The Friday Stoots Six-Pack starts with respect for Ramsey and has so much more

Hopkins-Ramsey highlights Sunday showdown

DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey

Have a great weekend, the Texans are trying to win their home opener and improve to 1-1.

Respect for the best

Jalen Ramsey rarely is tested as much as he is when DeAndre Hopkins is his opponent. Ramsey rarely loses as much as when Hopkins is his opponent as well. This is one of the best matchups in football. It is incredible to watch these two go at it.

Last year Hopkins caught 11 passes against Ramsey for 172 yards. That's pretty nasty when you think about Ramsey being the best corner, or one of the best, in the game.

"He's my favorite corner to play against," Hopkins said this week. "He's the only corner in the NFL that actually follows me everywhere I go, so you've got to respect that."

When pressed what he meant Hopkins continued to praise the Jaguars defender.

"No matter where I line up he's right there in front of me. A lot of guys claim they're number one DBs, but not a lot guys can do that."

If the Texans plan to win on Sunday, Hopkins keeping up his track record against Ramsey will be key.

Don't sleep on football Ron Swanson

I got to spend a few minutes with Gardner Minshew at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis earlier this year. He was engaging, funny, and honest. He was simultaneously the almost movie character and the future head coach. He almost used his last year of eligibility in college at Alabama to then earn a graduate assistant job to start coaching.

Instead he went to Washington State and kicked ass and now he's the starting quarterback for Jacksonville.

One of his quotes from the combine stood out when I looked back.

When asked about his ability playing quarterback Minshew touted one of the essential aspects of a good passer.

"I'd say elevating the guys around you," he said. "That's what it's all about playing this position. Taking this team, going 11-2, 11 wins for the first time in school history. That's what it's all about, making the guys around you better, that's how you come to work every day and how you lead."

Now, he has to lead and make the Jaguars better.

He wasn't bad at all coming off the bench when Nick Foles got hurt. He was actully, fearless. John DeFilippo is a forward-thinking offensive mind who isn't afraid to throw the ball. The Jaguars will test the Texans cornerbacks, especially if rookie Lonnie Johnson gets on the field.

Don't sleep on Minshew. He is better than quite a few quarterbacks who went ahead of him. And if he doesn't work out at quarterback, he can always open a restaurant to go with his coaching.

"Man, throw me on the grill, that's my specialty. Steaks, burgers, however you like it, I'll make it for you."

Likely season debuts for two key Texans players

Tytus Howard and Keke Coutee were both full participants at practice Thursday. Coutee should make his debut this season at the slot wideout spot. Howard should slot in a left guard.

Coutee was a dynamic asset to the offense last season in the six games he played. But, of course, injury already has him missing one of the 2019 games. If he plays Sunday the offense might finally be humming at optimal ability.

Howard was the best player at left guard in the preseason. He has his cast off his hand and has a great chance to make his season debut wedged between Laremy Tunsil and Nick Martin. The first round pick had his ups and downs in the preseason but there were far more ups. He is one of the most exciting things to watch on Sunday.

Chargers bad injury luck continues

The Texans will play the Chargers next week on the road. Well, some of the Chargers.

When the Texans take the field the Chargers will be without star safety Derwin James and their starting left tackle Russell Okung. Running back Melvin Gordon is holding out, but their backs looked fine without him so I'm not sure that's a positive.

They will also now be without stud tight end Hunter Henry. Considering how much Romeo Crennel's defense have always struggled against talented tight ends this is a slight advantage for the Texans now.

Obviously, the Chargers are still very good. It will be interesting to see how they fare on the road against the Lions after the Colts played them close, and nearly won.

Who is for real?

​With the Texans and Jaguars squaring off the other half of the AFC South is action as well with the Titans hosting the Colts. Tennessee surprised many when they pushed they upset the Browns in Cleveland and ended up winning in a rout. The Colts pushed the Chargers and without their self-inflicted mistakes they might have won their opener.

This game is early but if the Titans don't show more dominance like they did last week or the Colts don't show their toughness and hang with Tennessee it won't surprise me. I can't trust the Titans one bit and if the Colts fall flat that's just something that is going to happen from time to time. This is a hard one to call because I have no clue who is going to show up as themselves, much less win.

Cam Newton is done or injured but he isn't any good right now

Cam Newton and the Panthers fans have to almost hope Cam Newton is hurt at this point. If his foot injury is that serious he needs to take a seat because he is not anywhere close to his normal level. He consistently has accuracy issues and misses open wideouts. If he isn't mobile his game drops to a much lower level.

The Panthers could be in serious trouble with Cam potentially injured. Kyle Allen is their backup. Rookie Will Grier is also on the roster. Injured Cam is better than those guys but not by much. Management has done a poor job putting a capable backup on the roster. If Newton knew he was getting a little over two weeks worth of rest and the Panthers could trust their backup maybe they could sit him. They can't at 0-2 though. With the Cardinals next up, and the a trip to Houston right after Arizona, the Panthers might be digging themselves a hole they can't climb out of this season.

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Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

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