Texans 2020 offense

What are the Texans' plans for the offense after all these moves?

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

We've had the discussions about DeAndre Hopkins departure. We've talked about Brandin Cooks and the trades that have gone down. The concerns of injuries to this roster have been delved into. The moves have been made and now it's time to look at what the Houston Texans could be planning with their 2020 offensive attack.

Over the last week, I've done some research and read some tea leaves. By no means do I know exactly what the Texans plan and this article isn't coming from a place of inside sourcing. Here's what I believe Houston will attempt to do with Tim Kelly and Bill O'Brien.

The NFL is a copycat league, always has been. From the West Coast offense to the run and shoot to the craze over the pistol formation, NFL offenses are always looking to adapt to the most cutting edge attack. Joe Brady has been a fast riser in the football ranks. At every stop he looks to add new wrinkles to his offensive attack. Last year, he laid the foundation of an offense that took Joe Burrow to national champ and Heisman winner. Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions.

Brady has since left Baton Rouge for Charlotte, North Carolina, where he'll run the Panthers' offense for new head coach, Matt Rhule. Rhule and the Panthers have brought in Teddy Bridgewater and PJ Walker to execute the offense. They've since traded Kyle Allen and parted ways with Cam Newton.

Bridgewater, like Burrow doesn't have the biggest arm, but he's accurate. He's a perfect fit for the Brady offense coming to Carolina. The Panthers have supplied Bridgewater and Brady with the exact weapons he needs for the execution of his offense. They have one of the top receiving backs in the NFL that is deadly as a rusher. They have speedsters all over the offense that can take short passes and maximize gains with efficiency.

Why am I discussing Joe Brady and the Panthers so much in an article about what the Texans' offense will look like in 2020? The reason is that I believe Tim Kelly will be tasked with building a similar attack. While David Johnson isn't in Christian McCaffrey's league anymore, there was a time, where his skill set was similar. The receivers that both team's employee aren't the biggest or best, but the respected groups would probably come in first and second if the NFL had a relay race among all 32 teams in which each roster had to use their four fastest receivers.

Here's how the receivers matchup:

DJ Moore6'0 - 4.42------6'0 - 4.38Kenny Stills
Curtis Samuel5'11 - 4.31------5'10 - 4.33Brandin Cooks
Robby Anderson6'3 - 4.34------6'0 - 4.32Will Fuller
Seth Roberts6'2 - 4.44------5'10 - 4.46Randall Cobb

Brady's offense mixes the West Coast offense with RPOs (run / pass option). The WCO will attack short to intermediate with the speedsters uncovering quickly and using their speed to maximize the gain of every high percentage throw. Both teams also employee great deep threats. The blend of this will force defenses to cover from goal line to goal line while also stretching from sideline to sideline. That alone makes it difficult for a defense to defend. What could make it more unstoppable? A dual-threat quarterback that can take off at any moment, combined with the ability to throw accurately on the run. The fear of Deshaun Watson running an RPO is deadly. Linebackers and safeties will have to honor the handoff to David or Duke Johnson. The hesitation, if even for a split second, forces the defense to pause. The brief pause gives Watson the chance to give to the back, keep it and run himself, fire off a pass to a quick developing route or move the point from the pocket and beat the defense with a pass from outside the pocket.

The offense forces the defense to defend every blade of grass on the football field. It's a 180 from the Gary Kubiak days. Kubiak would run to set up the pass. This offense allows you to pass to set up the run. The fear of passing on every down, in any situation will open up running lanes. When you have backs like McCaffrey and Johnson (when healthy) it adds an extra wrinkle. Both guys aren't typical running backs. They can motion or line up out wide and run routes like a receiver. At 6'1 - 224 pounds, David Johnson is the biggest receiver among Houston's top four pass catchers.

I can't tell you that Will Fuller, Brandin Cooks and David Johnson will all stay healthy, but I can tell you that if they are healthy, this is a potent attack. They have speedsters and this offense is based on getting your speedsters in space and letting them create. A healthy blend of formations, varying personnel groupings and tempo will give headaches to opposing defenses as the premise of the offense is for the offense to create the mismatches and move players around to exploit them.

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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