EXPECT BIG THINGS

Here's why this could be the next breakout star for the Texans

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

It was a solid rookie season in the NFL for 5th round draft pick Charles Omenihu in 2019. After a rookie year that saw him compile 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games, the Texans coaching staff is expecting a big second-year jump from the young defensive end out of the University of Texas.

"He's just becoming a more confident player, and that comes with age and maturity," new Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver said. "Every year in this league you learn a little bit more about yourself and about the guys you're playing against. He's kind of come into his own a little bit. We look forward to that paying dividends once the season starts. He is certainly not a guy who lacks confidence, and that's what you want when you have players out there with his skill set."

Last season according to Pro Football Focus, Omenihu, accumulated 32 pressures in the regular season and playoffs, leading all rookie interior defensive linemen. Omenihu goes up against center Nick Martin in practice all the time and he sees the improvements that the former Texas Longhorn has made.

"For a lot of guys, the biggest jump in the NFL is from that first to the second year, so I'm excited to see what he does this year," Martin said. "I really like what he's doing in the run game, too, especially. Obviously, he can pass rush. He's got that good length. He gets that stab into you and it's a tough move to go against."

On Thursday the Texans held a team scrimmage at NRG Stadium and Texans Head Coach and General Manager O'Brien singled out Omenihu as a player that jumped out to him playing under the lights for the first time in 2020.

"Charles Omenihu, that guy has had a really good camp for us, O'Brien said. "I think a lot of guys have really performed well in a situation where they haven't had an offseason and they've had to just really concentrate in training camp. We've got a ways to go, like I said before, but I think some guys are really trying to get better."

The Texans hope a 'really good' camp translates into a really good 2020 season for Omenihu.


Jake Asman is a national host on SportsMap Radio. You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM - 10 AM Central.

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Life after Correa may not be the worst thing. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Carlos Correa is having a damn good year. The Astros shortstop is hitting .285 with 24 homers, 87 RBI, 72 walks, .862 OPS, a 7.2 WAR, and a .981 fielding percentage. In any other year, those would be numbers worthy of being in the mix for AL MVP (if it weren't for that dastardly Shohei Otani). Correa is also in a contract year. He and the Astros were far enough apart that the season started and he's held true to not wanting to negotiate midseason.

The offers of six years for $120 million and five years for $125 million were both rejected by he and his camp. They're seeking something much longer and for more money on the annual average. With the team unwilling to meet those demands, it seems as if the team and the player are headed for a split.

Lots of Astros fans are not happy with the prospect of Correa leaving via free agency. Some think the team isn't doing enough and should pony up to bring him back. Some feel Correa should take what they're offering because it's a fair deal that'll allow the team to sign other players. Then, there's that small band of us that are totally okay with him leaving.

One of the main reasons I'm okay with him leaving is the players the team still has under control that are potential replacements. Aledmys Diaz and Pedro Leon are the first two guys that come to mind. Diaz is a 31-year-old vet who's stepped up when he's called upon. He can slide over to third and allow Alex Bregman to play shortstop. Leon is the team's 23-year-old hot prospect who signed as an outfielder that the team has been trying to turn into a shortstop. If Correa were to leave, he could instantly plug the hole Carlos would leave behind. Either of those options lead to my next point of being okay with Correa leaving which is to...

...allocate that money elsewhere. Whether it's signing a replacement (at short or third), or boosting the pitching staff, I'll be fine as long as it's money well spent. Signing a shortstop or third baseman would determine where Bregman would be playing. If said player takes significantly less than Correa and fills 70-80% of his offensive shoes, it'll be worth it. Others will have to step it up. If they find a deal on a top of the rotation starting pitcher, that would be ideal as well. As I stated a couple of weeks ago, this team has employed a six-man rotation, but doesn't have a true ace. Spending anywhere from $20-30 million a year on a top-notch pitcher to add to the staff would bolster this staff in more ways than one. It'll finally give them the ace they lack, plus it'll bump all the young talent (still under team control) down a peg creating depth and perhaps even creating bullpen depth.

The only way any of this works is if Correa isn't back. Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander's money comes off the books also. Freeing up that much payroll and not re-appropriating those resources to ensure this team stays in contention would be a first degree felony in sports court. I don't think Jim Crane wants that for this team. I for sure don't think James Click wants that as his legacy. Let's sit back and watch how the organization maneuvers this offseason and pray they get it right.


Editor's note: If you want to read the other side of the argument, check out Ken Hoffman's piece from Tuesday.

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