7-15-14: Andre Johnson expressed his frustration earlier in the summer with Houston’s clear rebuilding approach, but the 33-year old star wide receiver has now officially informed the Texans that he “wants out”. Reports suggest the Texans have no intention of trading their best passing game weapon, however. Part of Johnson’s anger stems from the downgrade at quarterback from Matt Schaub to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was officially named the team’s 2014 starter earlier in June. Houston’s solid defense should get a boost come week one of 2014, as star linebacker Brian Cushing has expressed confidence in being ready for the start of the season.
6-5-14: Andre Johnson got the news waves rolling in Houston not too long after the draft, as he publicly expressed his frustration with the direction of the team. He skipped OTAs and could be on his way out if he demands a trade. On the bright side, often injured linebacker Brian Cushing (leg, knee) is expected to be ready for camp, while running back Arian Foster is as healthy as ever and looking at a huge role in the offense again. Foster is expected to be Houston’s lead back and will also take on the “Kevin Faulk” role in Bill O’Brien’s offense. Newly drafted nose tackle Louis Nix III has missed practice time with an undisclosed issue, but head coach O’Brien says “he’ll be fine”. Nix is slated to start in the middle of Houston’s aggressive 3-4 scheme on defense.
5-19-14: The Houston Texans entered the 2014 NFL Draft with the top overall pick after a disastrous 2-14 season. They were either going to take a quarterback, draft Jadeveon Clowney or trade down. After the drama subsided, Clowney was the pick, to the surprise of few. Let’s break the pick of Clowney down, as well as Houston’s other key selections:
Round 1. Pick 01 Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Round 2. Pick 01 Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL, UCLA
Round 3. Pick 01 C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Round 3. Pick 19 Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Round 4. Pick 35 Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
Round 5. Pick 11 Matthew Willis, LB, Idaho
Round 6. Pick 01 Jeoffrey Pagan, DL, Alabama
Round 6. Pick 05 Alfred Blue, RB, LSU
Round 6. Pick 35 Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn
Round 7. Pick 01 Andre Hal, DB, Vanderbilt
Round 7. Pick 41 Lonnie Ballentine, DB, Memphis
The Texans had a heck of a draft. It all started at the top with Clowney, who should project as a hybrid pass rusher out of Houston’s 3-4 scheme. Thanks to his ability to play standing up or with his hand in the dirt, he could develop into a truly special and intimidating presence down the road, if not immediately.
This draft wasn’t just about Clowney, however, as Houston had four excellent value picks. The first was with UCLA guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, who was easily a first round talent but due to lack of need for guards, he slid into round two. The Texans also nabbed Notre Dame stud nose tackle Louis Nix III, who is going to be absolutely perfect for the middle of their defensive line.
Tom Savage probably can’t help the Texans right away under center, but the Pittsburgh product with the strongest arm of this quarterback class could easily develop into a gem. Last, but certainly not least, is the sixth round plucking of LSU back Alfred Blue. Blue is more talented than most people think, given that he was overshadowed by a committee approach in college. He could be one to watch, as he slides in behind two injury-prone backs in Houston.
5-9-14: It was always going to be Jadeveon Clowney at the top spot. The only question was if the Texans would get a trade offer they liked enough to trade down. That luckily didn’t happen, as Houston landed quite possibly a once in a decade pass rushing talent in Clowney with the draft’s number one overall pick. While not necessarily the perfect fit for a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, Clowney is expected to be used in a hybrid role that will mask any deficiencies and maximize his pure talent as a pass rusher. Regardless of how he’s used, a solid defense only gets better by pairing an elite talent with the likes of J.J. Watt.
4-28-14: The Houston Texans won just two games a year ago, yet appear to have enough talent to turn right around and compete for a playoff spot in 2014. They’ll need to do a number of things in the 2014 NFL Draft to help make that happen, though. Finding a franchise passer has to be near the top of the list, with the selection of Johnny Manziel or another quarterback with the #1 overall pick being a very real possibility. If Houston doesn’t want to spend the top pick on a passer, it’s likely they will either just beef up their defense by taking the much-hyped Jadeveon Clowney, or they’ll just trade down. They’ll have to find a spot to take a quarterback eventually, though. Trading back into the first round is also an option, while it’s not entirely unrealistic to imagine them waiting on the passer they want at the start of round two.
4-18-14: The Houston Texans will unleash whoever ends up being the 2014 NFL Draft’s number one pick in week one of the 2014 NFL preseason, as they take on the Cardinals in the desert of Arizona. Things get a little more heated in week two, though, as Houston brings the top pick in the draft back home to battle Julio Jones and the high-flying Atlanta Falcons. While their matchup against Atlanta should provide a solid measuring stick, it should end up being no comparison to a tough week three road trip to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Their battle with the reigning AFC champs should show them where they’re at on both sides of the ball, and help them gear up for the first week of the 2014 season. The Houston Texans preseason schedule finishes with another tough matchup at home against the San Francisco 49ers. The starters shouldn’t play a ton against the Niners, but it will still be another good pairing to help the Texans see where they’re at in their progression from a 2-14 season.
4-7-14: Matt Schaub being dealt to the Oakland Raiders is probably the biggest move of the offseason, as the Texans can finally move in another direction under center. Bill O’Brien brings a new direction as head coach, and where Houston will be headed will inevitably have a lot to do with who he decides his franchise quarterback will be out of this year’s draft. It was mostly an offseason about moving on, as the Texans let go aging tight end Owen Daniels and declined to overpay for backup running back Ben Tate. They did patch up a real problem area at safety, however, as they added top-level safety Chris Clemson to the mix, as well as former Chief Kendrick Lewis.
3-21-14: Houston endured a brutal season in 2013, as they started off 2-0 and then dropped their next 14 games. Quarterback Matt Schaub was part of the problem and is expected to either be traded or released, while Houston will likely look for a quarterback at some point in this year’s draft. With a good amount of talent on both sides of the ball, the Texans have played it very safe in free agency, opting to improve from within and via the draft. Their safe approach also had them bidding farewell to solid talent in running back Ben Tate, defensive lineman Earl Mitchell, defensive lineman Antonio Smith and linebackers Daryl Sharpton and Joe Mays. The Texans did re-sign tight end Garrett Graham, who is expected to take over the starting job recently left open following the release of Owen Daniels.
12-31-13: Matt Schaub made his second straight start for the Texans in week 17, but his presence wasn’t enough as the Texans lost to the Titans in Tennessee, 16-10. Schaub turned the ball over three times and wasn’t effective enough, further showing his time is done in Houston. The Texans, once again were competitive, but still dropped their 14th straight game.
12-24-13: Matt Schaub was back under center for the Texans in week 16, but get back to his old form as his Texans got out-dueled by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, 37-13. The loss marked Houston’s 13th consecutive loss.
12-17-13: Case Keenum continued his regression in week 15, as he failed to throw a touchdown and tossed two picks in a rough 25-3 road loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Houston’s offense struggled all day, as Keenum was also sacked four times en route to the Texans’ 12 straight loss.
12-10-13: Houston fell in a hole behind inconsistent play from quarterback Case Keenum in week 14, which led to his eventual benching and a comeback bid by Matt Schaub. Schaub couldn’t get it done, though, as the Texans got swept by the Jaguars and dropped their 11th straight game.
12-3-13: The Texans jumped out to a 17-7 lead against the New England Patriots in week 13 and appeared to be on their way to finally winning another football game for the first time since week two. Ben Tate’s three rushing scores wouldn’t be quite enough, however, as the Pats were just a field goal better in a 34-31 loss that gave Houston it’s 10th straight defeat.
11-26-13: Case Keenum was once thought to be the answer to Houston’s quarterback woes. Perhaps the answer will be the 2014 NFL Draft. Despite some solid showings in the first halves of games, Keenum was never effective in this one, as he barely completed over 52% of his passes and took two sacks in a 13-6 home loss - Houston’s ninth straight defeat.
11-19-13: Case Keenum tossed his first interception of his career and dug the Texans an early hole that he wasn’t even allowed to attempt to dig them out of. Head coach Gary Kubiak delivered a head-scratcher, as he inexplicably reverted back to Matt Schaub in the second half, and watched the Texans flounder yet again on offense in a 28-23 home loss to the Oakland Raiders - Houston’s eighth straight loss following a 2-0 start.
11-12-13: Case Keenum threw three touchdowns in his third straight stellar showing, but for the third straight game with Keenum under center, they couldn’t get a win. Houston was in this one throughout, but the Arizona Cardinals proved to be too efficient on offense in the end, as they held off the Texans for the 27-24 home win. The loss marked Houston’s seventh straight loss after a promising 2-0 start.
10-22-13: Undrafted second-year quarterback Case Keenum got the start in week seven with Matt Schaub hurt and T.J. Yates deemed ineffective and he almost pulled off the upset on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Keenum played mostly error-free football en route to six plays over 20 yards and 271 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Keenum lost stud running back Arian Foster in the first quarter and faced an uphill battle from there, however, as the Texans dropped their fifth straight by a narrow margin, 17-16.
10-15-13: The Houston Texans had dropped three straight games, so when they got the St. Louis Rams at home in week six, they probably breathed a sigh of relief. They probably shouldn’t have. The Rams came out hungry, as they had pressure on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and held the Houston offense out of the end-zone until late in a convincing 38-13 win. Running back Arian Foster had his way with the Rams’ soft run defense, but his 141 rushing yards weren’t enough to keep this one close as the Texans lost their fourth game in a row.
10-8-13: Matt Schaub entered week five with a pick-six in three straight games. He and the Texans had their sights set on redemption as they visited the San Francisco 49ers with hopes of ending a two-game losing streak. Instead, Schaub’s first pass was picked off and returned for a touchdown and the Texans never recovered in a depressing 34-3 road loss. Schaub was eventually benched for backup quarterback T.J. Yates after throwing two more interceptions, causing uncertainty about his status with the team, as well as the direction the suddenly 2-3 Texans were headed.
10-1-13: The Houston Texans have endured a roller coaster 2013 season thus far, one that could have easily had them sitting at 0-3 entering their week four matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Like two of their first three games, this one also could have gone either way. However, the Texans did have complete control in this one at one point, as they nursed a 20-3 lead at the half. Unfortunately, they were unable to generate a single second half point and quarterback Matt Schaub literally threw the game away with a pick-six late in the fourth quarter. The two teams did end up going into overtime, but Houston couldn’t move the ball far enough and ended up falling to the visiting Seahawks, 23-20.
9-20-13: The Houston-Tennessee match-up ended up a little scarier than most Texans fans had expected, but in the end the Texans were able to pull out the win in overtime. Tennessee actually appeared to have the game won with just over four minutes left and leading 24-16, but they could not stop the Texans from marching down the field and scoring eight points to tie the game. In overtime, Houston won it on their first drive, as rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pulled in two more highlight reel catches to close the win out, 30-24, improving to 2-0. Next week the Texans travel to Baltimore to take on the World Champion Ravens.
9-10-13: It wasn’t the start the Houston Texans wanted as they took on the Chargers on Monday Night Football’s late game this week. The Texans fell behind 28-7 before finally waking up. Luckily for them there was enough time left and after 24 unanswered points, including Randy Bullock’s late field goal to seal a 31-28 victory. Matt Schaub had a very good game completing 34 of 45 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. 12 of those catches and 146 yards were racked up by wide receiver Andre Johnson. Arian Foster had a relatively quiet game, carrying the ball 18 times for 58 yards. Next up for the Texans is a meeting with the Titans at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
9-4-13: Texans final preseason roster cuts: DE Keith Browner, TE Jake Byrne, CB Roc Carmichael, FB Tyler Clutts, LB Cameron Collins, WR Andy Cruse, OL Tyler Horn, DE Delano Johnson, RB Dennis Johnson, S Orhian Johnson, NT Chris Jones, RB Deji Karim, OL Alex Kupper, CB Elbert Mack, T Nate Menkin, LB Mike Mohamed, WR EZ Nwachukwu, S Jawanza Starling.
8-22-13: Defensive end Antonio Smith has been suspended for the last two weeks of the preseason and week 1 of the NFL season for swinging his helmet at an opponent. He will also lose about $400,000 is salary. He will still be able to practice with the team.
Arian Foster was taken off the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time all training camp. It's still unlikely that he will play in either of the Texas final two preseason games, but he feels he'll be ready for Houston's opener on September 9th against the Chargers.
8-20-13: Houston hosted the Dolphins in week 2 of the preseason and improved to 2-0 with a 24-17 win. Matt Schaub completed 8 of 11 passes for 92 yards and a TD, a 15-yard strike to tight end Owen Daniels. Case Keenum was also solid, completing 11 of 18 passes for 150 yards and a score. Keeping up with the trend of good QB play, T.J. Yates completed 7 of 9 passes for 84 yards and a TD. First-round pick DeAndre Hopkins was injured in the with what the Texans said is a head injury. Houston will host the Saints next Sunday.
8-11-13: The Texans opened up their preseason schedule with a 27-13 win over the Vikings. T.J. Yates completed 13 of his 21 passes for 151 yards and a TD. Case Keenum threw for 125 yards and a TD on 13 of 18. Starter, Matt Schaub was 5-for-5 for 34 yards. Rookie running back Cierre Wood carried the ball ten times for 59 yards.
7-10-13: The Houston Texans went from the best team in the league to one just simply in the playoff mix in 2012, and that had everything to do with the loss of linebacker Brian Cushing. The leader of their defense will be back, while free agent safety acquisition Ed Reed will help push the Texans defense over the hump. On offense, rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes Houston’s pass attack more versatile, while a healthy Arian Foster remains the key piece in the Texans finally making a deep playoff run.
2013 Texans Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 27: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Round 2, Pick 25: D.J. Swearinger, SS, South Carolina
Round 3, Pick 27: Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina
Round 3, Pick 33 (Compensatory Selection): Sam Montgomery, DE, Louisiana State
Round 4, Pick 27: Trevardo Williams, DE, Connecticut
Round 6, Pick 8 (from Tennessee through Minnesota, Arizona and Oakland): David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State
Round 6, Pick 27: Alan Bonner, WR, Jacksonville State
Round 6, Pick 30 (from Atlanta through St. Louis): Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green
Round 6, Pick 33 (Compensatory Selection): Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut
12-4-12: The Hosuton Texans are on a six game winning streak and is steam rolling right through the AFC into the playoffs. This week presents a tough test against the seasoned New England Patriots on Monday Night prime time. After that, two of their remaining four games will be against the Colts who are also surging toward the post season.
1-9-13: The AFC South Division winning Houston Texans head into New England for a rematch with the New England Patriots who embarrassed them just a few weeks ago. The Texans got off to a great start this season winning their first five games and 11 of their first 12. Their defense, JJ Watt in particular was outstanding in the Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals allowing only 13 points. The defense only allowed 2 field goals to the Bengals’ offense. JJ Watt is the leading candidate for defensive player of the year and running back Arian Foster had another stellar season. Look for the Texans to seek revenge against the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday in a battle of 12-win teams.