt the pride of having your Texans log a winning season after the disaster of 2013. And you also felt the sting of knowing that one more solid quarter by Cleveland on the final day, or, more importantly, one more Texans win along the way would have resulted in a trip to the playoffs.A new journey begins Saturday. We’ll get our first preseason look at Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, neither of which played for this team at this time last year. We’ll also get a taste of a defense that’s projected to be one of the best in the NFL.Offensively it’s not only about generating rhythm in the passing game but finding a recipe on the ground that can get the job done without the services of Arian Foster. The Texans handed off more than any team in the league last year so players like Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and Kenny Hilliard have to step up to help keep the sticks moving.You’ll also see a number of intriguing players at wide receiver. Nate Washington and Cecil Shortsshould be fun to watch. Jaelen Strong and Keith Mumphery are draft choices who have opened eyes at practice and are eager for their first NFL action. DeAndre Hopkins has been his usual stellar self in camp so far. Plus there are a number of younger players including Alan Bonner and EZ Nwachukwu who are aching for playing time.Defensively, JJ Watt hardly the needs the work. Veteran Vince Wilfork enters his 12th season in the league and first in Houston. He will be a huge help up front this year. Safety Rahim Moore signed on in the offseason from Denver. And a corner last year, Andre Hal, is someone to watch at safety as well as he tries to make a permanent home there. The secondary appears to be ocean-deep."