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Here's what the Houston Texans must avoid at all costs heading into next season

Here's what the Houston Texans must avoid at all costs heading into next season
Moving on from Davis Mills would be best for both parties involved. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Texans have secured the number two overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft coming up in April. Fans and some media members are upset that they “failed to lose” and secure the number one overall pick. The only thing they “lost” was the ability to control each round by picking first. The need for a franchise quarterback didn't vanish. The reason the Texans require a franchise quarterback is that the guy they tried to give a shot to didn't take the reins of the job. Davis Mills thinks otherwise:

Mr. Mills, have several seats sir! Not only do I not want Mills back as the potential starter or competition for the incoming rookie, but I also don't want him around as the backup! A better idea is to get rid of him and find a veteran who can mentor the rookie. What will Mills offer him? How to skip a seven-yard out route? How to complete a post flag throw to the strength coach on the bench?

Seriously, Mills has not shown the ability to be a competent NFL quarterback on a regular basis. Did he have a talent deficiency around him? Yes. He also failed to instill any confidence in his abilities. Why else would Jeff Driskel, the guy they moved to tight end then back to quarterback, get playing time? I saw one too many skipped passes and overthrows for me to feel confident in him moving forward. His completion percentage dropped almost six percent from his rookie year to last year (66.8% to 61%). Quarterbacks nowadays need to hover around 65% or better to be considered good.

I know this opinion will upset some Mills truthers who believe this guy should get a fair shake. Truth is, no one gets a fair shake in the NFL. Things will go wrong. Injuries will happen. Talent and God-given abilities will fade. Organizations will be poorly run. The one constant in all those situations: talent will prevail. If you're good at football, that'll stick out in a sea of sore thumbs. Mills looks like any old average quarterback a team can draft late or sign off the street.

The number two overall pick will more than likely be the team's next franchise quarterback. He will need all the help and support to make him successful. I suggest bringing in a vet who has experience in the new offensive coordinator's system. That way, the rookie will have a guy in the room that can help him learn the offense, and the team will have a guy that can run said offense should the rookie get hurt. Let Mills go find another team that he can compete for the backup role on. I don't see a future here in Houston, and I pray that the Texans feel the same way.

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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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