The Houston Texans recorded their first win of the season on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 13-6. Here are some thoughts on head coach Lovie Smith's Monday press conference with the media.
1. The Texans are undefeated in the AFC South. Lovie made this point during presser, and while it is factually correct, let's pump the brakes and just enjoy the win. The Texans only managed one touchdown against the Jags and sit at 1-3-1 on the season.
2. Davis Mills is still a problem. Out of five games this season, twice now, Davis Mills has thrown for under 178 yards and recorded zero touchdowns. Mills missed several throws on Sunday, and was lucky to have running back Dameon Pierce save the day. Coach Smith said he likes the way Mills is trending. To be fair, bad QB play wasn't just a Houston thing. Trevor Lawrence looked awful on Sunday.
3. Speaking of Dameon Pierce. Lovie told the media that the team loved him from the start, and they like the way he is trending. Pierce made the play of the game, breaking 8 tackles on a twenty-yard run and was able to finish off the drive with a 1-yard TD run two plays later. Pierce rushed for 99 yards on 26 carries with 3 catches for 14 yards. Pierce's game-breaking run was called a "coach's dream" by Lovie Smith.
4. The Texans have an identity. Houston's win over the Jags is an example of how they want to play/win as a team. The Texans want to establish themselves as a running team, and running the football is how they got their first win of the season.
5. Nico Collins needs to be more involved in the offense. Collins made a big catch on 3rd and 2 with a little over 8 minutes left in the game. This drive eventually led to Pierce's legendary run down to the 1-yard line. Collins finished with 65 yards on 4 catches against Jacksonville. Lovie told the media on Monday that Collins needs to get more opportunities, and that might come at the expense of other players. Personally, I hope that means less targets to Rex Burkhead, that typically result in the Texans picking up two yards on third down, and then having to punt.
6. Derek Stingley Jr. got his first interception. Lovie mentioned Stingley's ability to play man coverage and zone, and that more interceptions occur in zone when defenders have their eyes on the QB. Coach Smith also praised the play of corners Steven Nelson and Desmond King.
7. The team was happy with the offensive tackles on Sunday. Lovie made the point that the Jaguars have some pass rushers that went very early in the draft, and he thought his tackles did a nice job blocking them. Dameon Pierce also gave the football to Laremy Tunsil to spike in the end zone after scoring in the fourth quarter. Clearly, Tunsil appreciated that. Check out this retweet about Dameon Pierce.
8. Garrett Wallow showed some flashes at linebacker. Coach Smith said Wallow played excellent on Sunday and that he's been good when he plays. Avoiding injury will be key for him. Also, look for the team to keep trying things at linebacker. Smith said they would like to see some improvement at the position. Christian Harris is also a player to watch as the Texans look for answers at linebacker. He might be ready to make his debut in the Texans next game against the Raiders on Oct 23.
Be sure to check out the video above to hear Lovie's complete thoughts on the big win.
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.