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Expectations for Texans should be heavily influenced by these 3 factors

Should fans really be concerned that the Texans canceled minicamp? Composite image by Jack Brame.

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 tierNFL 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.

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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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