OTAs are underway. They will provide the first clues to answer the questions of whether the Houston Texans had a successful offseason. Were the right free agents signed? Which rookies (drafted or undrafted) will make an impact?
Experts say it takes three years to properly evaluate a draft class and the related undrafted free agent signings, but the veteran free agent signings can be evaluated sooner, often during the first season.
But we warm blooded fans are impatient and don’t want to wait for the games be played, we want instant gratification. Which is why God created pundits, who by the nature of what they do evaluate right away. They make the time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of the next season bearable, feeding fan’s optimism or reinforcing their worst fears.
One group of pundits say the Texans got it right. They say the perennial quarterback issue is finally solved and it will take the offense to the next level. The offense is supercharged with blinding speed and wall to wall playmakers thanks to free agency and the draft and a reinforced offensive line will lead the way as the Texans become an offensive juggernaut. Because the defense is already loaded, the AFC better watch out.
The naysayers see it differently. They say the Texans overpaid for an unproven quarterback and reached on their first round draft choice. They also ignored weaknesses at tight end and defensive end, which will be exploited later in the season.
Until OTAs are well underway it is all speculation because there have been no successes or failures. Any opinion can be supported by selectively edited statistics. OTAs are the beginning of separating fact from fiction, valid opinions from misguided ones, success from failure.
OTAs will offer the first clues regarding the progress of Brock Osweiler. Is he mastering the playbook/is he capable of executing those plays? Will he finally give the Texans a franchise quarterback? Of course, he is in shorts and not getting hit, but observation beats the heck out of speculation.
What about Will Fuller—is he a player with 4.32 feet, but 5.0 hands? Or is John Harris right in saying he runs 4.32 and plays 4.32? His college coach, Brian Kelly, says Fuller tracks and adjusts to the long pass better than any player he has coached in 25 years. Is that genuine praise or just lip service? Of course it is easier to catch a ball in OTAs without the fear of being hit, but it is hard to hide bad hands even when participating in shorts.
Can Braxton Miller master the route tree? He is described by most scouting reports as “raw, but with great potential”. OTAs will offer the first clues of how much of that potential we can expect to see this year.
Continue to follow Toro Times as the Texans move from OTAs, to training camp, to preseason games and finally the regular season. Share your insight in what should be an exciting season by leaving a comment below or by commenting on our facebook page or by following us on twitter. All that separates a pundit from a fan is a platform to express his or her opinion.