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Super Bowl LV

Childress79

Waterboy
I have been thinking about next season since before the playoffs began. While I was hopeful things would break the Texans way, and they almost did, I had no illusion about the team. Obviously there is the fact that the defense was actually one of the worst in the NFL but compounding that is the fact that the offense showed to be inconsistent from game to game (sometimes quarter to quarter). Essentially, even if the Texans won the Super Bowl this season it wouldn’t have been because they were the best team. I think they are one more good off season away from being a top 4 or 5 team in the NFL and a worthy contender for the Lombardi trophy, here is what I would do if I were tasked with getting them there.

I will break down the offseason into five posts (1. The 2019 season 2. Coaching 3. Free Agency 4. Draft and 5. The 2020 season). This is a message board so obviously I expect discussion but please try and be somewhat productive (there is an entire offseason to burn O’Brien in effigy or to criticize Cletus’ miserly ways or whatever the rant de jour might be). Without further ado:
 

Childress79

Waterboy
  1. The 2019 Season
Winning the division in ’18 resulted in the Texans having the most difficult schedule in the division for 2019. It turns out that the schedule ended up being the 4th most difficult in the entire NFL with the opponents having a .527 winning percentage (for comparison NE:.473 Balt:.496 KC:.520 Tenn:.514 Buf:.48 ). Given that the Texans played a rough schedule I think the season statistics should be pretty illustrative of where they are (ie the Stats should provide a better indication of where the team is than if they had played a weaker schedule like the Pats or Balt).

Offensively the Texans appeared to be a top third offense. The ranked 11 out of 32 in yards and scoring. Interstingly, while they were considerably less pass happy than much of the NFL (20th in attempts) they were quite good when they did pass (6th in completion percentage and 11th in yards per pass). The downside to their passing game was that sacks were still an issue (they gave up 45, 23rd in the league) and interceptions were slightly above league average. Running the ball proved to be improved as the Texans were 11th in rush attempts and 7th in yards per rush. The offense was, across the season, good as they were 8th in yards per play.

The Defense truly lived up to the bend but don’t break adage in 2019. Despite finishing near the bottom in total yards (28th), yards per play (29th), yards per rush (25th), yards per pass (25th) and sacks (25th) they were middle of the road in scoring defense (18th). Losing Clowney, Kareem, Matheiu and Watt for much of the season certainly contributed to the dumpster fire that was the defense but the defense ultimately came up big where it mattered most: allowing the other team to score. If KC’s 51 point explosion doesn’t happen I would probably be content to retool the defense with a few players and run it back next season but I fear that the game has started to pass RAC by and there is a need to shake things up a bit.
 

Childress79

Waterboy
2. Coaching Changes
I am not a Bill O’Brien apologist. I do not think that he is a great coach. I do not like his sometimes abrasive personality. I think he could use being brought down a notch or two (and can’t believe that the past few playoff performances haven’t done that a bit). However, he is obviously a great leader of men and his players play hard for him and back him. I think that O’Brien could use a little bit taken off of his plate and I hope that he will loosen the reigns a bit on the offense as Tim Kelly and Watson gets a little more seasoned. You do not have to have a hall of fame quality coach to get to the Super Bowl. I don’t think John Fox, Jim Caldwell or Lovie Smith are getting enshrined in the hall despite taking their team to the big game. And I don’t think Gary Kubiak, Tom Coughlin or Peter Carrol are singularly responsible for their teams winning the big one.

As for the defense, well something has to give. I think that it is time for RAC to turn the day to day responsibilities over to someone else. I would return to the arrangement in Vrabel’s last season with the team and promote John Pagano to Defensive Coordinator and retain RAC as the Assistant Head Coach. That maintains continuity within the team. I would, however, bring in Kris Richard as the passing game coordinator/DB coach. Richard oversaw a pretty good pass D in Dallas the past few seasons and was integral to the legion of boom in Seattle a few years back. The biggest problem with this plan is that Richard could be viewed as a threat to O’Brien as he has head coach aspirations. But for the sake of this exercise he’d be hired if he doesn’t have a better offer/iron in the fire elsewhere.
 

Childress79

Waterboy
3. Free Agency
Texanscap projects the team to have roughly $56M in cap space for next season. I would increase by almost $20M that by releasing Senio Kelemete, Zach Fulton, and Vernon Hargreaves. I would then look to re-sign the following players:

AJ McCarron: more than adequate backup to Watson

Carlos Hyde: likely his last pro contract I wouldn’t pay any more than $3M

Roderick Johnson: solid spot starter, good swing tackle prospect

Deandre Carter: valuable special teamer whose shown capability as a slot when needed

DJ Reader: The perfect 2 gap 3-4 lineman. Can effectively play DE & NT. Will be expensive, tag?

Brandon Dunn: Quality depth piece along the D-line

Dylan Cole: Liked him more last season but provides good depth at MLB with BM & Cunningham

Jahleel Addae: I like the Reid-Gipson-Addae trio as interchangeable safeties

Phillip Gaines: Good depth at CB, should be brought back at or near the minimum

Jonathan Joseph: Would like him back to mentor the youth we (will) have at CB. Minimum deal

Jon Weeks: Mainstay on special teams

Ka’Imi Fairbairn: After rough start came around and was solid for the most part

I would let Roby, Lamar Miller, Mingo, Fells, Mike Adams, Joe Webb, Taiwan Jones, Tyrell Adams, & Chris Clark go. Each of these guys fall into the category of a) too expensive, b) redundant or c) not going to play. Roby and Fells are tough but I think they will be seeking money we need to use elsewhere. Roby was a smart signing but I want to move in a different direction with the secondary. With Fells I am counting on Jordan Thomas and Kahale Warring being our primary tight ends next season (more on that later).

As far as outside free agents I would focus on the defensive side of the ball given our weakness there:

Shaq Lawson: Former first round pick who was not given a 5th year. Lawson would play Scarletts OLB position opposite Mercilus. Lawson is a solid run defender but also recorded 7.5 sacks this season. Lawson ups the pass rush and also provides the flexibility to move down to DE in passing situations allowing for another rusher to get on the field on those downs.

Trae Waynes: Another former 1st rounder, Waynes has the size and speed that the Texans seem to like now at CB for playing press/man. Would start opposite Conley at CB

The rest of the salary cap money would be used to lock up Tunsil and Watson with extensions and sign players to churn the bottom or the roster during the season.
 

Childress79

Waterboy
4. Draft

I would trade Keke Coutee+ pick 128 (4th round) to Arizona for picks #111 (4th) & 153 (5th). This move provides Kingsbury with a receiver that he is familiar with that is familiar with his system at the cost of less than a 5th round pick. The Texans make the move because Coutee is in the doghouse to begin with and they need players on cheap contracts. That leaves the Texans with the following picks:

57 – Darrell Taylor: Developmental OLB that has talent of a premiere rusher but needs consistency.

90 – Denzel Mims: Potential difference maker who gives some Fuller insurance

108 – Ke’Shaun Vaughn: RB who will split carries with but eventually replace Hyde

111 – Solomon Kindley: 3 year starter at OG in the SEC. Mauler who allows Fulton to be waived

153 – Levonte Taylor: Small CB who will compete with Lonnie Johnson to be starting nickle

171 – Chase Lucas: Depth CB/KR/PR as a rookie

240 – James Smith-Williams: Depth OLB/Jack/Special teamer as a rookie

248 – Javelin Guidry: Dynamo nickle corner/special teams ace a la Charles James

249 – Gage Cervenka: Athleticism/Strength of a blue chip but lacks technique (Mancz replacement?)

UDFA – Tanner Muse: with the Texans connection to Clemson getting him to sign on should be easy
 

Childress79

Waterboy
5. The 2020 Season
Just as O’Brien modified the offense after Watson’s rookie season, I hope that he, Deshaun, Tim Kelly & Carl Smith refine the offense for the 2020 season. I’d like to see more no huddle with 12 and 22 personnel (especially with Akins playing an H-back role). With Hyde serving as the thunder and Duke the lightning, I think Vaughn could eat up some carries and the running game could really serve to shorten the game for the team keeping the defense rested and the opponent out of rhythm. With Hopkins, the Jordan’s and hopefully Warring moving the chains (along with the running game), Stills, Fuller and Mims all stretch the defense vertically giving opponents too much to have to defend and making the Texans’ offense lethal.

On Defense I’d like the secondary to continue to play press man with Conley and Waynes sticking with the #1 and #2 outside WRs, Lonnie Johnson and the safeties covering tight ends and Levonte Taylor taking the slots or speedsters on the opposing team. McKinney/Cunningham and Cole will continue to hold down the middle of the defense at Mike and Will. On the outside, Mercilus starts at Jack with Darrell Taylor getting worked in as the season progresses. At OLB, Lawson starts and moves down to DE in passing situations making way for Jake Martin to rush. Brandon Scarlett returns as depth and special teams. On the line, Watt – Reader - Omenihu start and play on 1st and 2nd downs. In passing situations they rotate Lawson in at DE allowing Martin to rush from OLB.

Special teams has actually stopped being a weakness for the Texans. I would add a ton of speed that would be used on special teams by adding Lucas, Smith-Williams, Guidry, and Muse to what is already in place.
 

RGV82

Random guy
Well the Chiefs used to be the Dallas Texans.
Gotta love the first line on wikipedia:
The Dallas Texans played in the NFL for one season, 1952, with a record of 1–11. The team is considered one of the worst teams in NFL history, both on (lowest franchise winning percentage) and off the field.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Good stuff coach hopefully everything works out this time. The schedule will even tougher next season. We have a lot of major holes to fill. But hey here's to wishing they put it all together.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
It took the Chiefs 6 years to win a Super Bowl. The Chiefs won Super Bowl IV, so they won a Super Bowl pretty fast. Even though it was considered the "AFL vs. NFL" back then, it was still a Super Bowl win nonetheless.
That would be 4 years then, since the game had only existed for 4 years when they won it.

Win Super Bowl IV in the NFLs 50th season.
Win Super Bowl LIV in the NFLs 100th season.
They should be the favorites to win Super Bowl CIV, right? Where can I get a bet down on that?
 

RGV82

Random guy
That would be 4 years then, since the game had only existed for 4 years when they won it.

Win Super Bowl IV in the NFLs 50th season.
Win Super Bowl LIV in the NFLs 100th season.
They should be the favorites to win Super Bowl CIV, right? Where can I get a bet down on that?
4 years in the Super Bowl era, but the Chiefs existed for 2 years prior to the "Super Bowl" and had potential to win the AFL Championship. So a total of 6 years.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
4 years in the Super Bowl era, but the Chiefs existed for 2 years prior to the "Super Bowl" and had potential to win the AFL Championship. So a total of 6 years.
Um, the Chiefs started in 1960 as the Dallas Texans, winning the AFL in ‘62. 1963 they moved to Kansas City. So they were in existence for 10 years when they won Super Bowl IV.
 

RGV82

Random guy
Um, the Chiefs started in 1960 as the Dallas Texans, winning the AFL in ‘62. 1963 they moved to Kansas City. So they were in existence for 10 years when they won Super Bowl IV.
Not worth arguing about. Yes technically they were the Dallas Texans, but I said it took the "Chiefs" 6 years to win, and that is correct. If you count the years they played in a different city with a different name, then its 10. Either way, it is not 4 years as you originally stated.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
Not worth arguing about. Yes technically they were the Dallas Texans, but I said it took the "Chiefs" 6 years to win, and that is correct. If you count the years they played in a different city with a different name, then its 10. Either way, it is not 4 years as you originally stated.
I don’t know why you want to dismiss the years they had a different name but even if you only count the time they were in KC, Super Bowl IV was won in their 7th season. So I don’t know where you’re getting 6 from.
 

RGV82

Random guy
I don’t know why you want to dismiss the years they had a different name but even if you only count the time they were in KC, Super Bowl IV was won in their 7th season. So I don’t know where you’re getting 6 from.
I don’t care to argue with you on technicalities because I just don’t care enough about the Chiefs. My only point was to the original poster who said it took them 50 years to win their first Super Bowl, which it didn’t. That message has been relayed. I’m done with this topic.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
I don’t care to argue with you on technicalities because I just don’t care enough about the Chiefs. My only point was to the original poster who said it took them 50 years to win their first Super Bowl, which it didn’t. That message has been relayed. I’m done with this topic.
I don’t care either. Just get the facts right. That I do care about.
 

FuzzyLogic

Mathematically Possible
Jim Halpert:Question. What kind of bear is best?
Dwight Schrute:That’s a ridiculous question.
Jim Halpert:False. Black bear.
Dwight Schrute:That’s debatable. There are basically two schools of thought–
Jim Halpert:Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Dwight Schrute:Bears do not… What is going on?! What are you doing?!
 

RGV82

Random guy
Jim Halpert:Question. What kind of bear is best?
Dwight Schrute:That’s a ridiculous question.
Jim Halpert:False. Black bear.
Dwight Schrute:That’s debatable. There are basically two schools of thought–
Jim Halpert:Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Dwight Schrute:Bears do not… What is going on?! What are you doing?!
Inside joke? No idea what is happening here. :hankpalm:
 

Norg

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
1. The 2019 season- was ok I guess we failed on the goal tho

2. Coaching- billy mimics the patriots its supposed to be a gameplan offensive thus changing half to half game by game ...but most of the time its morphs into something average LOL

3. Free Agency- we finally have some money all our money is going to our offensive QB WR LT will take up most of the money

4. Draft - I hope obrein can find some hidden gems on defense ….

5. The 2020 season)-we play the NOrth right …. TBO this team can beat anyone and they can lose to anyone ..cept the jags and titans :P
 
I don’t know why and can’t make a compelling argument. It’s going to be a tough season but I’m on board with our chances. We can make the playoffs and from there anything can happen. We’re a middling team with a punchers chance. I’m looking forward to this season.
 


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