Texans wide receiver Braxton Miller went on season-ending IR yesterday. It pretty much assured that the Texans draft class from 2016 will have little impact on this season.
The group was supposed to inject speed on offense, boost the OL, and give Bill O’Brien a variety of options. But injuries and growing pains have rendered the 2016 class a a non factor:
First-round pick Will Fuller has shown flashes, but most of that came early in the season and injuries have slowed him down. He is fifth among rookie receivers with 37 catches for 530 yards and two touchdowns and also has a punt return touchdown. He will get better in time, but those are merely OK numbers.
Second round pick Nick Martin was injured in camp and never saw the field. Third rounder Miller was hurt most of the year and is currently 20th among rookie wideouts. Fourth rounder Tyler Ervin was supposed to help in special teams but he can’t hold on to the football and has been watching from the sidelines. K.J. Dillon was injured early in the year and went on IR. The only real success story? Sixth round pick D.J. Reader has been a consistent, solid contributor on defense.
Realistically, the Texans should see much more impact out of this group next season. Martin in particular could solidify the offensive line, and Miller was always a longterm project. But overall, the Texans did not get much out of their 2016 class in year 1.
In case you missed it: Lamont Mann posed an interesting question: Will Romeo Crennel be back next season? He certainly should be…
On to our three shame bells of the week:
Dodging the Rams: Jeff Fisher was finally put out of our misery by the Rams this week. His overrated coaching has been a subject here before, but here is a pretty jarring stat: Bill Belichick could go 0-16 for SIX straight years and still have a better career winning percentage as a coach.
Six years of 0-16. Sure took you long enough, Rams.
Shame bell No. 1.
Wake me up: If you have not seen this Wake Forest story, it is worth your time. (Yes, I did say a Wake Forest story is worth your time).
A member of the school’s broadcast team had apparently been leaking detailed game plans to opponents for at least two years. A former coach and player at the school, Tommy Elrod had access to everything. While what he did was wrong, what about the other schools who accepted the information? Was there not a single coach with the integrity to say, “hey, Wake, you have somebody leaking critical info. Might want to look into it.” Is the desperate search for an edge so critical that you sacrifice your integrity? To beat Wake Forest? Is this not how Baylor became such a mess? Win at all costs?
To all of those schools,
Shame bell No. 2
Dead to me: I ejected on The Walking Dead midway through Season Five. I could see the downhill trajectory coming and I was tired of wasting an hour out of my life every week. The talk surrounding the season six ender made me reconsider and perhaps catch up.
But apparently, I was just a little early. Season 7s ratings decline has been epic. It truly is a shame; what started as a chilling, compelling drama devolved into long stretches of episodes that did nothing to move the story. It makes you appreciate shows like Banshee and Game of Thrones even more when the powers that be say they are going to end the series at a certain point when the story is told. Walking Dead kept it open-ended and even started a spinoff. It was a great way to make money and take advantage of a ratings monster, but in the end, quality suffers. It has been a killer for popular network dramas over the years. People simply get sick of the same story lines. FX, AMC and especially HBO have changed all that and we are in the golden age of television. But Walking Dead fell into an old trap, and it is now paying the price. Hopefully that is not a trend that extends to other really strong cable series.
Shame bell No. 3.
And finally: Kind of a sucker for giant-snakes-eating-large-mammal stories. This wallaby became a pretty big lunch. Talk about your meat comas…
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Do you know we are being led to
slaughters by placid admirals
and that fat slow generals are getting
obscene on young blood
Do you know we are ruled by TV?”
— Jim Morrison, An American Prayer