A three year pact for the Texans top corner

Grading the Texans move to bring back Bradley Roby

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Texans brought back one of their biggest signings from last year making sure Bradley Roby doesn't get away at a position of need.

Roby back and Texans needed him

Once it became clear nearly the entire league was interested in former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris it seemed convincing Bradley Roby to come back to Houston was a priority. There was talk about Roby not being thrilled with his time in Houston and potentially not wanting to come back. It looks like the fit was there though and Roby steps into a position of need and prominence for the Texans as cornerback number one.

The money makes sense

This is actually a really great deal for the Texans and maybe a little under market for Roby. Bill O'Brien and his crew should be commended. Roby gets slightly more than he made last year and he falls outside the top ten in average annual salary. He gets a deal worth less than Malcolm Butler's deal he signed with the Titans a couple of years ago and really just a few million more than a deal Prince Amukamara signed a couple of years ago.

I say all this to say I believe the Texans got a little bargain and Roby got security and familiarity. He did get hurt, and had some hiccups last year, but the open market could have had him cashing in big on the Texans or someone else. Good job to get this done shortly after the CBA got done.

Where does he play now? Inside or out?

Earlier I called Bradley Roby the Texans number one cornerback. I believe he will be the best they have this season. He will also be the most important corner as well. Especially based on where he plays.

Roby played inside and outside for the Texans in 2019. The following stats are from Pro Football focus.

31 percent of the time he played inside (249/799) with a coverage rating on average of 63.4. Now, that's just four games where he primarily played inside. 58 percent of the time he played outside (462/799) where he averaged a coverage rating of 58.9. While playing outside he almost always had single digit amounts of snaps inside. When primarily inside, he ventured more outside.

Roby is clearly a key member of the defense going forward. It doesn't matter if he is playing inside or outside. But, based on his success inside, the need for three corners, and the other cornerbacks on the team, I think there's a chance he will play plenty inside.

Lonnie Johnson and Gareon Conley primarily play outside. It would stand to reason a second round pick in his second year like Johnson and a player who cost a third round pick in a trade like Conley would be outside with Roby inside. Now, maybe Roby starts outside and goes inside on key downs. With Anthony Weaver at the helm of the defense now, it is a bit of a guessing game how he will use Roby.

Roby's Reasonable Deal Earns Texans an A

When you factor in the need at cornerback, the expected need in free agency by the rest of the league, and the solid contract the Texans really did a great job with this. Now it is up to Roby to make the most after he proved enough to the Texans on his prove-it deal last year.

Grade: A

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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