In his second season with the Houston Texans, Davis Mills must take the “next step.”
Both Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton spoke highly of second-year quarterback Davis Mills, as it seems he’s going to be the starter for the ’22 season.
Neither one said Mills is going to officially be the starter, but they spoke about his positives and how he needs to improve on some aspects of his game, one of which was consistency, as that part will really help the offense of the Texans in ’22.
Texans OC Pep Hamilton said the following about Mills in a press conference on Monday, as transcripts were provided by the Houston Texans official website:
"“I think that the simple fact that we are talking about Davis as potentially being our starting quarterback, it’s going to be really important that he brings a certain level of consistency every day in the meeting rooms, in the weight room, out on the field with our guys and the strength coaches.”"
Hamilton also went on to speak about how Mills needs to keep working on “understanding NFL defenses” for the ’22 season, as that will help his overall game.
Hamilton has been the coach who has worked the closest with Mills since the now second-year quarterback was drafted in the third round of the ’22 NFL Draft. We all saw in Mills’ rookie season his improvement from his first six starts compared to his final five starts with the small break in the middle.
Texans: Some of Mills’ numbers stand out from ’21 season
When Mills was first forced to be a starter when Tyrod Taylor was injured in Week 2 of the ’21 season, it was obvious he had a lot of learning to do while being “thrown into the fire” so to speak.
The second half of the season was much better for Mills when he became the official starter, and his progression was the main focus for the remainder of the season in ’21.
Mills’ final five starts saw his passing totals be the following:
- 33-49, 331 yards, one TD, zero interceptions
- 19-30, 209 yards, two TDs, one interception
- 21-27, 254 yards, two TDs, zero interceptions
- 21-32, 163 yards, one TD, one interception
- 23-33, 301 yards, three TDs, zero interceptions
He did have some up-and-down moments, but compared to very tough start in his first stint as the starting quarterback with starts in Week 3 through Week 8, his numbers included six touchdowns (three in one game) and seven interceptions (four in one game), so there was a learning curve at that point of the season.
In those first six starts (and part of a game in Week 2), Mills was sacked a total of 20 times, while in the final five starts and part of another game he was sacked 11 times. That’s another part of the consistency which Hamilton was speaking of, as not all of the sacks were the fault of the o-line, and Hamilton even said the following about Mills:
"“As well as continuing to work to understand NFL defenses so that he can go out and play faster and be a better decision maker with the football.”"
So it seems like the improvement Mills needs to make for the Texans and the offense in ’22 isn’t huge, but the improvement needed is very important and could be career-changing for the quarterback.
From how the ’21 season ended, Mills is more than capable of making these improvements, and with Hamilton running the entire offense in ’22, things will improve for Mills in his overall game as there seems to be confidence in the quarterback.
If this improvement happens, the Texans offense will surprise many, especially if they add some players to the unit from the draft, which will help even more for Mills’ progression.