5 things to watch in the Texans preseason opener
The Texans preseason begins tonight against Green Bay, and while the games are meaningless, there are a few things you can pick up. Don't expect to see stars like J.J. Watt or DeAndre Hopkins. Much of it will basically involve backups and the battle for those jobs, but here is a look at what to keep an eye out for:
1) How they handle the quarterbacks
Deshaun Watson should not play more than a series if at all. That means we will probably see a lot of Joe Webb, as A.J. McCarron, the presumed backup, is out, possible for the preseason. They signed Jordan Ta'amu, a rookie who was in their rookie camp. He may get snaps out of necessity tonight, even with one day's notice. Expect Webb to play the bulk of the offensive snaps.
2) How do the young linemen look?
First round pick Titus Howard and second round pick Max Scharping will likely see time at both guard and tackle. While they won't see any stunts or blitzes, it will be interesting to see how they fare against NFL players. Spend some time watching these players to see how they match up physically.
3) Running backs behind Lamar Miller
The Texans cut D'Onta Foreman earlier in the week, so the backup jobs are wide open involving a bunch of free agents and guys off the street. It will be interesting to see if any of them can be successful. They should all get ample opportunity, as there is no reason for Miller to play. Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett are particularly intriguing.
The trade to acquire Duke Johnson means these players will be battling for the third spot and perhaps the practice squad, but some of them will be part of the roster.
4) Any promising young corners in the house?
This will be another position to keep an eye on. There is room for someone to emerge and help out on the back end, and like the running backs, they will get a lot of time. Jermaine Kelly, Xavier Crawford and second round pick Lonnie Johnson all bear watching.
5) Another pass rusher
With Jadeveon Clowney sitting out the preseason, there is room for someone to earn a spot as a pass rusher. Peter Kalambayi and Brennan Scarlett should be particularly interesting.
Otherwise, we aren't going to learn much. But that's OK. At least it is football. Sort of.