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3 compelling reasons Texans must stick to the script at all costs

3 compelling reasons Texans must stick to the script at all costs
It's time for DeMeco and the Texans to draft and develop a quarterback. Composite image by Brandon Strange.
Texans GM Nick Caserio

The Texans are poised to turn the franchise around. They have cap room and draft capital. This year and next year's drafts are two of the most important drafts in team history. No, you read that correctly. The only draft more important was the very first. These next two will fight over positions two and three on that list.

Quarterback is the most critical position on the field. When your team has a franchise guy at that position, things tend to fall into place much quicker. Winning is easier. Coaches and general managers keep their jobs when they win. When said QB is on a rookie deal for four to five years (depending on the fifth year option) and is good, the team has more cap flexibility to build around him.

All that being said, the rumors of the Texans doing anything other than selecting a QB in this draft and building around him are crazy. People are talking about all kinds of scenarios now that the combine is done and free agency is upon us. Having a social media account and an opinion seemingly makes people “experts” these days.

First off, the Jimmy Garoppolo rumors are not what's up. If they want to run a bridge QB out there that'll help guide the rookie, they can find a cheaper one. Jimmy G most likely wants a longer term deal with more security. The Texans would offer him some familiarity with the staff, but his time as the guy under center would be limited because of the rookie. Let's say he's interested in coming here on a one year prove-it deal. Let's say he's willing to help groom the rookie. What happens if the rookie is ready to go and Jimmy G has to take a seat? QB controversy is not what you want for a team rebuilding and trying to establish a new culture.

Secondly, taking a QB that requires more grooming, coaching, and time to grow will set this team back further. It'll also raise the questions of whether they took the wrong guy and if they should take a QB when next year's draft rolls around. Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are deemed as the most ready. Will Levis and Anthony Richardson are seen as guys who are intriguing, but may need some work. Young has size/durability concerns. Stroud is seen as a pocket guy who can't make off schedule plays. Levis has a cannon, but turns the ball over and gets sacked too much. Richardson is a big freaky athlete with a booming arm, but it's more musket than sniper rifle. They all have flaws, but Young and Stroud are clearly the top two in my opinion. A team like this wants to win sooner rather than later. DeMeco Ryans doesn't strike me as a guy who'd come here to tank or even delay the winning process. Draft the guy who's most ready.

Last but not least, don't try to fix the defense at the expense of the offense. Especially at the expense of the main offensive piece you need moving forward. There are some defensive studs near the top of this draft. DeMeco is a defensive coach. Giving him weapons on his side of the ball would immediately correct some deficiencies and make this team more competitive. However, Davis Mills is NOT Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, hell, he's not even Rex Grossman at this point. All those guys rode great defenses to Super Bowls. A couple of them won it all. This team doesn't have a game manager type to get them where they need to be. The Jimmy G option might be intriguing if you believe this is the way to go. But this team has too many holes to fill in order to make a move like that. It isn't one this or that away from competing for a title. One of the reasons DeMeco was hired was his ability to get the most out of guys on defense and develop them. He's helped turn mid to low round picks into great players. Use the highest picks to retool the offense and allow DeMeco and his staff to work their magic on defense.

This is a tough decision to make, and it isn't. Two things can be true. The hardest part is not knowing what the Bears will do at number one. Once the Texans are on the clock, hopefully the toughest decision they have left is which QB to take. Get Young or Stroud at number two and roll on. If you want to trade back for more picks, use number 12 for that. Don't overthink this, Nick Caserio. Remember, your job is on the line, so draft/act accordingly.

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Suns defeat Rockets, 110-105. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Phoenix All-Star Devin Booker and Houston rookie Cam Whitmore got into a minor scuffle midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night and both players were called for a technical foul.

With a couple big blocks on the ensuing possession, Suns center Jusuf Nurkic was there to back his star teammate.

Booker scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Suns held off the Rockets 110-105, with the teams set to meet again in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Nurkic had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out. His biggest moment came in the fourth, when he stuffed Whitmore twice on the possession following the scuffle, drawing huge roars from the Phoenix crowd.

“Very important — that's the team sticking together,” Booker said. “That goes a long way. That's what you need when things get tough, it gets to the thick of things and the energy is high. You want to know you have people on your team that are built like that.”

Booker scored 20 points in the first quarter to help give the Suns an 18-point lead they would never relinquish. He has scored at least 20 points in an NBA-high six quarters this season.

Three-time All-Star Bradley Beal missed his fifth straight game because of a hamstring injury.

The Suns took an 86-75 lead into the final quarter. Houston cut the advantage to six midway through the fourth, but Booker responded immediately with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine.

That led to the brief skirmish between Booker and Whitmore. Tempers stayed hot over the next few minutes — Houston's Alperen Sengun fouled out and then got two quick technicals, earning an ejection.

Booker hit both of the technical free throws, Nurkic followed with his two free throws from Sengun's foul, and that pushed the Suns' lead to 99-84. The Rockets would cut the lead to four with 16.9 seconds left, but Royce O'Neale hit two free throws to end the threat.

Jalen Green led Houston with 34 points. Fred VanVleet added 21. The Rockets connected on just 11 of 45 3-pointers and shot 33.3% from the field overall, which was their worst percentage of the season.

“It wasn't one of our better nights as far as guys getting open looks and making the extra pass,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We had a few guys who had it going, but a few guys who were struggling.”

Phoenix has won seven of its past 10 — and nine in a row at home — as it tries to stay in the top six of the Western Conference playoff race and avoid the play-in tournament. The sliding Rockets have lost eight of 10.

“We're getting confident in this building,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

Booker's big first quarter pushed the Suns to a 33-17 lead. The four-time All-Star made 8 of 10 shots from the field, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Phoenix settled for a 64-53 halftime lead. Booker had 26 points before the break while Green led Houston with 21.

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