Expectations for Texans should be heavily influenced by these 3 factors
The Texans have set a tone for the upcoming season. They have a roster that's made for mediocrity, but some people think they're built to make a splash. I said their plane of winning is anywhere from 2-7 wins. This translates into anywhere from a top three to five pick, or as low as a mid first round pick (somewhere in the teens). Last week, folks were in an uproar over the cancellation of the mandatory minicamp. I don't understand why because this team isn't built for the long haul.
1. Take for example the team signing Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Deshaun Watson most likely won't be playing quarterback for the Texans this year because of his off-field issues. Taylor's contract pays him double if he starts and/or plays a certain percentage of plays. This was done for a reason: either the team/organization knew Watson wouldn't be back, and/or they picked a quarterback whose career average per pass is a 7.0 yards per attempt. That would put him between 91st and 108th all-time between guys like Jeff Hostetler and Brian Griese. This doesn't speak to a quarterback that'll take chances down the field. If I were a Texans fan, I'd look for mediocrity or worse, and pray for a high draft pick because Taylor is more of a Captain Checkdown than a Mr. Risk Taker.
2. Sure, this roster is full of vets on one-year deals trying to prove themselves, but it's also full of guys that are devoid of top tier NFL talent. Any time that happens, you can be assured your team won't win much. Sure winning will occur, but don't expect it to be a regular occurrence. There's only so much heart and fight in those guys, and that'll only carry them so far. When they come against a more talented team, the more talented team will prevail more often than not. Every so often, a plucky bunch will overtake a more talented group, but this doesn't happen as often as one would think.
Would those extra days of mandatory minicamp have helped? Not at all. More than likely, they would've done two days worth of actual practicing, and one day of team building. Watson wouldn't have showed up, which would've subjected him to fines and the team to even more questions about his availability. This would've made things more difficult on the organization given the sensitive nature of the allegations. Even if Watson stays on this team, it doesn't appear as if he'll have any positive impact on this season given the timeline for his case to play out.
3. General manager Nick Caserio hasn't exactly instilled much confidence in himself with the draft he conducted. Coming out of a draft with five picks being made when you went into it with eight and not filling a couple key positions isn't a good idea. Labeling yourself as not being a "draft expert" wasn't smart either. I truly hope he can complete a trade of Watson next offseason that'll land this team the type of draft capital that will help springboard them into being a contender.
Overall, this team and organization are a mess. I hope Caserio is given the reins to turn the roster around and can do so. Hopefully, some of the young talent they've acquired turns into something and can learn from the vets they've signed. Otherwise, this team is about to embark on another dark period that may last quite a while.