Why the timing is just right for the dawning of a new era for Texans
There were days in the not too distant past when the Texans were considered an up-and-coming team. They had a young franchise quarterback, a few weapons around him, and a decent defense. Things were looking up and had a very positive outlook. One could go as far as to say there could've (or should've, depending on your outlook) been at least a decade of dominance. Then it all came crashing down.
A once promising young coach turned into a petulant spoiled brat drunk off power and consumed with feeding his ego, who was unceremoniously unseated. A generational talent along the defensive line making a beeline for the Hall of Fame turned into an injury-plagued shell of his former self and appeared to be more caricature than real person. Finally, the shining star squeaky clean franchise quarterback turned out to be an alleged sexual deviant who wanted more control over franchise decisions and wanted out when he wasn't given his way despite signing an extension only months prior.
Those were three of the key blocks that fell into place, contributing to the demise of a once bright future turned into a dimly lit closet of despair. Sure, there were other contributing factors, but these were three of the keys that led this team down this path. Enter Nick Caserio. Armed with a six-year contract, two decades of experience in New England's winning culture, and a piercing stare, he came to Houston and knew what he was up against.
When Deshaun Watson made known his demand to be out of Houston and his allegations were made public, it threw a monkey wrench in Caserio's plans. Rebuilding around the most important centerpiece (a franchise quarterback) is easier than doing so without said centerpiece. The allegations and legal trouble put an immediate halt to any attempts to trade Watson or convincing him to stay. When those troubles cleared the grand jury, it greased the skids for a smooth entry into the trade process. Watson was sent to Cleveland for a decent haul.
Now is the time for Caserio to truly step up to the plate and let people know what he's all about. Now is the time for fans to regain their passion for this team. Now is the time for the younger guys on this roster, and the ones being added, to show up and show out. Now is the time!
The future may not seem as bright right now, but if Caserio and his staff put together good drafts with the bounty from the trade, things will look brighter much sooner. Contending NFL teams have at least a capable starting quarterback with good to great pieces around him. The best of those teams have a true franchise quarterback with great pieces around him. The hunt is back on for that guy. Some will think Davis Mills is that guy. I'm not convinced. It would be ideal if he turns into one of the aforementioned quarterbacks, but I can't see it right now. I do believe he should be given this coming year to prove what he can be. With better talent around him and a more capable/experienced head coach, who knows what the man can turn into. Either that, or the team armed with two first rounders in the next three years can move those picks to move up to draft, or trade for their franchise guy.
Either way, I see better days ahead for the Texans. I see reasons to get excited again. Am I 100% convinced Caserio will knock every maneuver out of the park? No, because he's had a few missteps along the way. Hall of Fame general managers all have moves they regret. The difference is they knew how to recover and often hit way more than they missed. Do I think fans should resume their typical ticket buying, tailgating, and merchandise purchases? That's up to them, but I wouldn't until after the draft to see what players are coming to get that excited about. This is the dawn of a new era. It feels like those cold mornings when your alarm goes off, but it's still dark out and raining. You get up knowing what you have in front of you, knowing it'll be a journey, knowing you'll have to persevere, but also knowing if you seize the day, it'll be well worth the hassle. Seize the day, Texans fans. It'll turn out for the better if you're patient and wait it out.