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Texans Biggest Blunder?

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
It was a mistake, but a mistake made with the best intentions. Field Turf was still very new and unproven. The Seahawks had played on it for a couple of years at UW Husky Field while waiting on their new stadium. The Seahawks were going with grass but switched to Field Turf for 2002.

The Rodeo had to have the field removed, so a permanent grass field wasn't going to work. So, that's why they went with removable grass pallets. I understand the plan and the goal. It was the execution. Good Intentions and Poor Execution. That could be the title of a book about the Texans first 20 seasons .
I remember a poster here that said the grass pallets were safe. Funny how after the Hartman lawsuit got settled the grass went away. Cost us getting to see the best of Clowney.

LMAO
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
So with all this stuff you just stated, do you think Jimmy G would’ve made this team a true contender?


The special teams play has been very inconsistent over O’Brien tenure her as well.

Nothing has clicked together at the same time for this team as well as so many other teams

Will this be the year, I highly doubt it. So you’re right, we are not contenders.
I do believe that things would have been different with Jimmy G in the Hoyer/Is yrs.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I think it's more accurate to say that DW4 has gotten the best best of OB and it's been a downhill slide the more OB has been able to influence DW4. OB has taken Michael Jordan and turned him into Sam Bowie.
Micheal Jordan

LMAO
 

Earl34

Veteran
I do believe that things would have been different with Jimmy G in the Hoyer/Is yrs.
You have more faith in Jimmy G than many 49ers fans. In fact, you might have more trust in him than his own HC.

"The 49ers attempted the fourth-fewest passing attempts (478) last season while running the ball the second-most (498) of any team in the league."
"Earning Shanahan's trust in big situations is something Garoppolo must improve in, according to former 49ers quarterback Steve Young."

https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/steve-young-believes-jimmy-garoppolo-must-earn-kyle-shanahans-trust
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
You have more faith in Jimmy G than many 49ers fans. In fact, you might have more trust in him than his own HC.

"The 49ers attempted the fourth-fewest passing attempts (478) last season while running the ball the second-most (498) of any team in the league."
"Earning Shanahan's trust in big situations is something Garoppolo must improve in, according to former 49ers quarterback Steve Young."

https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/steve-young-believes-jimmy-garoppolo-must-earn-kyle-shanahans-trust
I’m really trying to understand his logic here or his love for Jimmy G. Let me go back and watch some of his college games to see if his skill set would’ve propelled us to contender status.
 

Lucky

Moderator
Staff member
I’m really trying to understand his logic here or his love for Jimmy G.
I will say that Garopollo would have been a much better pick than X-Files, who was taken with the initial pick in the 2nd. That was a megabust.

If you look back to that 2014 draft, DeMarcus Lawrence would have been the best player available at #33. But they had just taken Clowney the day before, so that wouldn't have made sense. The best QB available was Derek Carr, and that was a no go in Houston. Just a bad spot to be drafting at the time.
 
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steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
How would they have known, one way or another? I remember a poster that said the Texans should have drafted Blake Bortles. Posters have the privilege to be wrong, and often exercise that right.
But your buddy was obnoxious about it.

Glad to see you realize he was wrong.
 

Mollywhopper

Facilitator
Staff member
I’m really trying to understand his logic here or his love for Jimmy G. Let me go back and watch some of his college games to see if his skill set would’ve propelled us to contender status.
Garoppolo is one area I happen to agree with steel about. Not so far as to prefer him over DW, but I was rooting for us to take him in 2014 and besides being completely happy with Deshaun I haven't seen anything to make me feel different about wanting to pick him back then.
 

OptimisticTexan

Go Texans!!!
And you really believe Watson has turned this team into a true contender ?

I don't .... and that's no knock on Watson but on the organization as a whole and the nature of the sport.

Inept coach.
Cluster <insert 4 letter word here> offense
Pathetic secondary
Weak pass rush
Who's playing the nose ?
Can anyone cover a TE ?
How many 1st round picks invested in an OL that can't seem to do anything right ?!

Best part of this team has been its special teams .... and they really haven't been special.

Nope - Not a contender.
I would correlate Watson's position to that of Steve Young's. Watson has the talent to be an integral piece to a championship quality team provided the Texans can assemble the rest of the championship quality pieces....to include coaching and front office.

Steve Young had all the potential when he arrived to Tampa Bay but they just didn't have the pieces around him, coaching was bad, and the FO was equivalent to the Texans mess. If Young had remained with TB....he might've ended up like Testaverde, claiming he was color blind. But the NFL smiled down on Young and he got shipped to San Francisco. In SF, Young and the 49'ers got to see his true abilities to not only lead but his ability to become a championship contender and SB winner as well. He maintained and carried their winning tradition well.

The Texans have failed overall.....I just want this organization to figure out their shortcomings before Watson leads another NFL team to a SB instead of the Texans.
 
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Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Quite a few of those games we won because of luck and boneheaded mistakes by the opposing coaches. Fools gold is what we call it.
Ehh, you can't explain it away just due to that. Lady Luck is a floozie with ADD; that is to say every team gets a turn to get to hook up with her each season & she usually loses interest in your team quickly and floats on to the next one for a hook up.

How many times under Kubiak did we watch the Texans fold up like a wallet when we got behind and/or couldn't get it going by the end of the 2nd quarter? This is never the case with BoB teams. We may lose the game, but they never quit. Folks screaming about identity and that season was the epitome of what our identity has been under him...which is to fight until the last second ticks off the clock...

That's why we can still make the playoffs with absolute trash under center.
That's why we can still make the playoffs with a putrid o-line.
& that's why we can still win games with questionable coaching decisions.

This is why he wants a team full of guys who put team before everything..
 

Earl34

Veteran
I will say that Garopollo would have been a much better pick than X-Files, who was taken with the initial pick in the 2nd. That was a megabust.

If you look back to that 2014 draft, DeMarcus Lawrence would have been the best player available at #33. But they had just taken Clowney the day before, so that wouldn't have made sense. The best QB available was Derek Carr, and that was a no go in Houston. Just a bad spot to be drafting at the time.
Also, if you look at the 2014 draft profiles, teams, draft experts and others were not sold on Garopollo. They had him going in the 3rd round or lower. He was fortunate to be drafted by the Patriots and sit behind Brady and learn then gets traded to the 49ers and one of the best offensive minds in the NFL.

Can anyone find a draft profile stating Garoppollo was a 1st or 2nd rounder? There was no reason to move up for him. Like I said, if he was sitting at #65 and the Texans passed on him, we can call it a blunder. It was an unexpected move by the Patriots, so I will give them a pass on this one.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Also, if you look at the 2014 draft profiles, teams, draft experts and others were not sold on Garopollo. They had him going in the 3rd round or lower. He was fortunate to be drafted by the Patriots and sit behind Brady and learn then gets traded to the 49ers and one of the best offensive minds in the NFL.

Can anyone find a draft profile stating Garoppollo was a 1st or 2nd rounder? There was no reason to move up for him. Like I said, if he was sitting at #65 and the Texans passed on him, we can call it a blunder. It was an unexpected move by the Patriots, so I will give them a pass on this one.
Of course you will.

I was preaching about trading back into the bottom of the 1st for Jimmy G at the time. Oh well, water under the bridge.

Newman is my guy for a mid/late 1st rd guy this yr. I actually like him almost as much as Fields who I have as my #1 QB and Lawrence. I cant wait to see what Newman does playing with a more talented Georgia squad.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Ehh, you can't explain it away just due to that. Lady Luck is a floozie with ADD; that is to say every team gets a turn to get to hook up with her each season & she usually loses interest in your team quickly and floats on to the next one for a hook up.

How many times under Kubiak did we watch the Texans fold up like a wallet when we got behind and/or couldn't get it going by the end of the 2nd quarter? This is never the case with BoB teams. We may lose the game, but they never quit. Folks screaming about identity and that season was the epitome of what our identity has been under him...which is to fight until the last second ticks off the clock...

That's why we can still make the playoffs with absolute trash under center.
That's why we can still make the playoffs with a putrid o-line.
& that's why we can still win games with questionable coaching decisions.

This is why he wants a team full of guys who put team before everything..

Dude that’s part of the game. Some will be won by luck, some by coaching mistakes and several other facets.


We have seen just as many with this regime as well. Toss in the lethargic starts to darn near every game. This team does not have an identity and they have quit in several games. You don’t think this team quit against the Chiefs. But by your logic here Kubiak team didn’t quit either. They were in most of those games when we went 2-14. But since they had a terrible season and AJ lost his cool, so many people thinks they quit on the team. Back to this regime, against the Ravens we gave up and stopped fighting. Kubiak’s team had some of these type of games. Shoots every team has experienced this Tex.


We’re making the playoffs because we are playing in one of the weakest division in football most of the time. During those 9-7 seasons especially, can’t nobody say this was a very strong division. Better yet even last season we should’ve been the only team to rep our division in the playoffs.

Division titles are all gravy and I’m proud of this team for that achievement. But we have to take the next step.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Garoppolo is one area I happen to agree with steel about. Not so far as to prefer him over DW, but I was rooting for us to take him in 2014 and besides being completely happy with Deshaun I haven't seen anything to make me feel different about wanting to pick him back then.

I was pulling for us to draft him as well. But ole Beli and Co jumped us in the draft to get him. I also wanted Carr. But that’s water under the bridge. My thing is we would’ve been that much better and I don’t think he would’ve started over Hoyer that season.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Dude that’s part of the game. Some will be won by luck, some by coaching mistakes and several other facets.


We have seen just as many with this regime as well. Toss in the lethargic starts to darn near every game. This team does not have an identity and they have quit in several games. You don’t think this team quit against the Chiefs. But by your logic here Kubiak team didn’t quit either. They were in most of those games when we went 2-14. But since they had a terrible season and AJ lost his cool, so many people thinks they quit on the team. Back to this regime, against the Ravens we gave up and stopped fighting. Kubiak’s team had some of these type of games. Shoots every team has experienced this Tex.


We’re making the playoffs because we are playing in one of the weakest division in football most of the time. During those 9-7 seasons especially, can’t nobody say this was a very strong division. Better yet even last season we should’ve been the only team to rep our division in the playoffs.

Division titles are all gravy and I’m proud of this team for that achievement. But we have to take the next step.
I keep hearing this "weakest division in football" thing, but it doesn't hold water. As has been said on this forum multiple times to criticize BoB, every team in our division except us has made it to the AFCCG at least once in the last 4 years.

& they didn't quit against the Chiefs, they just couldn't do anything defensively to stop them once the Chiefs got rolling....& need i remind you that that same Chiefs team did the exact same thing to 2 other teams after us to win the SB. That's just running into a buzzsaw & is very different from our great "Bulls on Parade" defense in 2011 laying an egg on primetime vs a Colts team with Dan friggin Orlovsky as their starting qb.....or that same "great" defense in 2012 getting obliterated by Aaron Rodgers & the packers...another primetime disaster...That routinely happened under Kubiak, hence all those juuuussssstttt missed the playoffs 8-8, 9-7 teams under him. In fact, you could say that getting raped in primetime was somewhat of a specialty under Kubiak & we never seemed to show up, win......or in alot of cases just compete when we needed to...& it didn't matter the caliber of team we faced either.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
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Dude that’s part of the game. Some will be won by luck, some by coaching mistakes and several other facets.


We have seen just as many with this regime as well. Toss in the lethargic starts to darn near every game. This team does not have an identity and they have quit in several games. You don’t think this team quit against the Chiefs. But by your logic here Kubiak team didn’t quit either. They were in most of those games when we went 2-14. But since they had a terrible season and AJ lost his cool, so many people thinks they quit on the team. Back to this regime, against the Ravens we gave up and stopped fighting. Kubiak’s team had some of these type of games. Shoots every team has experienced this Tex.


We’re making the playoffs because we are playing in one of the weakest division in football most of the time. During those 9-7 seasons especially, can’t nobody say this was a very strong division. Better yet even last season we should’ve been the only team to rep our division in the playoffs.

Division titles are all gravy and I’m proud of this team for that achievement. But we have to take the next step.
Weakest divisions in football?

Who was playing in the AFCCG?

BTW, I expect the Colts to rebound and the Texans have been playing a 1st place schedule.

Come on man

I can see this thread had devolved into the SOS.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
You have more faith in Jimmy G than many 49ers fans. In fact, you might have more trust in him than his own HC.

"The 49ers attempted the fourth-fewest passing attempts (478) last season while running the ball the second-most (498) of any team in the league."
"Earning Shanahan's trust in big situations is something Garoppolo must improve in, according to former 49ers quarterback Steve Young."

https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/steve-young-believes-jimmy-garoppolo-must-earn-kyle-shanahans-trust
Meh .... They did what they were good at. Stop us!. No need to put the ball in the air when you are grinding out a new set of downs on the ground.

Earning Shanny's trust .... that's clickbait by Young. What other options does he have when the team needs a chunk of yards ?! And running the rock is their identity.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Weakest divisions in football?

Who was playing in the AFCCG?

BTW, I expect the Colts to rebound and the Texans have been playing a 1st place schedule.

Come on man

I can see this thread had devolved into the SOS.
This division was good only one year and that was back in 2018.

11-5, 10-6, 9-7, 5-11

The other years were meh to terrible

11-5, 9-7, 3-13, 2-14
9-7, 8-8, 5-11, 3-13
9-7, 9-7, 8-8, 3-13 meh
10-6, 9-7, 4-12, 4-12

Last season:
10-6, 9-7, 7-9, 6-10 meh

All because our rivals went deep into the playoffs doesn’t mean this division is top notch.

I will say this wasn’t a blunder on O’Briens behalf because he’s managed to capitalize on this weak division for years.
 
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steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
This division was good only one year and that was back in 2018.

11-5, 10-6, 9-7, 5-11

The other years were meh to terrible

11-5, 9-7, 3-13, 2-14
9-7, 8-8, 5-11, 3-13
9-7, 9-7, 8-8, 3-13 meh
10-6, 9-7, 4-12, 4-12

Last season:
10-6, 9-7, 7-9, 6-10 meh

All because we our those rivals went deep into the playoffs doesn’t mean this division is top notch.

I will say this wasn’t a blunder on O’Briens behalf because he’s managed to capitalize on this weak division for years.
So one team making the final 4 in the AFC and another making the AFCCG is a weak division?

I guess we have different definitions of week. For instance, the Pats have played in a weak division for yrs. The NFC East was weak last yr.
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
Up 16-0 at the end of the 2nd quarter. On the Texans 1 yard line, 2nd & 14, Kubiak calls a QB sneak. Kubiak is clearly just trying to create some room for the punter, so he calls a QB sneak.

We all know what happens. Haynesworth breaks his foot and Schaub is out for the season. Texans finish the remainder of the season 3-3 and barely lose to the Ravens in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

With a healthy Schaub, Texans most likely make the AFCCG w/ a shot at making it to the SB. Alot of former Texans players agree, that was the season they felt they had the best shot at a SB.

Not even mentioning, this play probably led to the downfall of Matt Schaub.

The QB sneak call was the biggest Texans Blunder of all time!
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Up 16-0 at the end of the 2nd quarter. On the Texans 1 yard line, 2nd & 14, Kubiak calls a QB sneak. Kubiak is clearly just trying to create some room for the punter, so he calls a QB sneak.

We all know what happens. Haynesworth breaks his foot and Schaub is out for the season. Texans finish the remainder of the season 3-3 and barely lose to the Ravens in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

With a healthy Schaub, Texans most likely make the AFCCG w/ a shot at making it to the SB. Alot of former Texans players agree, that was the season they felt they had the best shot at a SB.

Not even mentioning, this play probably led to the downfall of Matt Schaub.

The QB sneak call was the biggest Texans Blunder of all time!
Bad luck, has this ever happened to another QB?
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
So one team making the final 4 in the AFC and another making the AFCCG is a weak division?

I guess we have different definitions of week. For instance, the Pats have played in a weak division for yrs. The NFC East was weak last yr.
That’s why I said one of the weakest. Yes that division has been week. But that division has also been one of the strongest as well.
 

Earl34

Veteran
Meh .... They did what they were good at. Stop us!. No need to put the ball in the air when you are grinding out a new set of downs on the ground.

Earning Shanny's trust .... that's clickbait by Young. What other options does he have when the team needs a chunk of yards ?! And running the rock is their identity.
That's my point. Running the rock is their identity. Not Jimmy G slinging around the yard with anticipation. Does anyone think Watson and Texans can win a regular season far less a playoff game with him throwing for 69 yards?

Fair or not. At this point, Garoppolo is a game manager and is not being asked to carry the load like some of the other young QBs around the league.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
That's my point. Running the rock is their identity. Not Jimmy G slinging around the yard with anticipation. Does anyone think Watson and Texans can win a regular season far less a playoff game with him throwing for 69 yards?

Fair or not. At this point, Garoppolo is a game manager and is not being asked to carry the load like some of the other young QBs around the league.

Defense is apart of their identity as well. They have built a very physical team.
 

OptimisticTexan

Go Texans!!!
At the time, the word was Smith wanted to trade out of the #1 overall... but there were no takers.
That's when the flags should've started waving like crazy. No other GM wanted this guy at the #1 pick....so why did the Texans feel compelled to draft him? His best and most dominant season with the Texans.....when Watt went down and he took over at DE.....HIS NATURAL POSITION!!!! After that season, it made no sense to me that the team didn't either move to a 4-3 alignment to make Clowney a DE or just move him to DE in the 3-4 and draft/sign FA OLB. I feel to this day, the Texans had the better defensive personnel to run a traditional 4-3 alignment.
 
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KoolAid Sipper

Waterboy
Nope - Not a contender.
I think this has been the case since the inception. I think the biggest blunder is not having a cohesive football operation. There has always been something with this team that leaves a doubt with a major function. Either it's suspect coaching (HC/offense/defense), a weak roster (talent wise) or failure to develop/keep a nucleus of talent, lack of leadership from management to set the tone for winning, etc. The culture just seems off. As a fan, we always want the best for the team and every year that excitement carries us through but it just seems like Lucy pulls that football back every time.
 

Earl34

Veteran
I think this has been the case since the inception. I think the biggest blunder is not having a cohesive football operation. There has always been something with this team that leaves a doubt with a major function. Either it's suspect coaching (HC/offense/defense), a weak roster (talent wise) or failure to develop/keep a nucleus of talent, lack of leadership from management to set the tone for winning, etc. The culture just seems off. As a fan, we always want the best for the team and every year that excitement carries us through but it just seems like Lucy pulls that football back every time.
Good point. Maybe the blunder is when McNair was thinking of his football operation, he should have spent more time talking to the Steelers and Rooneys and less time with Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft.
 

zshawn10

All Pro

How the Texans move forward without DeAndre Hopkins will largely define Bill O’Brien’s tenure as the franchise’s general manager. It’ll also serve as a case study for the rest of the league.

Sure, most head coaches don’t double as GMs and have rocky relationships with star receivers. And many teams have more draft capital than the Texans, who are lacking in that area after trading for left tackle Laremy Tunsil. But at the heart of the Hopkins deal, there was a complicated question that others will face as the quarterback market keeps rising and a pass-happy college game develops tons of talented receivers.

When a team has an elite and soon-to-be expensive QB who is supposed to elevate those around him, is it worth also investing in a top-of-the-market wideout?

Despite the unfavorable reputation O’Brien has developed as a general manager, football experts from various backgrounds — scouting, analytics and salary cap-focused — say there’s reason to believe the answer is no.

The value the Texans got back in the Hopkins trade remains underwhelming, but in a vacuum, at least, perhaps O’Brien has a point. Maybe an elite quarterback such as Watson can narrow the gap between a top-end receiver and Houston’s assortment of new weapons, allowing the team to spread out its resources.

"The Texans are making the gamble that some of Hopkins’ greatness is because of Watson, and some of (Brandin) Cooks’ lack of being great is Jared Goff," Pro Football Focus data scientist Eric Eager said. "So maybe Watson can squeeze those (receivers’) values together. I’m a big believer in Watson, so that’s not a terrible hypothesis."

According to league sources, Hopkins seeks a new deal worth at least $20 million annually. Becoming the highest-paid player at his position requires securing more than the $22 million per year that Julio Jones got with his latest extension. If there’s one receiver Eager would give that money to, it’s Hopkins, who ranks in the top two among non-quarterbacks in PFF’s Wins Above Replacement metric since 2015. O’Brien himself has said, "I don’t think you replace Hopkins."

But even in Hopkins’ best year, 2018, he accounted for about one win. Watson, in each of the past two seasons, has approximately doubled that, which speaks to his position’s outsized impact.

This difference in values plays out in the market. Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year extension just raised the bar for elite quarterbacks, whose price continues to climb. But at receiver, salary cap expert Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap said second and third options have recently experienced bigger gains than No. 1 receivers, many of whom are bunched together at around $16 million annually. Modern schemes make flawed receivers with an elite skill — such as Texans receiver Will Fuller’s speed — extremely valuable, so the floor rises faster than the ceiling.

"If you invest too much money in one player, you end up with a diminished wide receiver corps," Fitzgerald said, "and on a game-by-game basis, if you look at these teams, there are big games had by everybody."

Texans 2019 receiving corps

Player | Receptions | Yards/Route | Share of Cap
DeAndre Hopkins | 104 | 1.99 | 6.60%
Will Fuller | 49 | 2.03 | 1.50%
Kenny Stills | 40 | 1.5 | 3.80%
Keke Coutee | 22 | 1.1 | 0.40%

O’Brien has restocked the offense with, as he puts it, "layers and layers of productive players." But the ones he’s targeted — Cooks, running back David Johnson and slot receiver Randall Cobb — have undercut the argument that the Texans would save money by trading away Hopkins.

Of those three, only Cobb has significant guaranteed money attached to his deal past this year, but the team has gone from 24th to seventh in overall offensive spending and fifth to third at receiver while remaining in second place at running back. And considering the injury histories of Cooks and Fuller, as well as the fact Cobb is entering his 30s, durability seems to be more of a concern for the Houston receiving corps than it was when it had Hopkins, who has never missed a game aside from two meaningless Week 17 contests.

So why not just pay Hopkins instead? Because O’Brien believes paying top-of-the-market prices for three offensive players would’ve made his team too top-heavy, and with an improvising quarterback to protect, he valued the left tackle over the receiver.

These are the sorts of choices teams face when they transition away from the best bargain in sports, a good QB on a rookie contract.

"Each team has to do the right thing for their team," Texans executive vice president for football operations Jack Easterby said, before alluding to how an expensive quarterback affects the team’s calculus. "I think what happens is sometimes your team changes within your own players’ development. And I think that Coach (O’Brien) had great wisdom to make sure that we were evolving with our own team."

Texans 2020 positional spending

Position | Cap Hit | Rank
RB | $17.23M | 2
WR | $36.19M | 3
IDL | $29.39M | 9
OL | $43.96M | 11
LB | $28.52M | 11
CB | $17.59M | 16
S | $9.27M | 20
Edge | $16.84M | 21
TE | $6.71M | 24
QB | $9.69M | 24

Elsewhere in the AFC, the Super Bowl champion Chiefs are trying a different strategy: running it back. With the recent extensions they handed Mahomes and defensive lineman Chris Jones, they have seven players who are among the five highest-paid at their position, by far the league’s highest concentration. Kansas City is also the first team to ever have three players making more than $20 million per year: Mahomes, Jones and defensive lineman Frank Clark.

The sustainability of this will become clear in future years, when Kansas City will face tough decisions about what to do with its other stars, including receiver Tyreek Hill, whose current contract pays him $18 million per year. But Aaron Schatz, editor of the analytics site Football Outsiders, thinks if another team were to go this route, the Texans would’ve been a reasonable choice. Offense has proven to be more consistent year-to-year, so giving more than $20 million annually to a few elite, reliable players at key offensive positions might have been money well spent.

After all, Schatz points out, receivers never come up in discussions about which positions are less valuable. And despite being one of the leaders in football’s analytics movement, he doesn’t know of any research on whether it’s more efficient to spread resources out around an elite quarterback.

"It’s an interesting question: What’s better? A 20 and a 2? Or a 16 and a 6?" Schatz said. "What the numbers are for two receivers depends on how the quarterback tries to use those guys. How is Watson going to distribute the ball between Cooks and Cobb? How is that different from how he would distribute between Hopkins and (Keke) Coutee?"

With three years left on Hopkins’ current deal, Houston could’ve tried to restructure his contract to keep him for another year or called his bluff on a potential holdout, which comes with greater consequences for players under the new CBA. But the Texans, wary of the optics of a standoff with such a productive player, instead chose to act quickly and dealt him in a trade market that appeared weakened by his contract demands.

As Houston moves on, other teams — in the face of a potentially flat or declining cap because of the coronavirus pandemic — are preparing to endure the consequences of keeping a star receiver at a top-of-the-market price. During the 2021 season, the Falcons are currently set to assign a projected 29.7 percent of their cap space to Jones and quarterback Matt Ryan. And in Dallas, receiver Amari Cooper — who recently signed a five-year, $100 million deal — will eat up a projected 10.2 percent of the cap in 2021, when quarterback Dak Prescott will presumably return on a contract that’s more expensive annually than the $31.4 million franchise tag he’ll play on this year.

The most-expensive QB-WR combos

QB/WR Duo | Share of 2020 Cap
Tom Brady/Mike Evans | 21%
Dak Prescott/Amari Cooper | 19.90%
Matt Ryan/Julio Jones | 19.50%
Aaron Rodgers/Davante Adams | 18.70%
Kirk Cousins/Adam Theilen | 17.10%
Drew Brees/Michael Thomas | 15.40%

Assuming the QB market continues on its upward trend, teams lucky enough to have an elite receiver will have to decide whether they want to follow paths similar to Dallas and Atlanta, and those with solid draft capital — unlike the Texans, who tend to deal picks for players — might feel inclined not to.

Why? Because the most recent draft, considered one of the best ever for receivers, could be the new normal, not an outlier.

“I’d be a little hesitant to throw top-of-the-market money at a wide receiver when the college game is producing wide receivers like never before, and that trend is never going to change,” said NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who previously worked as a scout. “That goes down to high school, 7-on-7 and colleges, where everyone is playing the spread, four wide receivers on the field at the same time.”

The swelling talent pool won’t turn receivers into the new running backs, who have left teams with regrets after signing big contracts and are far easier to find in the back half of the draft. But Jeremiah believes paying at the top of the market for receivers will make the most sense for teams with quarterbacks on rookie deals, such as Arizona, which has second-year pro Kyler Murray, and Buffalo, which dealt a first-round pick and more to pair receiver Stefon Diggs with the unproven Josh Allen.

“It helps to have one as you have a brand new young quarterback because that’s a huge asset to them,” Jeremiah said. “You can have a veteran receiver elevate the play of a young quarterback. But as the quarterback becomes established, you can have him elevate the play of people around him. It kind of flips.”

None of this means the Texans got tremendous value in the Hopkins trade. They still might have been better off trying to keep him for another year, before Watson’s salary rises significantly. But Houston faced a cap conundrum, one other teams might also confront as the quarterback market grows and talented receivers multiply.

It’s a tough problem to solve, but a good one to have. The Texans are in this position, in part, because their young quarterback has proven worthy of a megadeal. Now O’Brien must show he picked the best path forward.
 
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dream_team

Hall of Fame
That's when the flags should've started waving like crazy. No other GM wanted this guy at the #1 pick....so why did the Texans feel compelled to draft him? His best and most dominant season with the Texans.....when Watt went down and he took over at DE.....HIS NATURAL POSITION!!!! After that season, it made no sense to me that the team didn't either move to a 4-3 alignment to make Clowney a DE or just move him to DE in the 3-4 and draft/sign FA OLB. I feel to this day, the Texans had the better defensive personnel to run a traditional 4-3 alignment.
IMO, majority of GMs wanted Clowney at #1, but it just wasn't worth the price to move up to #1. It was really unfortunate there wasn't a QB prospect that season better than Bortles or Manziel. If there was a Winston, Mariota, Wentz, Goff... would have been easy to trade that pick.

It's really bad luck that the Texans had the #1 overall pick for three years, and all three years, there was never a consensus/no-doubt/can't-miss player. Clowney was the closest to that.

And lets not act like Clowney was some huge bust. He was a very good player for the Texans, and still is a good player in this league. Not a once in a generation type player we all hoped, but still very good.
 

powda

Baby can you dig your man?
IMO, majority of GMs wanted Clowney at #1, but it just wasn't worth the price to move up to #1. It was really unfortunate there wasn't a QB prospect that season better than Bortles or Manziel. If there was a Winston, Mariota, Wentz, Goff... would have been easy to trade that pick.

It's really bad luck that the Texans had the #1 overall pick for three years, and all three years, there was never a consensus/no-doubt/can't-miss player. Clowney was the closest to that.

And lets not act like Clowney was some huge bust. He was a very good player for the Texans, and still is a good player in this league. Not a once in a generation type player we all hoped, but still very good.
I'll go ahead and own it. I remember making a case for drafting Bortles. I wasn't die hard about him, I just thought it was feasible considering our qb situation at the time.

Like a lot of young QBs I thought he had the tools to succeed. In the right scenario he might've been good. He didn't get the right scenario in Jacksonville and in hindsight, I doubt he would of got it here either.

On the topic of clowney, I cant think of another player that's pissed me off more. He WAS a good player for us. He was one of the best DL run defenders I've seen in a while. I loved watching him play because his athleticism was just off the charts. More often then not he was the most gifted guy on the field.

He wasn't a once in a generation player but he had once in a generation talent I felt. It just didn't translate. He was always a step away from a sack but couldn't get it. I guess that's what infuriated me most about him. He shouldve been Bruce Smith for us but wasn't.

Perhaps it's unfair of me ,but he never reached his ceiling. I wanted more out of him and he never met those expectations.
 

OptimisticTexan

Go Texans!!!
If all was good and healthy in 2016....my defensive front 7 would've featured a 4-3:

DE- Watt
DT- Reader
DT- Watkins
DE- Clowney

OLB- Mercilus
ILB- Cushing
OLB- McKinney
 

mws

Waterboy
My biggest concern about losing Hopkins is his first down production. In his 7 years with the Texans 71.52% of his receptions were a first down regardless of who was throwing him the ball.

In 2019 during the regular season Hopkins lead the AFC receivers in first downs. Only Michael Thomas & Julio Jones had more in the entire league. He doubled or tripled the number of receiving first downs of every other player on the Texans who had a receiving first down.

To be successful this year it is critical that the Texans get that production from someone.

Texans Regular Season Games Receiving First Down Stats for 2019

01. DeAndre Hopkins WR - Receiving First Downs 68
02. Kenny Stills WR - Receiving First Downs 27
03. Will Fuller V WR - Receiving First Downs 26
04. Darren Fells TE - Receiving First Downs 22
05. Jordan Akins TE - Receiving First Downs 21
06. Duke Johnson RB - Receiving First Downs 18
07. Keke Coutee WR - Receiving First Downs 10
08. DeAndre Carter WR - Receiving First Downs 6
09. Carlos Hyde RB - Receiving First Downs 2
10. Steven Mitchell Jr. WR - Receiving First Downs 2
11. Deshaun Watson QB - Receiving First Downs 1
12. Jordan Thomas TE - Receiving First Downs 0
13. Taiwan Jones RB - Receiving First Downs 0
---------------------------------------------
Total Receiving First Downs 203

In 2018 the difference was even more apparent. This post is already long enough so I'm only going to list the top 2 for 2018.

Texans Regular Season Games Receiving First Down Stats for 2018.

01. DeAndre Hopkins WR - Receiving First Downs 81
02. Will Fuller V WR - Receiving First Downs 23
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
My biggest concern about losing Hopkins is his first down production. In his 7 years with the Texans 71.52% of his receptions were a first down regardless of who was throwing him the ball.

In 2019 during the regular season Hopkins lead the AFC receivers in first downs. Only Michael Thomas & Julio Jones had more in the entire league. He doubled or tripled the number of receiving first downs of every other player on the Texans who had a receiving first down.

To be successful this year it is critical that the Texans get that production from someone.

Texans Regular Season Games Receiving First Down Stats for 2019

01. DeAndre Hopkins WR - Receiving First Downs 68
02. Kenny Stills WR - Receiving First Downs 27
03. Will Fuller V WR - Receiving First Downs 26
04. Darren Fells TE - Receiving First Downs 22
05. Jordan Akins TE - Receiving First Downs 21
06. Duke Johnson RB - Receiving First Downs 18
07. Keke Coutee WR - Receiving First Downs 10
08. DeAndre Carter WR - Receiving First Downs 6
09. Carlos Hyde RB - Receiving First Downs 2
10. Steven Mitchell Jr. WR - Receiving First Downs 2
11. Deshaun Watson QB - Receiving First Downs 1
12. Jordan Thomas TE - Receiving First Downs 0
13. Taiwan Jones RB - Receiving First Downs 0
---------------------------------------------
Total Receiving First Downs 203

In 2018 the difference was even more apparent. This post is already long enough so I'm only going to list the top 2 for 2018.

Texans Regular Season Games Receiving First Down Stats for 2018.

01. DeAndre Hopkins WR - Receiving First Downs 81
02. Will Fuller V WR - Receiving First Downs 23
I couldn’t believe some people thinks his production will be easily replaced. Hopkins will be missed big time.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
I couldn’t believe some people thinks his production will be easily replaced. Hopkins will be missed big time.

I guess the thinking is that the production is spread across multiple players.

But ... someone's gotta get open which didn't happen a whole lot last season with Hopkins. He's just open even if he isn't.

I can't help but think that this year is the final nail in OB's coffin with this franchise.

When they finish 6-10 or worse and send Miami two picks in the top 40 .... heads are gonna roll.

The more I look back on the Tunsil trade , the worse it looks. Two firsts and a second for a guy who didn't move the needle. Then getting taken behind the woodshed on the contract extension .... Don't get me wrong , he's a solid LT but he doesn't move the needle to the tune of the assets and cap allocation he's cost. Those are "Dominant player" assets and money. He's been solid but far from dominant.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
I guess the thinking is that the production is spread across multiple players.

But ... someone's gotta get open which didn't happen a whole lot last season with Hopkins. He's just open even if he isn't.

I can't help but think that this year is the final nail in OB's coffin with this franchise.

When they finish 6-10 or worse and send Miami two picks in the top 40 .... heads are gonna roll.

The more I look back on the Tunsil trade , the worse it looks. Two firsts and a second for a guy who didn't move the needle. Then getting taken behind the woodshed on the contract extension .... Don't get me wrong , he's a solid LT but he doesn't move the needle to the tune of the assets and cap allocation he's cost. Those are "Dominant player" assets and money. He's been solid but far from dominant.
The receivers staying healthy is going to be the biggest challenge this season. Hopkins has missed 2 games due to injury. Fuller has missed 22.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
I guess the thinking is that the production is spread across multiple players.

But ... someone's gotta get open which didn't happen a whole lot last season with Hopkins. He's just open even if he isn't.

I can't help but think that this year is the final nail in OB's coffin with this franchise.

When they finish 6-10 or worse and send Miami two picks in the top 40 .... heads are gonna roll.

The more I look back on the Tunsil trade , the worse it looks. Two firsts and a second for a guy who didn't move the needle. Then getting taken behind the woodshed on the contract extension .... Don't get me wrong , he's a solid LT but he doesn't move the needle to the tune of the assets and cap allocation he's cost. Those are "Dominant player" assets and money. He's been solid but far from dominant.
Good stuff again.

I know a lot of people are hoping we will spread the ball around. Personally I don’t see it being dished out equally like that. I believe a healthy Fuller will see the bulk share of those targets. Then maybe Still or Cooks. The running backs and tight ends might receive the same amount of targets from last season.

I surely hope so but with this team and it’s history, watch them make the playoffs.

I was looking at the Adams deal and was like wtf we couldn’t get that for a top 10 player in this league. But hey that’s their forte right. They didn’t get squat for Clowney and they gave up too much for Tunsil.

I agree Tunsil is just average. We probably could’ve kept Brown for a lot more cheaper. He wasn’t asking for a mega contract.
 
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