The Future Is Now for the Houston Texans
Look to start season with easy win
By Barrett Walton, 10:54AM, Sat. Sep. 8, 2012
Last season I spent most of the year talking about how the 2011 Texans were not the same 'ol Texans. It's safe to say that they have proven that to be the case.
This year's test is perhaps their greatest in the history of the franchise as our Texans will be tasked with living up to expectations. The 2012 Houston Texans are the sexy pick to win it all in New Orleans next February. Experts all across the country are picking Houston because of the ridiculous amount of talent they have. What is really the biggest factor for this team's eminent success is their organizational structure.
The championship caliber Texans that Head Coach Gary Kubiak has built are somewhat of a machine. They are self motivated, they are accountable to each other, and they are focused.
“If you don't play hard, they wont let you in the huddle.” said Kubiak, when talking about this team and how they have developed a sense of accountability.
Gary Kubiak and Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Smith had made the decision back in 2006 to build the Houston Texans around a certain type of person, rather than a specific players. They built their team with passionate, hard-working men who were self motivated and accountable.
When Wade Phillips was hired to be the defensive coordinator last January, he poured over the tape of the Texans and he found something. Phillips saw a “holy phenom," a player who played with reckless abandon, a player with no concern for anything but punishing the opposition for participating on Sunday's. Phillips saw Brian Cushing. He saw Cushing as the foundation for what he wanted to build on defense. Phillips wanted a defense made up of 11 guys who played as hard as Cushing on every single play.
This is why the team that you will see take the field on Sunday is poised to win every game it plays this year. It is the NFL and you can expect that a few will get away from them, but make no mistake about the 2012 Houston Texans. This team is here to stay. You can expect this Teaxans team to be playing championship caliber football for years to come.
The biggest storyline for this season was the future. Losing good players is a product of having a good team. You can't keep everyone and the Texans made the decision to move forward with the core talent that they feel will give them the best chance to win championships. The Texans goal was to re-sign their core players to secure the success of the franchise for the future. For this franchise, the future starts now.
In order to make financial space, changes had to be made. The casualties were to the right side of the offensive line. In order to re-sign Arian Foster and left tackle Duane Brown to long-term contracts, three key offensive players were let go as well as defensive captain DeMeco Ryans. Right tackle Eric Winston was cut. Right guard Mike “Biscuit” Brisiel and second-string tight end Joel Dreesen left via free agency. All four players were quality starters.
The right side of the line has new faces but they are not new Texans. Right guard Antoine Caldwell has been in this system for four years and he has started games for the Texans in the past. Second-year right tackle Derrick Newton will be one to watch. Newton is an extremely athletic tackle with very little experience at his position. Newton is very much in the mold of left tackle Duane Brown in that sense. It will be a learning process for him but the Texans are strong enough around him that his growing pains shouldn't be too much to overcome.
The wide receiving corps is also chalked full of new talent. Rookie fourth-round pick Keshawn Martin will replace Jacoby Jones as the Texans third receiver. You will also see second-year player Lestar Jean in the rotation as well. Jean is a big receiver who will surprise you with how much he looks like Andre Johnson in pads. Internally, the Texans think Jean has the potential to be a big-time player for this team.
Going into Sunday, the Texans are expected to dominate the Miami Dolphins, who will start rookie quaterback from Texas A&M Ryan Tannehill. It's going to be a fun start to the season and hopefully, the dominant performance we watch on September 9 will be something we get used to seeing this year.
Prediction: Houston 34 – Miami 13
[Barrett Walton is the managing editor for Texans Bull Blog. Click here for news, analysis, and commentary on the Texans.]