A three year pact for the Texans top corner

Grading the Texans move to bring back Bradley Roby

Texans D.J. Reader, Bill O'Brien, 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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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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