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 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.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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