One of the more under-rated offseason additions by the Houston Texans was the hiring of former NFL wide receiver Wes Welker.
Wes Welker may be the best slot receiver of all-time. That can be debated. What has yet to be seen is how he fares as a coach.
While Welker does not have a prominent role in Houston, his presence has already been felt by the Texans.
Welker has been working extensively with wide receivers Deandre Hopkins, Braxton Miller, and Will Fuller. All whom are under the age of 25 years-old, with talent oozing out of their shoes.
Hopkins is already a budding star– but that has not stopped him from talking to Welker after just about every route he’s been running at OTA’s as reported by Scout.com’s Patrick Starr.
Hopkins talked about his experience with Welker.
"“It’s great learning from a guy like Wes (Welker) who has experience in this league,” Hopkins said about the new coach at OTAs “who knows every aspect, not just from a player standpoint but also from a coach as of now. He has played with some of the best, so having his knowledge out here helps a lot.”"
Fuller and Miller– the 2016 draft’s first and third round selections by the Texans– struggled last season.
With Welker, one of the best pure route runners of this generation, Fuller and Miller have a coach who can teach them from the ground up the perfections and nuances of route running.
Fuller has all the agility and speed in the world, but lacks great hands and isn’t route savvy.
A lot of Fuller’s drops were due to a lack of concentration. That should go down this year based on experience alone. With the aid of Welker, Fuller has no more excuses for his lazy route running.
The player Welker should directly influence the most is former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.
Miller is the most agile and shifty player on the Texans’ roster. Coming out of college everyone knew he needed to learn the wide receiver position; that is why he fell in the 2016 NFL Draft. This was the perfect pairing of coach and player.
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Miller, like Fuller, should learn a bevy about the ins and outs of being an NFL wide receiver.
What is different from Fuller to Miller however, is Miller is expected to play as a slot receiver in the same system Welker excelled in during his time with the New England Patriots.
Every little secret, tip, and coverage read that Welker knows, Miller should learn over the course of this offseason.
Sure, drafting the franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson was big, but he needs help.
Welker’s aid in the development of Miller, Fuller, and Hopkins will make Watson’s job that much easier.