5 suggestions for the Texans in the wake of Sunday's humiliating loss to the Bears

Texans fall to the Bears. Photo by Getty Images

The Texans have never taken my advice, but after Sunday's pathetic effort, we thought we would make five suggestions to the franchise rather than do our usual observations. There is very little that can be done for the rest of this season - there is no reason to tank, because you don't have a draft pick, and there is no point trying to win - but a few tweaks could make the future look a little brighter. Maybe. As for the game itself? The Texans probably turned in their worst effort of the season. They were never in it against the Bears, eventually losing 36-7. The laughable part? The Texans were actually favored in this game. It was complementary football at its best. They were terrible on defense, bad on special teams, and the offense? Going back to last week's Colts game, they went through a stretch of scoring a whopping 7 points in in almost six full quarters. The good news? At 4-9, the Texans only have three chances left for us to waste three hours of our lives each game watching this garbage. So what could make those last nine hours even a little bit interesting?

1) The running backs are all but useless. Make a change now. Duke Johnson had a nice catch and run, and he is useful in the passing game. But he creates no running game whatsoever and fumbled the ball early. C.J. Prosise is slow and easy to tackle and is a negative on kick returns and really has no business in the NFL. We know what David Johnson is. It's time for the Texans to bring in some fresh players and try something different. Buddy Howell looked better than anyone has all season in the garbage time second half. Let's see more of him. Additional youth and speed can be found on practice squads; see if you can grab a street free agent or two. Of course, that requires someone in the front office knowing what they are doing and the acting GM helped trade Deandre Hopkins for nothing, so yeah, not expecting this to happen. More on that later.

2) Take our suggestion from earlier in the week. What is the point of playing Deshaun Watson and Laremy Tunsil at this stage? All you can do is get them hurt. Protect your assets. Maybe include J.J. Watt in that as well, so he will still have some trade value. Watson's injury on Sunday should have been the end of his season, no matter how inconsequential it was. That was the perfect time to make a move instead of shipping him back out there in a blowout. He was sacked seven times and took a beating. Sit these guys now.

3) Give Chad Hansen and Steven Mitchell more playing time down the stretch. Hansen had a big game against the Colts, and made a few plays against the Bears. Sure, it should be A.J. McCarron throwing these guys the ball, so who know if that tells us anything. But with Will Fuller a free agent, Brandin Cooks hurt and overpriced, the Texans could use some depth players as they face an uncertain future at the WR position. You know Randall Cobb will be back because of his contract. Keke Coutee? Who knows? He has shown flashes, but also fumbled a punt. Everything is up in the air. So let's see if Hansen and Mitchell can be part of your future.

4) Let's find out if Kahale Warring and Max Scharping can play. The Texans invested high picks in both, and they have hardly touched the field this season. What's the worse that could happen? Scharping blows a block and gets McCarron killed? Warring looks like a guy who can't play? Get them some reps, and find out what they can do. If they aren't NFL players, they should not be around next season.

5) Go ahead and fire Jack Easterby now. If ANY of the allegations from SI's hit piece are true, he has no place in the organization. If not? What has he done in any form to make this team better? What quality GM will want to work with him? If he is really a "character coach," what sort of character did the Texans show you on Sunday? They flat out quit. You can clean out the rest of the O'Brien mess after the season, but this is a move that at least shows a dwindling fan base that better times might be ahead.

Otherwise, this game showed us nothing, other than this team is just not very well built, is poorly coached, has no depth and is done for the year. We already knew all that, however. So maybe a few moves could at least make the last three games moderately interesting.

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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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