Brian Gaine signed several free agents on the offensive side of the ball in his first season as the general manager of the Houston Texans.
Houston Texans made several additions on offense when Brian Gaine took over as the general manager. Gaine reiterated in his first season that they intended to build a contender around their young quarterback Deshaun Watson with experienced veterans and build a cohesive offensive line unit capable of protecting him.
Texans brought back veteran quarterback Brandon Weeden to a one year contract despite not playing a significant amount of games since 2015. Weeden’s knowledge of O’Brien’s offense and his great relationship with coaches and players within the facility made it logical for him to return to the Texans.
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The biggest issue was his lack of playing time and different playing style than Watson, Weeden was a neutral addition to the Texans on the playing field as Watson started every game in the 2018 regular season. Weeden only saw a single snap against the Miami Dolphins as he knelt down to run out the clock in the second quarter for halftime.
Gaine also signed quarterback Joe Webb III from the Buffalo Bills to a one year deal to compete and fulfill multiple functions within the team. From playing on punt and kickoff units on special teams to lining up at receiver, Webb was the type of versatile player that the Texans covet. Webb wasn’t the ordinary third-string quarterback that was inactive on game days, he was able to earn playing time in his time with the Texans.
Texans overhauled the offensive line letting Chris Clark, Breno Giacomini, Xavier Su’a-Filo leave as free agents, waiving Jeff Allen with an injury settlement, and releasing offensive tackle Derek Newton after rupturing the patellar tendon in both of his knees in 2016. Gaine signed offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson to a one year deal and guards Senio Kelemete and Zach Fulton to long term deals.
All three players were starters once the regular season started but Henderson was out for the year in his first game as a Texan due to a broken ankle. There were growing pains to come as the only returning starter from the season prior was center, Nick Martin. There were miscommunications between the offensive line as they learned to adjust to the tendencies of Watson as a mobile quarterback which led to unnecessary sacks.
Texans ended up leading the NFL in sacks allowed with 62. It is difficult to place all the blame on the offensive line or the quarterback since mistakes were made by both parties.
Despite allowing an insurmountable amount of sacks in their first season together, allowing the offensive line to continue to gel and make a few upgrades moving forward can help the group improve for the 2019 season.