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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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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