Houston Texans: Doubled down on the need for speed

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

The Houston Texans have a different roster than the ones assembled in the past. This one is full of speed.

Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and general manager Brian Gaine have double-downed on adding dynamic speed options for quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2018.

Both have a firm belief that the opposing defense won’t be able to cover players they can’t keep up with. The Texans already had several speedsters on the roster like wide receivers Will Fuller and Bruce Ellington. Their ability to break away for a huge gain is a threat to any defense and a ture advantage for the Texans.

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Ellington had six receptions go for more than 20 yards, meanwhile Fuller had seven receptions go for more than 20 yards and two for more than 40 yards during the 2017 season. Those stats are incredibly impressive when you put in perspective that they occurred in Watson’s rookie season, the sky is the limit when they get acclimated and know each other’s tendencies.

The Texans also added a trio of wide receivers this past offseason with similar speed and elusiveness traits. One of those players was Vyncint Smith, an undrafted wide receiver from Limestone, who also has the desirable physical traits that Gaine and mentor Bill Parcells covet.

The Texans claimed wide receiver Sammie Coates off waivers and coming out of the 2015 NFL Draft everyone knew the impact Coates could bring to a team if he improved his concentration when catching the football. His big frame and ability to get downfield was enticing to the team and was enough to warrant a roster spot.

Coates’ vertical speed is a menace to any secondary and eerily similar to Fuller as there needs to be additional help from a safety to assist the cornerback over the top of the route. Leaving a safety over a vertical threat like Fuller and Coates opens up the middle of the field for receivers like Ellington and fourth-round rookie draft pick Keke Coutee.

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With injuries being a norm in the NFL, the Texans can’t have enough speed options on the offensive depth chart. The Texans will have a diverse offense when their players get healthy and learn how to play within the scheme that O’Brien wants to run when they are on the field.