The Friday Stoots Six-Pack previews the 2019 Texans biggest storylines
Watt and Watson among best Texans storylines
Each Friday we will have the Stoots Six-Pack to get you through the workday and into the football weekend. If you missed the Big 12 report or any of my other writings you can find those here.
Today we use movies to describe the Texans storylines for this season. (NSFW language in some of the clips)
The Bodyguard starring Laremy Tunsil
"I'm here to win games and provide for this team as much as I can."— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 5, 2019
Hear from LT Laremy Tunsil. pic.twitter.com/0frzg7HOYX
Laremy Tunsil said all the right things.
"We don't want Deshaun to get touched 62 times."
Now he just has to do all the right things. This will be a perennial storyline for the next 48 regular season games and any potential playoff games. Tunsil will be compared and contrasted against hundreds of draft picks in the next few years. He will get a HUGE contract.
None of that matters if he balls out. If he plays well then nothing about his addition to the team matters. Not the picks or the big contract. Just be the Kevin Coster to Deshaun Watson's Whitney Houston.
(I wanted to put Whitney Houston singing "I Will Always Love You" but I thought that would be weird if someone didn't know that was from the movie.)
Sack Brothers starring Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt
"Do you want to go sack Drew Brees in the Superdome?"
J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus are much smarter than Brennan and Dale but they are the sack brothers. The only two players that should be trusted or expected to rush the passer on a consistent basis. They have to have a huge year because there is nobody else to rely on at this point. Sure, others will get chances, but Watt and Mercilus will be leaned on.
If they can recapture the success of 2015 where they combined for 29.5 sacks the Texans should be able to piece together a few more sacks to account for the loss of Jadeveon Clowney.
The Will of Kirby Street starring Will Fuller
Will Fuller has an potential replacement for his skills on the roster now. He's staring down potentially not getting a new deal and playing out his rookie deal. He's down, but he ain't out. He's. Not. Leaving.
Fuller has to be awesome this year for himself and for the Texans to finally reach their offensive potential. The Texans averaged 270 yards through the air in games Fuller played. They averaged 211 passing yards in games he didn't play. I'm not a big time stock trader but I can see the value in the Will Fuller stock here!
This is a pseudo make-or-break year for Fuller. He has to stay healthy. He has to play. And if he does? The Texans are going to be more dangerous than a guy selling you penny stocks promising big returns.
Defensive Backs For Life starring Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby
I feel like Johnathan Joseph is Martin Lawrence here. He could be out, and some might say should. But he's in it for life. Bradley Roby is the smooth and athletic Will Smith aka Mike Lowrey. Mike is a little wild, and does his own thing sometimes and he's running around and gets it done. Lawrence's Marcus Burnett doesn't move as well but he's way more level headed and helps get it done. (I'm pretty damn excited about this movie.)
These two defensive backs are keys to the secondary. I'm not worried about the safety position with Tashaun Gipson and Justin Reid. Even Jahleel Addae provides some key depth there. But the two starting corners are the key.
Joseph is 22 passes defensed from the all-time mark. He had 13 last year but he could easily climb into sole position of third place. He played pretty dang well last year. He had a slow start but Joseph ended up with the 15th best overall Pro Football Focus grade at cornerback and the 16th best coverage grade. If he starts fast, the Texans might be ok.
Bradley Roby took a one-year prove it deal and he may end up with the tougher assignments from time to time. He's a freak athlete and people I talked in Denver feel like there is still something there. Roby has to be good early as well as it doesn't appear rookie Lonnie Johnson is ready to roll right now. He will be soon, and could contribute down the road but it is Roby's task for now.
Tytus Boy starring Tytus Howard
Let's be clear, Tytus Howard is not Tommy Callahan Jr. but I love Tommy Boy and I liked Tytus Boy for a movie-ish name so bear with me while I fit into this analogy like Farley fit into his clothes.
All eyes were on Tommy when he went out to sell those brakes. All eyes are on Tytus as he goes out there to play left guard. Ultimately, there was something there with Tommy and it took a little rough patch to get it out. By the end, Tommy saved the day and sold a lot of brakes. By the end, Tytus will pancake some fools and protect Deshaun Watson.
Howard is already seen as a failure by national media. This is a silly way to look at it. Drafting a starter in the first round on the offensive line is a huge win for the Texans. He ended up not being the left tackle and likely never will be. But if he is the left guard in 2019 and the right tackle after that or heck if he sticks at guard that's a huge success. Just like Tommy Boy was in the end.
Dr. Watson, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the new General Manager starring Bill O'Brien and Deshaun Watson
I'm going to be honest, I have never seen this movie. But, the title was awesome and the internet loves it.
Bill O'Brien runs the show now. All the roster stuff is primarily behind him. The building is done. He has to get to coaching and making it happen on offense. He has to operate at a high level in key situations. Any of his previous issues with the clock or challenges and people will immediately point to too much being on his plate.
O'Brien will likely still call plays so with the increased talent on the offense can he maximize it? We have seen Watson and company at his best, and that was with a shaky offensive line. O'Brien improved it and now he needs to do the most he can with it. And his quarterback needs to do the most too.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, above matters if Deshaun Watson isn't good. Not the plays from O'Brien, the sacks from Watt or Tunsil and Howard blocking. When Watson gets the chance to be great, be great and see where the Texans go. They're sixth on this list but the biggest storyline this season.