TOUGH TIMES

Watson's injury just proves the Texans are cursed

Deshaun Watson is lost for the season. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Lord giveth.

The Lord taketh away.

Less than 24 hours after Houston finally wins its first World Series, the joy got sucked out of the air.

The superstar in the making, record-setting quarterback DeShaun Watson is done for the year.  He tore his ACL in a non-contact drill during the Texans practice.

The National Championship star from Clemson will be replaced by Tom I have never thrown an NFL touchdown pass in four limited seasons. Savage.

A former fourth-round pick from Pitt, Savage has a solid arm but the mobility of an overweight sumo wrestler. The scouting report -- as well as the eye test -- indicates he holds on the ball too long, causing sacks.

No. 3 has limited mobility, along with feet of clay. The offensive line has done it with smoke and mirrors thanks to the freakish nature of Watson’s running and escapability.

Hurricane Harvey was  followed by season-ending injuries to Whitney Mercilus and J.J Watt. Now? This for a franchise that appears cursed.

With the trade of left tackle Duane Brown to Seattle, fourth round pick Juliien Davenport will be making his first start.

So, who will be the backup quarterback? None other than a kid coached by Bill O’Brien at Penn State, Matt McGloin, cut from the Eagles in training camp.

General Manager Rick Smith McNair informed the coaches immediately after the injury.

The Texans could have put a stop to the collusion case of Colin Kaepernick against the NFL and signed him. But the combination of the controversial quarterback’s weak arm and Mc Nair’s ill-timed remarks put an end to that thinking.

A younger and healthier McNair would have brought the former Niner in, got assurances he would stand with his teammates and ended the anthem crap all with a stroke of a pen.

That would have been a Public Relations coup, and stopping the perception held around the nation of Robert. C. McNair, Jr.

Instead, it is yet another reason why the Texans continue to make baffling moves.

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The Rockets got a steal at No. 3 overall. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

With the Astros absorbing their worst loss of the season Thursday night at the Yankees, here's to the Rockets! Wait, what? It's only educated guess work, but in landing Jabari Smith out of Auburn the Rockets had a spectacular night. Heaven knows they have had very few of those the last two years. After having to settle for the third pick in the NBA Draft despite being the worst team in the league again, in Smith the Rockets got the best player in the Draft. Of course Smith could be an epic flop, it’s very inexact science. But Orlando taking Paolo Banchero from Duke first then Oklahoma City selecting Gonzaga beanpole Chet Holmgren second left the "surest thing" two-way player on the board. Through most of the run-up to the draft the six-foot-10 inch Banchero was most commonly projected to the Rockets. It's not as if he would have been a bad choice as a player. Banchero certainly could turn out to be the best player in this draft class. But his game is skewed toward his offensive skills, his fit in Houston would have been quite questionable. The also 6-10 Smith has shown the vastly better outside shooting ability, and is indisputably more athletic and better equipped to defend at a higher level and with more versatility. Jabari Smith is not going to be Kevin Durant or Kevin Garnett. Let's at least call it extreeeeemely unlikely given very few in the history of the planet come close to those guys, still, envisioning Smith providing some KD and KG level moments on both ends of the floor is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

The Rockets' defense was an absolute joke last season. Little to no improvement was shown as the death march of 2021-22 dragged on and on and on to its 20-62 finish. Frankly if Head Coach Stephen Silas can't demand/develop vastly improved D this coming season he'll deserve and need to be fired. The Rockets love Alperen Sengun, and his rookie season offense showed both flair and promise. Defensively he was one of many parts of the joke. Just 20 years old late next month so some improvement should come, but Sengun is slow. Quick twitch muscles, slow. Lateral movement, slow. He’s not long, not a leaper, not thick. Sengun will be hard-pressed to become an average defender. In today's game he's the kind of big who quality small-ball opponents play off the court. Banchero would have been a lousy defensive pairing with Sengun. Smith-Sengun has a chance. Smith as a small-ball center has potential. Christian Wood was a dog, not in a good way. Smith’s character grades are very high.

The seven-foot 194 pound Holmgren has a fascinating array of skills. He could be Rudy Gobert defensively with way better offense, or a skinny guy who can’t hack it physically. Had the Thunder taken Smith at two, Holmgren to the Rockets would have been interesting. Getting Smith to pair with Jalen Green as the tent poles of the Rockets’ still long way to go reconstruction is more encouraging. With due respect to all the other first round picks added in 2021 and 2022, what Green and Smith become individually and as a tandem is what will foremost determine how long the Rockets remain horrible. It could go pretty well for the duo and the Rockets could still be awful for multiple more years. A third consecutive losing season is virtual certainty. By the end of it though at least a few meaningful rays of light at the end of the tunnel need to be peeking through.

As for the other two first rounders added Thursday night, both are interesting darts at the board. Tari Eason out of LSU brings defensive chops and size (six-foot-eight) for his position, a combo that exactly zero returning Rockets have. Jae’Sean Tate plays really hard, but he’s a six-four forward. All their Josh Christophers, Garrison Matthewses, Kenyon Martin Jrs., and David Nwabas add up to very little.

No one smart really believes in Kevin Porter Jr. as a long term winning point guard growth stock. TyTy Washington should get some rookie run at the point. He’s the only non-worthless to the team ex-Kentucky point guard on the Rockets’ roster. Yes, John Wall and his 47.3 million dollar salary are still on the roster.

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