EVERY-THING SPORTS

We're trying to wrap our minds around these all-too-common Houston Texans takes

The Houston Texans' offseason ranked 25th. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The NFL no longer has a true "offseason" anymore. Instead, we transition from the season to offseason activities like we used to move from class to class in our school days. You go from watching games to watching how teams reshape and rebuild their rosters. Any news that comes out is a big deal. Hell, the releasing of the schedule is damn near a holiday the way the league and TV execs treat it. Social media gets flooded with supposed schedule leaks. Teams have even posted prank videos telling players about a jacked up schedule. Guys who are free agents get their every move reported. God forbid a player in a contract dispute removes any mentions of his current team from his social media, that could get about three to four days' worth of stories in itself.

Bill Barnwell wrote an article about how teams fared this offseason. To say he was critical of the Texans' offseason would be an understatement. He made it seem as if there was a plan, but he's not sure of those plans. When he talked about what went right, he mentions picking up draft picks for Deshaun Watson. I agree, it was a good move. Where we disagree is his backhanded compliments. He said Nick Caserio has a "coherent plan toward filling out the roster," but then asks why the short-term deals for veterans? He did like the Kenyon Green pick as a smart investment, but why trash the short-term deals? Those are guys who might stick around if they prove worthy. Bare minimum, those vets can come in and help the younger guys learn how to be pros.

As I keep reading, he talks about trading up for John Metchie III as being a bad move. His reasoning is that "the Texans valued Metchie as if he were worth the 18th pick in a typical draft." Now what now?!? What draft chart shows that Bill? Using the points valued at each pick would yield a 1st rounder, but NOBODY would trade a high 3rd/4th/late 4th for a 1st (except that one dude who used to coach here)! Clearly, this was a reach of Inspector Gadget proportions. He took exception again with adding aging vets along the defensive line. I don't see the problem as they can help younger guys learn the pro game, or they can be shipped off midseason for low round picks or cut and not waste a spot or cap space. I do agree with his assessment about signing veteran running backs. Bringing in a bunch of young running backs means you could stumble upon your next star at the position. They're a dime a dozen, unless you find a special one.

When he spoke on the coaching hire this offseason being another lame duck hire, I laughed. I look at Lovie's hire the same way I look at Davis Mills getting a shot: see what he can do, and we may have something. I truly believe Brian Flores was their target, but his pending lawsuit made him undesirable (check the timeline of David Culley's firing against Flores' firing and lawsuit). Speaking of Mills, he thought not providing a suitable backup for Mills could've been handled better, and Jimmy Garoppolo should still be on their radar. Why? Let Mills enjoy a full offseason/season as the guy to see what he can do without looking over his shoulder at the guy who may replace him. If he works out, great. If not, draft his replacement in the upcoming draft where the talent pool is way better.

Overall, his article smells like a national writer who didn't take the time to truly look into things but had a deadline and recycled some tired old tropes others in his position have done previously. Did they have a lights-out offseason? No. But they damn sure have a focus and direction that isn't that hard to see if you look closely. Caserio came from an organization that played chess, not checkers. He's willing to endure at least one more season of bad to mediocre football in order to build this thing into what he envisions. With ownership firmly behind him, he's got the green light. I wonder if Barnwell will eat this article if he's proven wrong? There's a local football writer who recently retired that can tell him what sauce to put on it.

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