WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT

How latest roster moves are rapidly answering questions about Houston Texans philosophy

Texans DeMeco Ryans
The Texans made some surprising cuts this week. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.
It sure sounds like Jadeveon Clowney is a good fit for DeMeco's defense

The Texans went from 90 to 53 and a practice squad yesterday. Roster moves are still being made to shape the opening day 53. While there were pink slips given, “this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later” may have been uttered, and the dreaded “we wish you well in your future endeavors.”

This is a necessary evil and a part of the business. Every day, normal people lose their jobs because of corporate restructuring. The difference here? Some of these guys were drafted recently by the same general manager that cut them.

One thing I appreciate about some of Nick Caserio's comments is him owning it. He spoke about writing things in pencil. You can erase pencil, but pen is permanent. NEVER marry yourself to a player is my philosophy. If it's working, cool, If not, on to the next. While most will not understand or tolerate this kind of behavior/talk, I happen to get it.

Crying over spilled milk instead of cleaning it up and buying a new gallon makes absolutely no sense! Take Kenyon Green for example. TONS of fans are upset and labeling him as a bust. He's played one season and is on IR for this season. Who's to say he wouldn't have made the improvements had he not been injured? You can't make that kind of judgement after one year. Especially if he's injured. Caserio said him going on IR was more about when, not if. This explains the extra offensive line moves.

When looking at the OL, it's imperative they put together the best unit possible. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud was named the starter following the final preseason game vs. the Saints. This was to be expected. One surprise was that they kept eight offensive linemen, when I thought for sure they'd keep nine. Keeping four running backs, six wide receivers, three quarterbacks, and five safeties made it a numbers game. Usually teams will keep one less in each of those positions to make room for more guys in other positions. Also, keeping a fullback and three tight tends made things a little tight.

Reminder: This is just the opening day roster. It's still very fluid. Moves are being made daily to constantly reshape the roster. Don't be surprised if there are more offensive linemen added. The defense may see some roster moves as well. DeMeco Ryans and his staff are developers. They see certain traits they can coach up and go after the player. This is also the reason some vets such as Desmond King, Christian Kirksey, Jacob Martin, Chase Winovich, Steven Sims, and Nick Vannett were given their walking papers. A few of those names surprised some folks. Not me.

I see the vision Caserio and DeMeco are casting. Out with the old, and in with the new. Their philosophy is simple: field the best team while building for the future. Looking to the future while establishing the present is a great way to rebuild. You want to improve upon the previous years and set new milestones. Remember, we're in “Phase Two” of the rebuild. I know it's a Tilman Fertitta/Rockets thing, but it applies to the Texans as well. You have your hot shot GM, a young/exciting head coach, a franchise quarterback, a young edge rusher, a lockdown corner, a playmaker at safety, still have some draft capital, and decent cap space. It's time to poop or get off the pot!

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Justin Verlander is heading to the injured list. Composite Getty Image.

Astros ace Justin Verlander missed his start over the weekend due to neck discomfort, which had many fans concerned. The last Houston pitcher (Cristian Javier) to miss time with the same injury would end up out for the season and having to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Fortunately, it doesn't look like that will be the case for JV, and the team didn't anticipate having to put Verlander on IR. They hoped he would be able to start Thursday's game in Chicago.

But manager Joe Espada told the Astros flagship station on Tuesday that his progress “is slower than we expected.”

Fast-forward a few hours and JV is headed to the IL, with Nick Hernandez joining the club from Sugar Land.

Hopefully, this is just a short stint on the injured list for Verlander. Quite frankly, the Astros are running out of big league caliber starting pitching options.

One has to wonder, how many more injuries the team can sustain in 2024? The injury bug is biting hard, and the club is currently nine games behind Seattle in the AL West.

Up next

Framber Valdez takes the mound for Houston against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

The Athletic's Chandler Rome shares some possibilities the Astros might explore to replace Verlander in the post below.

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