Texans morning huddle: Roster cuts loom


Good morning all you Texans fans! We are just over a week away from starting the NFL season, and hours away from the latest episode of the HBO series “Hard Knocks.” With the start of the season at the front of our minds today’s huddle focuses on potential roster moves.

26 observations from Texans vs. Saints – by John Harris of HoustonTexans.com

"The first trip to New Orleans for the Texans since 2012 went about as well as could be expected. The 27-13 win over the Saints had plenty of moments, mostly good, so let’s get these observations going.1. The Saints moved the ball well on the first drive, the only drive of the game for Drew Brees, but they were denied a touchdown by a sterling pass break up from Brian Cushing. That play isn’t made last year, but Cush interrupted the pass route and said he should’ve picked it off. Either way, the fact that he made the read, sprinted there and knocked it down, especially because it was on third down, was a tremendous sign. Loved seeing that from one of the most talked about players in training camp. In a good way, of course.2. One thing teams will do going forward, which is fine by me, is test the Texans nickel run defense. The Texans were in nickel and dime on much of the first drive versus Brees and he checked to zone runs and screens a few times on that drive. Peyton Manning did that in Denver last year in game three when the Texans were in nickel or dime; he immediately checked to inside zone out of the gun. Teams will try that in the regular season too, but there will be two pillars they’ll have to worry about – 75 and 99.3. Speaking of 99, in the third quarter, he came over to do a sideline interview with Erin Andrews and then me. He gave Erin a nice, great to see you hug. He looked at me like “oh, hey John”. What, I’m not that huggable? I kid, I kid. He was great and gracious as always. Can’t wait to see him unleashed on September 13th.4. I thought originally the size of the Saints defensive front would give the Texans offensive line some issues, especially with rookie Kendall Lamm at left tackle for injured Duane Brown. But, the Texans took it down the field, with a mix of run and pass to put seven up on the board on the first offense’s only drive of the game.5. Recently named starting quarterback Brian Hoyer led three drives, putting up ten points with those three drives. He seemed in total command, made a brilliant touch throw downfield to DeAndre Hopkins for a key first down to keep the drive alive. All three QBs made some throws on the day and I’ll talk about them throughout my observations. But, Hoyer, as the starter, kept New Orleans’ defense on its heels. One of the best throws on that drive LOOKED like the easiest throw in the world, but the bubble screen to the slot WR/No. 2 wasn’t easy. But, Hoyer threw it perfectly to Nate Washington, such that he could accelerate through the ball and get up field as desired."

Roster cuts begin, at least 10 spots still competitive – by Deepi Sidhu pf HoustonTexans.com

"The Texans Week 4 preseason game in Dallas is a pivotal one for many players fighting to make the 53-man roster.“I think there’s at least 10 spots that are still competitive,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday.Roster cuts began Monday. Teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 active players by 3 p.m. CT on September 1 and down to their 53-man roster by 3 p.m. CT on September 5.With just four days in between the Texans final two preseason games, it will be a short week for players still hoping to make the final cut. O’Brien plans to give ample playing time to the those players on Thursday night, while resting the majority of starters as he has in the previous three games."

The Next to Last Prediction of the Houston Texans 53-Man Roster – by Sean Pendergast of the Houston Press

"We’re at the time of year when you have to get your NFL 53-man roster predictions out there quickly, or else they could get debunked if your team has an itchy trigger finger, so quickly, here is a reminder on the key dates this week:Sept. 1: Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the active list.Sept. 3: Final preseason games.Sept. 5: Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.Ok, let’s do this….THE VETERAN LOCKSQUARTERBACK (3): Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Tom SavageWe had a slight ripple of drama injected into this chunk of the depth chart in the middle of last week when Ryan Mallett’s alarm clock malfunctioned, but by Sunday, if you’d been abducted by aliens from Wednesday through Saturday, you’d never know anything had happened with Mallett.RUNNING BACK (3): Arian Foster, Alfred Blue, Jonathan GrimesRumors are that Arian Foster is supposedly running, feeling good, and routinely smiling, which should make Texans fans routinely smile. Blue is the definition of a nondescript backup who doesn’t really do anything above average, but isn’t horrible at anything. Despite only 13 carries in the preseason, I think the team likes Grimes. (Hell, that’s probably why he only has 13 carries.)WIDE RECEIVER (5): DeAndre Hopkins, Cecil Shorts III, Nate Washington, Jaelen Strong, Keith MumphreyThe store is pretty much closed here, especially if Mumphrey can return kicks. The only was a sixth receiver makes it is if they can help returning the football.TIGHT END (2): Garrett Graham, C.J. FiedorowiczI’m still bullish on a 45-50 catch season for Graham, and bullish that Fiedorowicz will be more than a souped up extra blocker."

Next: Texans add Chris Clark in trade with Broncos