Texans Tea: Texans ready for AFC South
Texans prepared to take over AFC South
On the eve of preseason and with the regular season just around the corner, the GZL is up and running and the Texans for one appreciates all the work done by the commishes.
"It is a thankless job, literally like herding 32 cats," commented Texans GM Tim Miller. "I have done it before and you can never please all of the people. Some people want it to go faster, some people want more time, and some people just disappear. I appreciate what Garth has done and what AF is doing."
Then he added with a grin, "Because it is that much closer to us being able to stomp some Titan BUTT!"
Training camp in Houston has been completed and they are definitely looking bigger, faster, and stronger. New playbooks have been tried, new players have been worked into the team, and things are starting to work like a well-oiled machine.
Even the experts agree.
"(Titans GM Tim) Nissen is a bum! Gave him the best VIP dance of his life, told me he was going to the ATM for cash, and he ran out!" commented Judy Baker, aka Trixie from Gold Diggers. "Texans are going to walk all over them!"
"In my opinion, the Texans have the tools, they have the coaching staff, and the have the players," explained CBS commentator Rony Tomo. "I mean, they could get a better QB if they signed me, but they just need to find the discipline and the right playbook, but the definitely improved their team much more than the Titans this offseason."
"We are seeing big money being put down on the Texans winning the AFC South with 10-11 wins," a source from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas confirmed. "At first it was just trickling in, but, once the controversy started, the spigot really opened."
What was that controversy?
Balls, but not deflated footballs like Deflategate. No, we are talking the ones attached to a man's body and it starts at the top.
Titan whistleblowers have confirmed that if they are down at halftime, they all have to strangely change their jockstraps. And that is when the burning begins, along with the smell of Icy Hot.
A former Titans equipment manager says he has text messages from a Phoenix area cell phone with the message "Light them up!" He claims they come from Titans GM Tim Nissen.
Former Titans left guard Andres Crawford thought there was something going on and was incensed. "He is messing with my family jewels man! I mean, yeah, it woke me up, it got me mad, and I took it out on the other team. But those are my jewels!"
Nissen has denied any allegations, but the league has stepped in and disallowed any topical pain relief products in the Titans locker room plus has a special dog now located as the players exit the locker room to check for the existence of any cream being applied.
"Just sad what some people will do to gain an advantage," sighed Miller. "It will be good for all of football when we take him down this year."
This has been Ilika Footlong reporting.
(by T_Miller on 11/06/2017)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 15
Texans Tea: Ready to play!
|Texans ready to play
With preseason set to start next week for the 2023 season, the Texans have been working hard to implement changes as well as integrate new players and rookies. We sit down with Texans GM Tim Miller at one of his favorite locations, a VIP room at Treasures on Westheimer Rd, to talk about training camp, the offseason practices, and the preseason.
Ilika: Tim, thanks for sitting down with us for Texans Tea.
Tim: Sure Ilika. I love talking Texans football. About the only thing I like as much as Texans football is supporting these single mothers here at Treasures.
Ilika: Um, yes, we have noticed, especially when you wrote it into your contract when you accepted the job. Any way, how has the team looked so far?
Tim: Just a moment Ilika, did I show you my new tattoo? Here it is:
Ilika: Um very nice, but I have no idea why you got it there!
Tim: OK, the season! I am excited for the season! I am not sure I have ever been so excited for a season!
Ilika: Really? Why do you say that?
Tim: Well, I loved the team I inherited, I love the free agents we picked up, but I think I love the rookies the most.
Ilika: How is the team gelling?
Tim: Like the jello they use here every Thursday night! The mentors have started mentoring, the rookies have been listening, and the coaches have been able to add things they have not tried in the past.
Ilika: Like what?
Tim: Well I cannot go into specifics but if the teams around the league crowd the box for young (rookie running back Jelani) Temitope, (QB Kendall) Irving will hurt them downfield. And if they try to shut down Irving, heaven help them if they like Temitope build up any steam! The teams in the AFC South will be needing to soak on Mondays from the bumps and bruises they receive. On the defensive side, (CB Nigel) Malone and (CB Micah) Price are tutoring Conley and he is coming along swimmingly. Already faster than what we timed him at the combine, that boy is going to be a difference maker. And the rush being put on by Shante Redman, Joey Bosa, and Akeem Spence is really freeing up our linebacking corp nicely to defend the run or the pass. We have some speedy linebackers!
Ilika: So, do you know who you are playing in preseason yet?
Tim: No, but it doesn't really make a difference to us. We feel like we can get through the preseason injury free and we keep our preseasons pretty vanilla. So we will be playing starters but we will save our game plans for the regular season.
Ilika: We have heard reports of fighting in the camp?
Tim: That is just part of the mentality of losing that we are trying to drive out of Houston. Guys say some wise crack like "Your momma is a Titan lover" or "You're playing like a Titan" or "Your momma is from Nashville!" really gets people's panties in a twist. I like the fire and encourage it, but we cannot let it go too far.
Ilika: Have you come up with any goals for the team?
Tim: Sure. #1 Beat the Titans, #2 Beat the rest of the teams in the AFC South, #3 return to the playoffs. Those are our current goals. These have really united the team, but we still need to win some games to lift morale.
Ilika: OK, thanks Tim. Any last thoughts?
Tim: Can't think of anything right now with Bubbles coming to the stage! See ya!
This has been Ilika Footlong reporting.
(by T_Miller on 10/26/2017)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 21
Texans Tea: Special Training Camp Report
|Texans looking forward to 2023
A recap of 2022
After losing seasons in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Texans fans were ready for something new, like maybe a winning season. Even better, perhaps a return to the playoffs? They could dream couldn't they?
Texans GM Paul Willis felt the same way. A few seasons of going through the motions had not gotten them any closer to the Tennessee Titans, and some of his key players were getting up there in age. He was losing his window and he knew it.
Basically content with his roster, the Texans only made a few preseason moves, basically signing a few players as roster fillers. Willis knew who he could count on and knew what he wanted to do. It was going to come down to Kendall Irving, Trent Richardson, and that awesome offensive line on offense. On defense, he needed Joey Bosa, Nigel Malone, Buddy James, and Blaine Ambrose to get that side of the ball motivated and ready to go.
Willis conferred with his coaches and agreed they they would present a run first attack on offense while running a conservative 4-3 on defense. They hoped both sets of gameplans would have them set up for whatever might be thrown at them.
The Texans came out of the gate ready to play. Their first week saw them traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons and Bo Callahan. While it was not a pretty game, the patient attack of the Texans outlasted the passing attack of the Falcons with the Texans running the ball 35 times compared to the Falcons 11. When the Texans did throw, Irving was masterful, going 20 of 29 with 1 touchdown and, most important, no interceptions. The Texans were happy to leave Atlanta 1-0 after the 16-13 victory.
Week 2 saw the Texans home opener and another NFC South foe in the New Orlean Saints. Another week, another hard fought battle, another close game. Unfortunately the Saints scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter while the Texans could only score a field goal and that ended up being the difference in the game as the Saints won 20-16. Irving was again his conservative self going 13 for 20 with another touchdown and no interceptions. The running game did not fare as well, only gaining 78 yards on 35 carries with a fumble by Trent Richardson. Overall, the offense only gained 196 yards on the day.
Week 3 sent the 1 and 1 Texans to San Diego where they seemed to be looking at the cheerleaders more than the game. They allowed Tyler Wilson to throw for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 9 completions. On offense, Kendall Irving got knocked out and Kiante Green had to finish the game at quarterback. Trent Richardson finally broke a long run of 65 yards and went over 100 yards rushing, but had another fumble. The Texans ended up losing 47-13 after spotting the Chargers a 31-6 halftime lead.
Week 4 found the Texans at 1 and 2 and in third place in the AFC South behind the 3-0 Titans and the 2-1 Colts. They also found themselves having to rely on a backup quarterback since Irving was going to be out for a week or longer. So, they dove into AFC South play by heading up to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.
And something happened. Something finally seemed to click for this Houston team. They beat the Colts to move to 2 and 2 and 1 and 0 in the division. Then came a game in Denver against the Broncos. Again, they came out on a top. Finally home again, they took on the Cincinnati Bengals, who would go on to win the AFC North and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. And another hard fought victory for the Texans. Then the Raiders came to town, and in true shoot-out style, they sent that team back to Oakland even blacker after pasting them 33-23.
The Texans were on a roll! A four game winning streak and sitting at 5-2 and 1-0 in their division! With a huge home game against the Titans coming up. The Titans came in a 6-1 and 3-0 in the division having swept the Colts and barely beating the Jaguars. Could this be the season?!
Sadly no. The Texans were thrashed by the Titans 30-3 and thrashed in all phases of the game. The Titans gained 485 yards compared to the Trent Richardson-less Texans 135 yards. For the game! Kendall Irving had a horrible game going 9 for 25 for 84 yards with 2 picks, 4 sacks and 0 touchdowns. Michael Thomas had 2 drops and Danny Cieszko just was not given the ball enough to get going. The upstarts had been shut down.
After that it was pretty much a lifeless season for the Texans. They managed to defeat the Jaguars the following week to get to 6-3 but three straight losses to the Bills, Panthers, and Buccaneers saw them settle back to 6-6.
There was some hope after they throttled the Chiefs 57-17 and even a little more hope as they beat the hated Titans 27-24 in week 15 to get back to 8-6. But back to back season ending losses to the Jaguars and Colts saw them end the season at 8-8 and out of the playoffs again.
For the season the Texans offense ended up being 21st in scoring, 25th overall, 31st in passing, and 6th in rushing offense. For the season they were only 35% on third down conversions. They only scored 86% of the time they reached the red zone, and less than half of those were touchdowns. They did not do horribly with turnovers with only 18 total between 12 picks and 6 fumbles lost.
The Texans defense was 28th in scoring, 28th in total defense, 31st in passing, and 8th against the rush. Teams scored 92% of the time they reached the red zone against them. They were 17th in the league in sacks and tied for 17th with 24 takeaways.
Despite all this, the Texans did have three representatives in the Pro Bowl: wide receiver Jordan Page, right guard Dallas Thomas, and defensive end Joey Bosa.
Overall, they knew they needed to improve, especially after seeing Tennessee go 13-3 and make it to the AFC Championship game again.
The offseason begins
After enjoying the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl, there was some upheaval in the GZL as multiple general managers just were not sure they were up to another season. One of those was the Texans GM Paul Willis. Willis reportedly went to the Bahamas to take some time off, and ended up tweeting in his resignation letter from a Senor Frogs on a bar napkin. The tweet went viral as the napkin read "F**k off losers! I quit! Keeping my a$$ in the sand!" with an upside down cow head draw crudely on the bottom.
So the Texans began a GM search. The former Redskins and Chiefs GM Tim Miller heard about the opening and threw his hat in the ring for the position. The league basically said "Anyone else? Anyone?", got no responses, and realized they were stuck with Miller as the new GM of the Houston Texans.
Miller came in, tried talking with the players and immediately saw the morale problem. Miller invoked league bylaw 3.14 regarding morale and a new GM, and the GZL intervened with a "morale booster". No one is quite sure what is involved in said "moralel boosters" but a van with the tagline of "Happy Endings" pulled up and out piled a whole team of female masseuses that looked like the Swedish bikini team.
Miller was also looking for money and unfortunately Trent Richardson fell in his sites. Trent's skills had steadily been diminishing over the years and it just got to the point where his contract was too big for his skill set.
The Texans extended an RFA offer to cornerback Marlon Barrett that he accepted after no one else came calling.
The Texans also looked to keep the line intact by putting the franchise tag on extremely talented but very disgruntled center Khaled Holmes. They also resigned outside linebacker Randy Gregory to a new 5 year deal to try and keep the defense intact as well.
To try and prevent more loss, the Texans made match qualifying offers to free safeties Osvaldo Norris and Blaine Ambrose, wide receiver Erich Carey, and cornerback Dre Hall.
The Rams came with deep pockets after Hall. Miller struggled with the decision but ultimately ended up letting Hall go. "We didn't want to go too far in debt knowing what we still had to achieve," mentioned Miller. "If it had been someone in the AFC, especially the AFC South, then we may have been more aggressive. Plus, if we would have known Ambrose's posture, we would have done things differently as well."
No one ended up bidding on Ambrose, Norris, or Carey. However, when they went to make an offer to Ambrose, the Texans learned that no amount of money was going to get him to return. "He was just too far gone," sighed Miller. "Did not think we could right the ship."
Norris and Carey returned to the team.
The Texans were not terribly aggressive in the pre-draft round of free agency, mainly looking to fill the hole left by Ambrose and the need for a kicker. They were happy when veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro answered the call and accepted their offer. On the kicking front, the Texans went hunting for another veteran and ended up landing "the man with the cannon leg" in Triton Janikowski. Janikowski was left unprotected by the 49ers after only hitting 87% of his field goals last season after having hit over 94% the previous 3 seasons. Janikowski also puts over 26% of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
The Texans went into the draft with 1.14, 2.14, 4.14, 5.14, 5.24, 6.14, and 7.14. They came out with the same number but less one 2024 pick.
They had needs obviously at running back, could use a corner replacement for Hall, and openings at center, defensive end, and even punter.
They came out with 7 picks that they feel good about....
The Texans debated on this pick. They had originally targeted a running back for this slot but saw top prospects Joe Mixon and Damon Washington already gone off the board. They were seriously eyeing defensive end Solomon Thomas, but the Saints also snatched him up before the Texans could move. So when it came time to pick, Miller sent in the card for the sure all... a tall, fast cornerback and that is what they got in Ohio State's Gareon Conley. At 6'2" and 210 pounds, Conley has been battled tested in the tough Big 10 and played in the national championship play in games. He has good strength for a corner along with excellent agility, jumping, and toughness. He is fairly aware for a rookie corner although the Texans know they will have to work on his catching and acceleration. Overall, they are very pleased with their pick and he should see the field right away. "We are fortunate to have some mentors for young Gareon so we can keep him at nickel or, as matchups allow, into either the CB1 or CB2 positions," explained Miller. When asked about any concerns about his off the field issues, Miller brushed them aside. "We did our own investigation into the issues to see what the outcome would be. Our legal team assured us that the accusations were not based on anything and he would not be serving any time." Conley was a three time all Big 10 selection and a 2 time all American selection as a Buckeye. He hopes to contribute right away.
The Texans had their corner but they still did not have their running back. As the first round ended and the second began, Miller got anxious (or some say bored) and saw some great prospects still on the board and decided to make a move. Nic St. Marie and the Seahawks came a calling. The Texans paid a huge price in sending their second round pick and their 2024 first round pick to Seattle for the fifth pick in the second round and the Seahawks 2014 4th round pick. But Miller felt it was needed... and he wanted to leave. So it was going to come down to either Texas' own D'Onta Foreman or Clemson's Jelani Temitope. The Eagles made the decision easier by taking Foreman at 2.2 and the Texans gladly took Temitope at 2.5. The 5'10", 250 pound bruiser was one of the strongest running backs in the class while also being considered the best at breaking tackles. "At 5'10" there is just nothing for the defense to hit," commented Miller. "But if they do, they bounce off the 250 pounds fireplug. I cannot wait to see the first cornerback who has to tackle him on a sweep!" Temitope took a while to get into the starting backfield at Clemson, originally slated as a fullback because of his size, but once he got there he stayed. He was an all-ACC selection his sophmore and junior years while helping lead Clemson to a national championship. He decided to leave early and the Texans are the beneficiaries of the move. The Texans may take one of his strengths, his strength, and increase it. They also know they need to work on his catching and ball carrying, but overall, they are very happy with the pick.
Houston did not have a third round pick, and rather than giving up more of the future, they decided to stand pat and see what fell to them in the fourth round. And they are happy that they did as they landed an extremely nice prize in Alabama center Kent Kerrera. The 2nd team SEC offensive lineman stands 6'3" and comes in at 308 pounds. Kerrera was a two year starter at Alabama. The Texans are excited to get him into camp to see if his combine numbers match up with real life. Kerrara is excited to be mentoring under Holmes and is happy to be blocking for Temitope instead of being on the opposing sideline. "We hope he is the heir apparent to Khalid but can spend a season or two learning from him," commented Miller.
The Texans started drafting for need in the fifth round, beginning with punter Salas Major out of the University of Cincinnati. Salas only took up football in his senior year of high school, but was good enough to walk onto the Bearcats and eventually earned a scholarship. While not known for the coffin corner kicks, he possesses decent leg strength that Houston hopes special teams coach Tillman can work on and improve.
Houston filled their defensive end need with the 24th pick in the fifth round. With it, they selected Alphons Miers out of Memphis. Miers stands at 6'5" and 279 pounds and is known for his speed at the combine. His strength, agility and acceleration could improve, but for a fifth round pick, the Texans were happy. Twice voted as the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the week last season, Miers was a definite disruption to the opposing team's passing game. "Game film showed him just getting past the tackle before the tackle knew what had happened," mentioned Miller. "We hope we can capitalize on that."
Round 6 saw the Texans go back to best player available. The Texans were happy to still see safety Jackson Applebee available after initially targeting him as early as the fourth round. "We liked what he showed at the combine for speed and agility," commented Miller. "While he is only 5'11", he comes in at 216 and he has been relatively injury free and tough from having gone through the gauntlet of SEC games for four seasons." The Texans cannot wait to get Applebee into their own training facility to truly get him measured and see how he grades out. "Only problem is that everytime I say his name, I get hungry!" laughed Miller. Again this was not a position of need for the Texans but it is a spot where Applebee could mentor under newly acquired Vaccaro.
The same could be said for the Texans seventh round pick, offensive tackle Liam Cox from Montana. The Texans were in a bit of auto-pilot at this time but ended up with a pleasant surprise in the 22 year old, 6'4", 329 pound lineman. "He is a little raw in his technique and his knowledge of the game," mentioned Miller. "But we have Menelik Watson, who can mentor him for a few seasons, if all the rest of Liam's measurables come out decent." Simply based on their combine numbers, the Texans like Cox's speed and acceleration and toughness. Cox was a two year starter at Montana after transferring there from Blinn County Junior College in Texas where he helped them win a national juco championship.
"Like I said, overall we are very happy with this draft class," mentioned Miller. "We got what we needed at the top, middle, and bottom and we have the talent to let them develop where needed. We just need to get everyone into training camp and get started!"
All the new rookies were offered a contract and showed up for their first minicamps and there were a few surprises...
Fourth round pick Kent Kerrera was faster and stronger than the Texans originally anticipated but he seemed to lose a step of quickness off the line. His pass blocking and run blocking also seemed diminished from their combine levels.
Fifth round pick, punter Salas Major, was a little less aware than his Wonderlic showed and his leg was not quite as strong as advertised. But his kicking accuracy seems to have increased, so the Texans were pleased that they were not going to have to get one from free agency.
The Texans other fifth round pick, defensive end Alphons Miers, had definitely worked out since the combine. He was stronger, more aware, more agile, and had better acceleration than he had shown even during private workouts.
The Texans sixth round pick, Jackson Applebee, was a bit of a disappointment. His speed, strength, awareness, agility, acceleration and catching were all at a lower level than what he had showed during previous workouts. While this does not necessarily doom his future with the Texans, it does not help.
The Texans seventh round pick, offensive tackle Liam Cox, was basically as advertised. While he lost a little agility, he was actually quicker off the line. And his pass blocking dropped when he started playing against real players.
2023 Training Camp and Mentors
Texans GM Tim Miller put an demand on his new team: "You will attend training camp and you WILL do offseason conditioning." And the Texans responded, seemingly happily.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas took to the new regime quite well. He was reported to have been working with the trainer from the Jamaican sprinting team and it seemed to have increased his speed.
Rookie punter Salas Major responded well to Special Teams Coach Tillman's workout plan and regained some of the leg strength that he had lost since the combine. He reported did one legged squat thrusts with multiple sets until the leg was stronger.
Corners Micah Price and rookie Gareon Conley took the simple "Apple a Day" plan to new heights and showed up seemingly less injuy prone.
There were a few positions where the coaches wanted more weight, so the food buffet was open to them. Middle linebacker Carroll Phillips was able to gain 10 pounds but maintain his speed going from 240 pounds to 250.
Rookie Alphons Miers was already a physicial specimen, but added a desired 10 pounds to get his weigh up to 289.
Those apples, plus daily workouts with the American bobsledding team and Herschel Walker, saw rookie corner Gareon Conley increase his speed and acceleration to levels that will really help the team and make it tough to keep him at nickelback.
Second round pick Jelani Temitope worked on his squats but was also able to keep his hips loose. It was reported that he was seen trying out for "So you think you can dance?" and getting some private "after hours" lessons from some of the instructors. Whatever was done seems to have improved his strength and his agility.
Defensive end Alphons Miers did multiple practices off of the line to eventually get them perfect. This really increased his acceleration and will help him down the road.
"One of the benefits of a veteran team, such as what we have," commented Texans GM Tim Miller. "Is their ability to pass on their knowledge. We encourage mentoring and believe it helps the entire team."
Center Khaled Holmes will be expected to mentor the rookie Kent Kerrera to increase his awareness and skills.
Corner Micah Price will teach rookie Gareon Conley and third year player Sampson Wasser, how to watch the quarterback and turn errant throws into interceptions.
Offensive tackle Menelik Watson is expected to work with young Billy Deere and Liam Cox in order to show them the proper ways to protect the quarterback and make new holes for running.
Defensive tackle will work with Kerry Jefferson on his tackling and stopping the runner.
Newly acquired free safety Kenny Vaccaro will have his hands full learning a new defense, but also teaching rookie Jackson Applebee the proper angles to catch and tackle.
Outside linebacker Buddy James will work with Pietro Peace and Chris Ebner to be better linebackers with their tackling and awareness.
"Most of these are players that have been in the league for a while and know what it takes to be a great player," explained Miller. "So the entire team will benefit from that knowledge."
2023 Season and Position Battles
"We have two goals for the season:" explained Miller. "Beat the Titans and make the playoffs, preferrably as AFC South Champs. If nothing else, we will have the Titans 'Remember the Texans'!" Miller almost fell down laughing at that one.
The Texans were able to retain some of their most important assets: most notably their offensive line, their quarterback, and their top receiver. Jelani Temitope will step into the starting role at running back and the Texans expect him to get those tough yards but also run through the arm tackles.
"With Kendall Irving and the line coming back, it gives us a lot of options on the offensive side of the ball," commented Miller. "Kendall can go deep, go short, or knows when to check down and hand off to Jenali."
Trent Richardson will not be easy to replace but this team has been so dedicated to the run for so long, the linemen know their roles, as well as the fullback and tight ends.
There will not be a lot of differences on the defensive side of the ball either. While the loss of Blaine Ambrose and Dre Hall are nothing to sneeze at, the Texans feel like Kenny Vaccaro and the rookie Gareon Conley will more than make up for their loss. In fact, Vaccaro will be able to be a mentor, something that Ambrose was not able to be. And Conley already be at the same speed with better agility and acceleration than Dre Hall plus that all important inch of height with better jumping ability.
The Texans are still not sure whether they will be playing a 3-4 or a 4-3, but the line seems able to play either way. The one area of weakness may be the middle linebackers lack of experience and awareness, but if that can be improved, this defense could be formidable.
The Texans also feel like they improved at least their kickoffs and field goals with the acquisition of Triton Janikowski. Janikowski's big leg will allow more field goals and more touchbacks. Salas Major may have some struggles this season, but he will also improve.
From the rookie aspect, Conley, Temitope, and Major will start immediately. Kerrera will get some time on special teams while Miers may get rotated in on the right end side as he develops.
Overall this should be a team that can improve on 8-8 and they expect to be in the playoffs come December.
"And one last thing," exclaimed Miller. "Titans suck!!!"
This has been Ilika Footlong reporting.
(by T_Miller on 09/29/2017)
Replies - 4 :: Views - 68
Texans Tea: Meet the new GM
Texans welcome Miller
The Houston Texans finally got around to introducing their new GM, Tim Miller, today. Tim sat down with our own Texans beat writer, Ilika Footlong, to talk about the Texans, the Titans, the Oilers, and the AFC South in general.
Ilika Footlong: This is Ilika Footlong here with our first insight into the Texans new GM, Tim Miller. Tim, welcome back to the GZL and welcome to the AFC South!
Tim: Thanks Ilika. Titans suck. It is great to be back in the GZL, such a wonderful well run league. Titans suck. I look forward to dominating the AFC South for years to come. Hashtag Titans suck.
Ilika: Wow! That is quite a bold statement right off the bat!
Tim: Is it, (Titans suck) Ilika? Is it really that far fetched to see a team that has so much talent on offense and so much talent on defense in a division where 9 and 7 can win the division??!! (Titans suck)
Ilika: So is that why you picked the Texans upon your return?
Tim: That and getting to play against Tim "Bridesmaid" Nissen twice a season were quite attractive to me. Another thing that attracted me was how put together this team already was. Paul (former Texans GM) did not leave the cupboard dry.
Tim: Yeah you know... Always a bridesmaid, never a bride?... Oh never mind (titans suck!)
Ilika: And the first thing you do is cut Trent Richardson?
Tim: Well the first thing I did was try to find out why everyone was uphappy and raise morale. And then I cut Richardson. Since then I have been working on getting players with expiring contracts to re-sign and also get started on our draft board. We have decent picks so I am hoping we can put them to good use.
Ilika: Speaking of morale, it still seems as though your team has some issues? Rumors are that free safety Blaine Ambrose would not resign with the team?
Tim: Yeah, even though I put in one way glass to the cheerleaders showers and made Topless Tuesdays mandatory, some of them are just not cheering up. We will just have to do some good old winning.
Ilika: Some say you took this team just to beat the Titans and Tim Nissen?
Tim: Ha! That guy! Listen... Houston had a tradition rich in the NFL with the Oilers and such players as Warren Moon and Earl Campbell. Then some fancy pants like Nissen offered cheap bikini waxes in Nashville and the whole team moved and became the Titans. Well, good riddance! Texas has a great team now!
Ilika: Are you speaking of the Cowboys?
Tim: No! Are you high? I have no idea what Van Wagner is doing in Jerry's world and I don't care. They are not in our division. I am talking about the Houston Texans!
Ilika: So any hints on which way you are leaning in the draft?
Tim: Well, let's see... I let one of our top corners walk, I cut our starting running back, and I could not sign our starting free safety. So... I could throw a dart and hit paydirt!
Ilika: Well that has been enough for today. Thank you for the insight and we are looking forward to this season.
Tim: Thank you Ilika. God bless the Texans! Titans suck! (copyrighted) Hashtag MusicCityMiracleWasAForwardLateral
This has been Ilika Footlong reporting.
(by T_Miller on 09/22/2017)
Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Texans 2020 Training Camp
|Previous Season Recap: (506 words)
Last year I wasn’t in charge of the team, but the team had a losing record, finishing 6-10. The best thing I can do is go back and look at the stats and get a better look at what the game plan was, what was successful, and what wasn’t.
The team lost every divisional game last season, and you can’t expect to go very far without being able to compete against division rivals. We started off the season at a reasonable 4-4, only to win 2 of the next 8 games. This marks only the 3rd time in team history that the Texans have finished below .500, and the 4th year in row missing the playoffs.
The first thing I noticed was the spread between running and passing the ball. We passed the ball for 57.8% of the time, and that was rather surprising. With that much passing, I think it gets the depth guys too many reps, and which leads to some poor offensive play. Quarterback Kendall Irving has the skill to make the plays, but isn’t surrounded with enough talent to get it done consistently. This is the 4th year in a row where he’s seen a QBR in the 70’s. He also threw a career high 17 INTs as well a career low in completion % (50.52). Ruben Randle is the only real WR threat to a defense. He led the team in Receptions (63), and posted another 1k yard season.
In a season where he seen his least amount of action, halfback Trent Richardson posted a career high in YPC, posting 5.33 YPC. It’s hard to believe a guy with this kind of talent ended the season with only 3 rushing touchdowns. Trent wasn’t used nearly as much as much as he should have been, but that’s an error that can be fixed moving forward.
The defense was a huge disappointment last season. They finished the season ranked 20th against the pass and ranked 29th against the run. They tied for being ranked dead last in takeaways last year with a total of 15 (12 Ints and 3 FR). The opponent scored on every red zone attempt except 2. That is just pathetic. Opponents had their way passing the ball against us, posting an average of 88.11 QBR, making the worst quarterbacks look elite.
The problem with last season wasn’t just the offense or the defensive but a mixture of both including depth. Being unbalanced on offense led to a low time of possession, and not many scoring opportunities. The defense wasn’t suited to be on the field that much, having only 4 CBs. I think that lead to some poor pass defense which is clearly noticeable just by looking over the team stats from last season.
With the addition of new players and staff, look forward to the adjustments coming in 2020. There are a bunch of high paid players on the team that need to go and this training camp features plenty of positon battles to keep an eye on.
Offseason Recap: (1009 words)
Midway through the offseason, the Houston Texans elected it was time to see a new face in charge. I didn’t have a chance to do pre-draft match-eligible free agency. Regardless, most of the players were probably going out the door anyway. Here’s a look the players we lost this off season
LT Sam Baker (Now a brown) – At the age of 35 and jumping into regression, there was no need to keep him around. He’s still a good player, but we had a combination of 4 1st and 2nd round picks. It was a good time to get young and save some money in the process.
LE Cornelius Washington (Also a brown) – This is a guy we will miss, but pre-draft free agent matches were already being bid on, so couldn’t do much to keep him here without him hitting UFA.
SS Mariano Mcgehee – He’s a good player, but age is beginning to catch up to him as well.
RE Marcus Cleveland - This guy shouldn’t be seeing the field unless the special teams unit is out there. He probably won’t be getting a phone call to play for another team anytime soon.
QB Mark Steele - Looks like he was just signed because of injury because this is not some guy you want to see out on the field. Good riddance.
QB Terence Bennett (Via Cut) – He’s a good quarterback. His morale was getting low because he’s good enough to be a starter, and he was getting paid to be a starter. I wanted to get rid of him and look for a young and cheap QB to play behind starter Kendall Irving.
DT Devon Still – I elected to trade him to the Titans for him + 5th for a 3rd. He’s a solid a good player who was on the last year of his contract, and after doing some digging I noticed a 4th DT didn’t get much use. I didn’t notice this until I received a message asking if he was still available, and that was after the draft. Since he was on his last year and I just drafted Cyrus Youssefi, he was expendable.
1.11 LE Joey Bosa - 6’6” 278lbs (Ohio State) – I was really happy to see Joey slide all the way to 11. I was watching some of the college game the night before, and he really played well. I know you can’t completely judge it from that, but he showed promise. He will be a stud, and I’m excited to see him wreak havoc on the field. There are only 10 players with an 80SPD/80STR/75AGI/80ACC combo in the league.
1.24 LT Abraham Pearl – 6’6” 340lbs (Kentucky) – He’s one of 16 players to possess a 60SPD/94STR/60AGI/75ACC and he weighs more than any of them going into his rookie year. He’s a great player to come in and fill the need that opened with the departure of Sam Baker. I really wanted LT Jack Conklin at 1.11, but I was more than happy to see Abraham still sitting there at 1.24.
2.11 SS Jalen Ramsey – 6’1” 204 lbs. (Florida State) – I like my defensive backs to be over 6FT/90SPD/90ACC. Ramsey has that and will sit behind Earnest McBride in his final year under contract. He will be molded into the starter over the next season or 2.
2.24 DT Cyrus Youssefi - 6’3” 318lbs (TCU) – He’s what you see in a typical DT. A little weaker than I would like, but I think having high awareness for a rookie will elevate his game. He was the 6th DT picked in the draft. He had a solid performance in the College game leading up to the draft. Overall, I was pretty happy with picking him up. I was running out of options that I thought were worthy of 2nd round talent, and my next pick wasn’t until the 5th round.
5.11 CB Marlon Barrett 6’0” 176lbs (Oregon State) – I like many of the cornerbacks currently on roster, but I don’t like the idea of only having 4. I simply picked Barret because he was over that 6ft mark and wanted to get some depth. I was hoping he would get a good skew, but that was a disaster. He got -2SPD/2STR/-1ACC/1CTH/-2TAK. Dropping under 90SPD and 90ACC was tough, and could hurt his chances going forward.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good draft. I missed out on some of the players I really wanted, but I was still pretty pleased with the players I ended up with. I think I got good value out of the spots I had, and didn’t reach for anyone.
Free Agent Acquisitions:
QB Charles Romberg – The fourth year pro isn’t exactly a jaw dropping acquisition, but he serves his purpose. Many of the young Quarterbacks I was looking at were scramblers, and I wasn’t interested in picking on of them up. Many of the younger QBs all had pretty bad AWR, so I went with Romberg because of his 89 THA. I know 88 THP is weak, but he doesn’t need an arm to play back up. If Irving goes down for an extended period of game, I would probably look to pick up a better QB.
RE Marco Baker – Picked up to back up Christian Ballard. He runs close to the 80SPD/80STR/80ACC I like to see in my defensive ends. I think he will be fine, but he’s only on a 4 year cheap bonus deal should he struggle in his role.
TE Asanti Bragg – Former Jets player who didn’t see much playing time. He’s going to be 3rd in depth. He was picked up for his blocking skills. I plan on getting back to a more balanced attack next year, so I think having an extra TE will pay off.
WR Mike Williams – Renting Williams for a year to give Irving another good target to throw to. He’s a veteran who just had a 1000 yard season. This should help the passing game. Having Ruben on one side and Williams on the other.
Training Camp: USE GZQ
LE Joey Bosa - +1 SPD (1st boost), +1 ACC (1st Boost)
CB Micah Price - +1 SPD(3rd boost), +1 ACC (2nd boost)
LT Abraham Pearl - +1 SPD (1st boost)
Season Prediction: USE GZQ
(by S_Goodman on 01/06/2016)
Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
At A Glance
||at Lions #1
||at Colts #22
||at Broncos #30
||vs Colts #22
||at Titans #9
||at Browns #14
||vs Bengals #20
||vs Ravens #8
||at Jaguars #32
||vs Vikings #2
||at Steelers #27
||vs Titans #9
||at Packers #5
||vs Bills #15
||vs Jaguars #32
||vs Bears #25