By Brien O’Donal
Will the Texans sign a veteran free agent to replace Will Fuller on the roster?
It’s too early to tell whether or not they will sign a veteran, the preseason will determine if that is a dire need. Based on what they did in the offseason and the level of play Fuller showed last season, I don’t believe they thought there was a huge need there. NFL teams live and die by the “next man up” mantra. It’s not like they can go out back and shake the wide receiver tree and expect a top tier player to fall out. Barring a complete collapse at the position I expect that his replacement is already on the roster.
Will Deshaun Watson be the starting quarterback on week 1?
I doubt it; Bill O’Brien said as much. It is difficult for a rookie to be ready to lead an NFL offense in week 1 and despite his talents; Watson still needs time. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field early in the season if the offense with Tom Savage looks the same as it did with Brock Osweiler.
Will J.J. Watt be back to the level of play he was at before his back surgeries?
Maybe, but it will take time. Back injuries are difficult to assess. It will probably take a few weeks before he feels comfortable with the speed of the game and the contact he takes.
Will the loss of A.J. Bouye and Quintin Demps keep the defense from ranking #1 again?
No. There is no crystal ball in the NFL. I wouldn’t worry about the defensive ranking anyways. The measure of this defense will continue to be its ability to keep the game winnable for the offense.
Will the Texans win the division and make the playoffs?
I don’t have any expectations for the Texans to make the playoffs, this isn’t a team you count on enough. They have been 9-7 all three seasons under Bill O’Brien and made the playoffs in two of those. I don’t think that record will be enough this year. The defense is still good, but the offense will have to help win more games in order for the team to get there. All you can do is hope that they win enough games early in the season to be in a position make a meaningful push in December.
Will DeAndre Hopkins have a better season than 2016?
His talent and contract situation would have to make this answer yes. But there is no way to predict what will happen. Sub-par quarterback play or an injury could certainly derail any thoughts of improving from last season. All we can do it watch what happens.
Will the offensive line perform well enough to help improve the rankings from 2016?
There was little done to address this group in the offseason so it will be on the coaches and players to correct their mistakes. They were middle of the pack last year overall, but mistakes in key moments are what made them look bad. The offseason and preseason are when coaches and players have the time to improve and it will be incumbent on them to do so before the season starts.
Have a question about the Texans? Tweet it to me @ODonalsVanguard and I will answer as many as I can the day after the Texans play, starting this Thursday after their first preseason game.