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

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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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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