Remember last year when the NFL canceled the preseason and the Houston Texans didn’t get a chance to see what their team had against an opponent? Though preseason games aren’t the most exciting to watch, they can be quite educational, especially when it comes to free agents and rookies joining the franchise.
Though last year is hopefully way back in the rearview mirror, never to be seen again, it has brought up some thoughts which never really came to the surface before, and that is preseason games are needed even if they aren’t that exciting.
This year for the Houston Texans, has there been a more important year for preseason games than the one that’s starting this weekend against the Green Bay Packers?
It can be screamed to the mountain tops that the 2021 NFL preseason slate of games for the Texans is the most important preseason in franchise history, and that includes the very first one back in 2002.
Why is this preseason so important for the Texans? One of the usual reasons is to get rookies onto the field, which that’s a very important reason as we all saw what happened to the Texans’ rookies a year ago.
Another important reason that the ’21 preseason is so important for the Texans is they have a new coaching staff and general manager, and not only are they new in their roles with the Texans, but David Culley is a first-time head coach, and Nick Caserio is GM in the first season in which he’s had the top title beside his name.
There is also the fact the Texans are completely switching defenses by going to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defense and not the 3-4 look they’ve been accustomed to, as longtime coach Lovie Smith has joined the coaching staff.
Houston Texans: Need to use preseason to learn more about this team
Though the Texans aren’t being predicted to win many games, there is still excitement with all the change in the franchise. Since last season, some favorite players are no longer with the franchise – or they are at practices only to not be fined – so it won’t be more of the same when it comes to seeing this roster underachieve as they did last season, and two years ago when they blew the 20-plus point lead in the playoffs.
If you are tired of the Deshaun Watson saga, the start of the preseason is what could cure what ails you. There is the fact that none of us have seen Tyrod Taylor complete a pass during in-game action as a member of the Texans, and the battle at running back will be fun and worth watching to see who stays and where the players end up on the depth chart.
How the starting five of the offensive line turns out is a big part of this preseason, and that draws a lot of interest, because their success will affect the success of the rest of the offense because the worst thing that could happen is having Taylor under a lot of pressure in his first season in Tim Kelly’s offense. Don’t forget about the wide receivers, because there has been a good amount of change with that unit as well.
Another important part of this preseason is seeing how the defense plays for the first time without J.J. Watt as a member of the team, and finding out who will step up and be the leader of the unit.
There is a lot to watch for, and it is exciting to finally have something to look forward to other than if Deshaun Watson is practicing or being traded.
Though the games don’t count in the standings, they are some of the first steps in the Houston Texans’ rebuild, and many decisions will be made by Culley, Caserio and others in charge and on the coaching staff that will affect the franchise for years to come.