As a diehard Texans fan I know I shouldnt get my hopes up too high because every year it leads to disappointment. Last year I got pretty excited before the season started, with the addition of Gary Kubiak and our amazing draft, and I liked a lot of what I saw on the field as building blocks. This year my hopes couldnt be higher, and we havent even gotten to the draft yet. We made a big splash in free agency, and I expect a big improvement this year because of a year of familiarity with our new coaches and young talent. I wont bash Carr because he's a good guy and there's no sense kicking a man when he's down, but IMO Carr cost us several games. Shaub is an immediate improvement, even if he doesnt turn into the probowler we obviously hope he is. Our running game improved with the addition of Green ... a former probowler who knows the system being added and we retained the rest of the stable (good move to keep Dayne). Leach is a monster and rounds out the rushing attack. We're hurting at wide receiver though ... any opinions on David Anderson seeing more time? IMO he's going to be a fantastic technical slot receiver. We still need a legit #2 though, but with Putz coming back healthy and the emergance of Daniels last season we do have targets. The line's still weak, but if Spencer comes back we're in working shape. Winston is able to take over duties at RT and Weary relatively emerged, but we're still weak on the interior ... I'd like to see a draft pick used here. On defense I think we're only 2 pieces from being a serious unit. Last year we got Weaver and Mario, and I think that Kubiak found out that Babin can be the starter we need when given a real chance. Where we struck gold is with Rick Smith who was able to find young eager talent at the tackle position. We had SEVEN defensive tackles on IR last year, while that doesnt speak well in itsself, we did find a handful of guys who were able to come in and produce at a high level ... Smith & Kubiak will have a ton of competing talent on the D-Line in camp to choose from. One area we need to upgrade (i like an early second day pick here) is at OLB. Ryans is a menace and Greenwood is usually servicable, Barber can compete and hopefully we'll keep Rainer ... but we're still light on talent and athleticism especially in our interior zone defense. As for the secondary, I think we only need a free safety. Faggins IMO is a good zone corner, and I expect to see a lot more of Roc Alexander along with Dunta. A stronger #2 is a legit arguement, but IMO a ballhawk centerfielder will accentuate our current roster's strengths while removing their weaknesses ... I expect a first day pick here. Oops, guess I rambled on the whole team, but with that breakdown and if we can get 1 or 2 starters in the draft (any of O-line, Free Safety, Outside Linebacker), I think we'll have one hell of a team next year and more than just a "contender". I really cant wait for the season to start, I'll for one go into it thinking we've got a chance for rings.