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It's time to reassess everything we thought we knew about Nick Caserio, Texans

Many fans weren't impressed with the Texans draft. Composite image by Jack Brame.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article titled "An honest discussion about our expectations for the Texans." In said article, I gave Texans general manager Nick Caserio props for "bringing in some decent talent." While by no means was I admitting Caserio was building a winner, but he brought in a ton of guys on one year deals who are going to be competing for their next contract. Meaning, they'll play hard, but the talent level and chemistry of opposing teams will ultimately win out as the Texans will have a losing season. I predicted they'll go somewhere between 7-10 and 4-13. A record in that range is good for a top 5-10 pick in the draft, which they desperately need in order to assist in the rebuild.

Last week, I wrote about the most likely scenarios for the Texans following the draft. Considering the moves Caserio made, I wasn't too pleased with the draft. They came into the draft with eight picks and drafted only five players after severely overpaying to trade up twice and only getting one of the guys they traded up for, so I felt as if this draft by Caserio left much to be desired. However, it may turn out for the best, but that largely depends on Davis Mills turning into a franchise quarterback and Nico Collins turning into a stud at receiver. Counting on third round picks to become big time stars in order to justify them being drafted over other guys who played positions of obvious need is a reach. Not saying it won't happen, but the likelihood isn't great.

I was optimistic about Caserio's hire initially. I had a short fuse of confidence in his abilities because I hoped he'd had learned enough in his twenty years in New England that he would be capable of doing a good enough job here. Not that I thought he'd be a superstar right away, but effective. The series of one year deals and cleaning up some cap issues made me think I was right. Re-signing David Johnson in light of bringing in Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay made me wonder if he was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. Then there was the draft. Taking a quarterback when you already have a contingency plan starter and traded for a backup was puzzling. Sure Mills has some traits and could be a steal, but your biggest needs were on defense. The nail in my confidence coffin was his comment "I'm not a draft expert" when asked what he thought about their draft. Whether he meant it as "I'm no Todd McShay", or as "I'm too dumb to know what I'm doing just yet", the perception is there that the latter is what's believed.

When you're in a situation and you don't really know what to do, but you fake it till you make it, would you tell people? Or, would you let your performance speak for itself? No matter what I thought, if I were him, I would have never uttered those words! Perception is everything in the court of public opinion. So far, Caserio has made me think much less of his abilities moving forward. The only things he can do to change my mind is win big on a Deshaun Watson trade and hit it big with not only this, but the next couple drafts as well. If he can build a playoff contender within in the next couple of years, I'll take it back. Until then, he's just another bum living off the Bill Belichick rub.

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The Texans are moving in the wrong direction. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

1. This team started incredibly slow and outside of a couple of drives in the second half disappointed. The defense got worked by the Chargers' star players, and the offense sputtered too often. It was really a summary of the season up to this point which is to say inconsistency.

2. Davis Mills was shaky early. The first drive interception was tough to stomach. The pocket got messy as he tried to drive the ball and he floated one up there. It gave the Chargers an easy drive for seven points.

3. One of the early offensive mistakes erased a scoring opportunity. Kenyon Green got nailed for a holding call that erased one of the best passes and catches between Brandin Cooks and Davis Mills all season. The rookie’s mistake was compounded the very next play when the offense allowed Mills to be sacked. It was a 40-yard swing that led to a punt.

4. Another third down penalty led to a mishap for the Texans. Laremy Tunsil gets a false start on third down to make it third and 10. The shovel pass to Rex Burkhead goes for six yards and then the Texans botch the field goal. Back-to-back drives and third-down penalties affected the offense and ended with no points. That was all just in the first quarter!

5. The Texans were abysmal with short yardage in key spots yet again. In the second quarter, Pep Hamilton opted for a pass on fourth and one. Davis Mills never got the play off and was sacked. After the game, Mills said the team wanted to catch the Chargers off guard running when most expected a pass, but Rex Burkhead was the running back. It was again a situation, a key and critical moment, that the team trusted Burkhead over the more dynamic Dameon Pierce.

6. The Chargers were very chunky on offense against the Texans. There were 16 plays that went for at least ten yards for the Chargers of their 67 plays. Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler were fantastic for Los Angeles.

7. The pass rush was non-existent for the Texans. This was one of the more disappointing aspects of the day to consider the Chargers were playing a rookie right guard, their center is injured but playing, and the left tackle was a backup left tackle. Nothing seemed to get home on an injured Justin Herbert. The Texans recorded just two quarterback hits in the game.

8. The linebackers got worked again. This is the absolute weakest unit on the team right now. They look like they’re easily exploited by most opposing offenses.

9. It was a rough day for the rookie class of the Texans. Derek Stingley was handled by Mike Williams on multiple occasions in key spots. Kenyon Green allowed a big sack and had a holding penalty erase a huge play. Jalen Pitre was the target of some offensive success in the Chargers' passing game.

10. Not all the rookies had a bad day. Dameon Pierce is so much fun to watch. He has the chance to be a truly impactful player for this team. His 75-yard touchdown scamper gave the team some juice, and he constantly fights and gets extra yards when the ball is headed his way. He finished with 14 carries and six catches for 20 total touches.

11. The Texans need teams to help them stay in games, and even then, it is a challenge. The tough part about where the Texans are through four games is there are some positives to look at and point to, but not enough to say the team is surely headed in the right direction. There surely has to be some adjustment by the team when the season is where it is after nearly a quarter of the year. The current direction isn’t going to lead anywhere positive soon.

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