The Houston Texans are one day away from the start of training camp and that means they have a lot of work ahead of them in the ensuing weeks, especially the offensive line.
It is tough to tell exactly where the Houston Texans stand going into training camp on Thursday as many changes have been made this offseason, some on the field and even a big change in the front office.
The changes on the field will begin to take affect this week as position battles will start at nearly every position on the field. Some of the more interesting battles being on the offensive line as no starting spot or reserve spot should be set in stone.
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But everything seems to keep coming back to the offensive line when it pertains to the Texans entering camp.
"“Kalil, who missed last season at Carolina with a knee injury, spent the offseason rehabbing. If he’s ready to go after missing two of the last three seasons, he’ll compete against returning starter Julién Davenport and first-round pick Tytus Howard.”"
This is a battle worth paying the price of admission for because the Texans need improvement at both tackle spots in comparison to last season. Houston needs to make sure they make the correct decision here because it could be the difference between the Texans finishing with 10-plus wins or having a losing record and missing the playoffs. It is no secret the AFC South is better than it was a year ago, so that means the Texans o-line needs to be better too.
More Texans headlines before camp include:
• Pro Football Focus previewed all 32 teams before the start of training camp, and here is what their staff report said about the Texans:
"“It seemed the Texans had ignored their most glaring issue during free agency. That wasn’t the case in the 2019 NFL Draft. Houston selected linemen Tytus Howard and Max Scharping with their first two picks, respectively, in an attempt to stanch the seemingly endless bleeding on the offensive line.”"
Again, the success of this season — or at least a lot of it — comes down to how the Texans offensive line rebounds from their poor play as a unit last season. Even with the poor play, Houston was able to have success and reach the playoffs with 11 wins. Imagine how much more success the team could have if the offensive line plays better and keep pressure off Deshaun Watson in 2019. It is going to take a lot of work by the unit, but it ca be done.
• Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com also wrote about the Texans offensive line and the unit protecting Watson better this season as we all know he was sacked 62 times in the regular season and three times in the playoff loss. Barshop wrote the following on Watson’s protection:
"“Watson also ranked third-slowest among qualified passers in the time it took him to get rid of the ball. Watson needs to find the balance between using his mobility to extend plays — part of what makes him a special talent — and holding on to the ball too long.”"
This is true, and to be honest, this is the season that Watson will improve on this. Remember 2018 was his first full season on the field for an entire regular season schedule after recovering from his ACL tear suffered his rookie year, so this is a pivotal season for Watson.
There is no doubt Watson will show that he’s a more improved quarterback than he was a season ago when it come to releasing the football in a proper amount of time. If that happens, that will also make the offensive line better too.