Houston Texans: Surprising decisions made with 53-man roster
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans have made several strong statements in their first year under new general manager Brian Gaine.
The Houston Texans cut players with tenure within the franchise and the league like punter Shane Lechler as that was one of many decision made by the front office as they prepare the team for Week 1.
When the time comes, Lechler will join Ray Guy as the second punter to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He was an asset for the Texans for the previous seasons, but rookie Trevor Daniel showed enough throughout the preseason that he was deemed the better punter moving forward for the Texans.
Developing draft picks like wide receiver Braxton Miller, fullback Jay Prosch, offensive lineman Kyle Fuller and safety Treston Decoud was waived in order to meet the criteria of making the 53-man roster this past weekend. The Texans also cutting special teams ace Kurtis Drummond, in order to make a roster spot for an incoming player being claimed during the waiving wire was also surprising, to say the least.
Many of these young players were viewed to fulfill a purpose within the team when they were drafted, and it could be seen as a failure that they didn’t reach the end of their rookie scale contract. Although it is a bigger disservice to the team, player and the fanbase to carry a player that has no relevant role in the roster.
Included in that list that includes the surprises that made the Texans, it is incredible to fathom that an undrafted rookie, Division II athlete from Limestone made the initial 53-man roster as Vyncint Smith beat out former quarterback turned wide receiver, Braxton Miller. Smith is an athlete who was timed at a 4.38 40-yard dash in his pro day with great size at 6-3. He has a lot of learning to do, but he has already proven he is worthy of a roster spot at a deep position.
Another player that made an impressive late push for a roster spot was fellow draft pick from Stanford, Peter Kalambayi. Kalambayi didn’t make the scene until his last game in the preseason in which he stood out in special teams, while also passing the athlete test at the combine with favorable numbers. Now that Kalambayi has made the roster, he has to continue to be a factor in the special teams to keep his coveted roster spot.
The Texans are in an interesting spot moving forward with impressive competition across every position, but we’ll see how all of this turns out in Week 1 when the regular season begins with the Texans facing the New England Patriots.