Houston Texans, Kenny Stills parting ways a smart move for both sides

Houston Texans Kenny Stills (12) celebrates with Darren Fells (87) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans Kenny Stills (12) celebrates with Darren Fells (87) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
houston texans
Houston Texans Kenny Stills (12) celebrates with Darren Fells (87) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans made the smart move by releasing Kenny Stills.

Friday saw the end of the nearly two-year relationship between the Houston Texans and Kenny Stills, but it was a move needed to be made for the best of both parties as 12 weeks of the 2020 have been completed.

The Houston Texans are 4-7 overall, have won three of their past four games and won on Thanksgiving, but they needed to move on from Stills, and he needed to move on from the Texans and maybe get a shot to play for a contender for the rest of the season.

Stills has collected just 11 receptions on 19 targets for 144 yards with one touchdown in 2020. Of his 11 receptions, Still had eight of those receptions go for a first down as he averaged 13.1 yards per reception in what was his final season with the Texans.

Also since the start of the 2020 season, Still had zero starts, as that number is down from the five starts he made last season when Will Fuller was injured.

Stills played a total of 23 games with the Texans since being a part of the trade that sent two first-round picks (2020, 2021) and a second-round pick (2021), plus two players to the Miami Dolphins for Laremy Tunsil and a 2020 fourth-round pick, which the Texans later traded.

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This is currently the eighth season for Stills, and in his less than two full seasons with the Texans — he’s previously played for the New Orleans Saints and Dolphins — he caught five touchdowns, along with 51 receptions on 74 targets, for a total of 705 yards.

Stills didn’t have the greatest of numbers, and he wasn’t one of the most important players in team history, but he was a solid player in the time he actually got on the field. He should be getting more playing time than he did in Houston, and wherever Stills decides to sign, he’ll make that team better.

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Now with Kenny Stills no longer on the roster, the Houston Texans need to start playing younger players like Keke Coutee (who is in his third season) and rookie Isaiah Coulter much more during games, and during important moments, to see where they stand for the rest of this season.

Seeing how these players have either progressed from the start of the season like Coutee, who hasn’t been on the active game day roster for much of the season, or Coulter, who hasn’t been active yet for a game this season, is very important from Week 13 to the final game.

Coutee had two receptions on three targets this past Thursday on Thanksgiving. In the previous game on Nov. 22 against the New England Patriots, Coutee had two receptions on four targets for 10 yards, but one of his two receptions was a touchdown.

In just three games played in 2020, Coutee has six receptions for 38 yards, but when thinking of the potential Coutee has, the game that always comes to mind is a playoff game from 2018. Back in 2018, Coutee had 11 receptions on 14 targets for 110 yards and one touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. He totaled six first down receptions and even had a best reception of 20 yards.

It would be nice to see if, given more snaps and opportunity, whether Coutee can take the next step in his career and reach the level where his at least on the active game day roster on a consistent basis.

As for Coulter, it is tough to tell where he’s at in his rookie season as he recently came off the IR list, and not only that, he’s yet to play a snap in the NFL after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Both Coulter and Coutee have potential, and it is now time to see how they mesh with Deshaun Watson as their quarterback on a week-to-week basis, as this is probably a live-action tryout for the 2021 season.

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It will also be a good chance for both Coutee and Coulter to get tape for whomever becomes the next general manager and head coach for the Houston Texans franchise, as the front office still has that important decision to make as well.