The Houston Texans, and their fans, spent much of the offseason focused on the quarterback battle as Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett fought for the right to start at the most important position on the team. Hoyer was named the starter after performing admirably in training camp and the post season.
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What was lost in all the attention about who will be distributing the ball was the fact that several other positions were up for grabs as well. On Wednesday the team released their first “unofficial” depth chart, and we see the first glimpse of who was able to get themselves into a starting role, and there were a couple of surprises among the named starters.
The first surprise was seeing Jeff Adams penciled in as the starting left guard, ahead of the 33rd overall selection in the 2014 draft, Xavier Su’a-Filo. The guard from UCLA underperformed as a rookie and hardly made any appearances during training camp and the preseason.
Adams, an undrafted tackle who slid over to guard was able to outperform the player Houston selected over several potential starting quarterbacks. As quickly as head coach Bill O’Brien is able to admit a mistake and cut his losses, Su’a-Filo needs to improve and do it quickly.
At receiver Nate Washington was able to find his way to the number two receiver slot ahead of Cecil Shorts III. Both were brought over this offseason via free agency and will most likely have big roles regardless of who starts week-to-week.
On defense, there were a couple unexpected starters also as Akeem Dent is listed as the starting middle linebacker over rookie Bernardrick McKinney and also over Mike Mohamed who was all over the field during training camp. Dent however did show up more during the preseason games, which is most likely the reason he is the top guy next to Brian Cushing.
Also in the secondary, the team looks to be going with Quintin Demps at strong safety. Demps played three seasons in Houston before spending 2013 with the Kansas City Chiefs and 2014 with the New York Giants. He was signed well into training camp, which made it seem like a long shot he would be named the starter, but he was able to impress the coaches enough to get his name called.
I will emphasize this was an unofficial depth chart, so there still could be some changes before the game this Sunday kicks off. For the complete list, click here.