Coming into the 2021 season, the rumours were that Houston were in trouble. Their star Quarterback was extremely unhappy and wanted out of Houston, the turnover of players was almost unheard of with 30 new players arriving in Texas with a significant amount meant to contribute as soon as they had learnt the playbook. Their overall roster lacked starting quality with many players coming in from back up roles. Another issue they faced was starting their draft in the third round with their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, giving them no opportunities at instant difference makers. Honestly, not even the most diehard of Texans fan expected much from this roster and this season, however I am here to say that the problem in Houston is not quite as daunting as it seems, and the rebuild is officially on.
Let the Rebuild begin!
When Davis Mills was given the starting nod Vs the hugely underrated Carolina Panthers and their always ready Defense, many around the NFL were ready for the Texans to explode on National Television. They did not win, and at no time was it particularly close, but Davis Mills showed me something special in him that makes me think the is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Mills was given 1:35 on the clock to end the 1st half, and he ran a two minute Offense to near perfection. He was accurate, he was calm under pressure and he showed the ability that had him highly recruited out of High School. Most importantly, he scored a Touchdown. The Texans Offense and Mills did not throw an interception in that game either, which again is a huge plus.
I previously wrote about the hype train that is Davis Mills, something you can check out here, and I said that he was more pro ready that some of his Draft class mates, I still standby that. Had he had an injury free season, he would likely have gone higher, and had he stayed in College for one more year, he would have been a First Round pick. The Texans drafted their future and giving him the right pieces now will get the rebuild rolling.
The Puzzle Pieces
Speaking of the right pieces, Houston already has some in place, and it is imperative that they keep them if they want this rebuild to be a success. The Texans have some players with serious ability on their roster, and while they also have a lot of deadwood, the cuts have to be brutal and they have to be significant, but on a positive note, lets talk about the good before the bad.
Justin Reid is a seriously talented at Free Safety, and at 24 years old will only make that Defense better. Locking him down as early as they can is something they should consider. Brandin Cooks is a catch machine, he is hyper targeted every game (322 Yards and one Touchdown through three games) and it does not seem to matter to his production. Teams have the luxury of doubling him and still cannot stop him. Jordan Akins is someone for the future too, while he is 29, his veteran presence and ability to play safety blanket to the rookie under centre will make him an early favourite of Mills’. Finally Tyrod Taylor is possibly the most significant piece of this rebuild, signed for only a year in the offseason, until his injury he had the Offense rolling and the team were competitive, the quicker he can get back from injury, the more that Mills can learn from the veteran.
The bad side of this team starts and ends with the Deshaun Watson trade saga. I have no interest in commenting on this Offseason for Watson, however I will comment on the trade. Houston need to cash in as soon as he is available to be traded because he is no longer a Houston Texan. He is an elite player who will command a massive trade package in return so they need to see what they can get for him. They will receive a minimum of multiple first round picks, but I think they should look to target some players for the rebuild too. If Watson does not want to be in Houston, find some players who do and rebuild your Franchise.
To the Future?
This season and possibly the next couple seasons, will be difficult watching for Houston fans. Wins will be scarce and losses will be in their plenty, however it is not all bad. A new Coaching staff, a new Quarterback and a new General Manager will bring a new age to the Texans and hopefully on the arm of Davis Mills they can rebuild a Franchise that can contend.
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