6 Things to focus on for Texans vs. Packers

Cecil's Short List

August 08, 2019 - 4:26 pm

Can you smell it in the air? Can you taste it? Football is back! The first Texans game of the year is finally here! I know its only preseason, but I’ve been in these guys’ shoes before and suiting up for you first ever-pro game is a memory they’ll never forget.  Plus, this is the time of year we as fans and “experts” get to see how the rookies and young players look in live-action. Certain position battles questions will start to answer themselves and we get to predict who the next star player is this year.

Tonight should be a lot of fun, let us focus on 6 things tonight:

1. The O line Shuffle

As you all know, the starting offensive lineman has not been named yet and there’s a battle going on. The first group that goes out there will be very interesting to watch as they’ll have the first shot at being the starters. We want to see if can they protect who is behind center, can they run block, communicate well, and make the proper adjustments? This is something we all want to see - who is the best five for this offensive line. Who will step up and be the guys?  Also, keep an eye out on Tytus Howard and Max Scharping. They had a few good days in Green Bay and it seems like they’re on a mission!

2. RB Depth

Lamar Miller is the starting running back. He's a 2018 Pro Bowl player but that’s about all we know from the running back position. With the recent cut of D'Onta Foreman, the depth chart behind Miller is uncertain, to say the least. With the addition of RB Duke Johnson, that's one less roster spot for running backs. Can one of the rookies, Karan Higdon Jr. or Damarea Crockett, make this team and be a contributor on this offense? Maybe a vet like Taiwan Jones or Buddy Howell will step up. We will see what happens but you can bet on the Texans running the ball heavy and putting those backs in position to show what they've got in the running and passing game.

3. Did you say Tight End?

This is one of the more interesting position battles in camp thus far. A very talented group with Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins improving from their rookie year, the addition of Darren Fells, who is a great asset in blocking, and of course the 3rd round pick Kahale Warring. My guess? We will see a lot of Warring tonight on special teams and offense and the more reps he gets, the better. You normally don’t keep 4 tight ends on a 53 man roster, so this a position to follow tonight and all of the preseason.

4. Who is making plays on special teams

The starters like Watson, Watt, and Hopkins won’t play much, if at all, so, you’ll see a lot of the reserves playing tonight. Pay attention to who is making plays on the special team units, who are making tackles, big blocks, and big returns. The players making plays on special teams have a good shot at making the team. There are only 11 starters on offense and defense. The majority of guys on the 53-man roster will play special teams in some kind of way. Those that play it will give themselves a shot to make the roster.

5. Enjoy the Joe Webb show

Joe Webb is one of the best athletes on the team and in the league, honestly. With the injury to AJ McCarron’s thumb, Joe looks like he will play a lot. He is not your normal quarterback, he can play wide receiver, run down on kickoff and make a tackle, and run a zone read and drop a dime. Just a stud athlete - even as he gets older. He is a fun guy to watch, and as a former player in this league, you don’t get to see too many guys get a chance to do all that he has done. Enjoy the show!

6. Lonnie Johnson Jr.          

Lonnie made some noise this week with the big hit in practice vs. Green Bay. He was held out of practice the next day, but I expect him to play a lot tonight.  My question is can he make some noise during a real game? I hope so. Good things have been said about him during camp and the Texans need depth behind the Top 3 corners (Joesph, Roby, Colvin). I really want to see how he does in pass coverage. With him being a bigger, physical corner, he has the potential to really give receivers problems.