Every-Thing Sports

WTF Texans and Rockets?!?

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As the days go by, it seems as if the problems continue to grow. Perhaps the biggest problem is that they're self-inflicted wounds. Those are the worst kind because they could've been avoided had one taken the proper precautionary steps. The salt in the wounds are the moves the Astros continue to make that improve an already championship roster. Meanwhile, their football and basketball counterparts are steadily making fools of themselves. Let's take a closer look at what is making Houston a frustrating place for sports fans:

To extend or not to extend

Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni is essentially a lame duck coach heading into the final season of his contract. Some of his assistants have been run off, or fired. There was even talk of the team bringing in Tyronn Lue. Add all this to the fact that he called off contract extension talks amid some language in his contract, only for the talks to begin again after said language was removed adds up to a puzzling situation to say the least. The Rockets need to get a clear cut direction for their head coach and commit to it. This Shakespeare-like drama isn't a good look.

Texans fire Brian Gaine

When the Texans let general manager Brian Gaine go last Friday evening, it was a shock to the system. Who fires their GM weeks before training camp is supposed to start? This move was not only bad timing, it came out of nowhere. Not only are fans, and the media, looking for definitive answers, but they're also left wondering if Cal McNair is stable enough to be running the show on Kirby? It's a strange flex for Cal to use at a strange time, but it's his team now and maybe he's out to prove things will be different under his rule.

Trade...or nah?

The rumor mill has been hot and heavy as it pertains to the Rockets. Supposedly they're willing to trade anybody not named James Harden. There has even been talk that the willingness, or lack thereof, to trade Jadaveon Clowney could be a reason why the Texans fired Gaine. On the Rockets end, change is needed. They need a shock to the system since the formula they have in place isn't getting the ultimate job done. They may be heavily relying upon other teams to get weaker in order to make a move up the food chain (like the Warriors). The Texans on the other hand, have not improved beyond a team stuck in purgatory of being good enough to barely make the playoffs, but bad enough to not not draft very high. A Clowney trade could've brought them a decent enough haul to help improve their chances. Same for the Rockets. A tweak to their lineup could bring enough of a change to help get them over the roadblock that resides in the Bay Area.

The rich get richer

The Astros finally called up Yordan Alvarez. He promptly hit a home run in his second at bat to set off a frenzy of hot takes about his future. This comes on the heels of he and Kyle Tucker both having killer seasons in the minors and some debating which of the two should be called up. All of this, and I haven't even mentioned Forrest Whitley's inevitable call up. Oh, and that other famous beard who used to pitch for the Astros recently had to settle for a one year pro-rated $20 million dollar deal with the Braves which is a far cry from the multi-year big money deal he thought he deserved. Meanwhile, the Astros aren't missing him at all and are sporting one of the best records in MLB, despite being plagued with injuries.

So what now?

The Astros are basically on cruise control. They just have to continue to make the right decisions when it comes to personnel and they'll be fine. Jim Crane will need to dip into the luxury tax in order to keep more of the core players together if they plan on continuing to contend over the next few years. Even if they don't, they have really good players in the pipeline to keep on chugging along. The Rockets have been on the brink the last couple years. However, they need some tweaking in order to move past their stagnation. What that tweaking needs to be perhaps comes in the form of a coaching staff and roster shakeup. As long as they have Harden, they'll be OK, but the window to win a title is shrinking with the days that go by. Creating some roster flexibility by trading Chris Paul and/or Clint Capela will help, but it depends on what they get back in return. The Texans have the unfair advantage of being the drug this city is addicted to. Fan support won't waver because the city needs football like a junky needs their next fix. That's why Bill O'Brien can be a C-student, get extended while the guy he wanted as general manager gets fired, and seemingly still has job security. There are still moves for the Texans to make, but with the draft gone and free agency dried up, those moves are limited this offseason.

I wish nothing but the best for all Houston sports teams.The Astros probably need it the least as they have taken the proper steps to ensure they'll be contenders for years to come. The Rockets can be fun to watch at times, but are stuck in a rut in which it seems they may be in for the foreseeable future due to the confines they've gotten themselves into with some albatross type contracts. It's not impossible, but it is an improbable mountain to climb. The Texans have moved to the front of the line when it comes to hot messes. They need to become more focused and driven. If they can commit to a certain direction and stick to it, They have some pieces in place to build around and need to make the right decisions moving forward in order to get out of the rut they're in. For the sake and sanity of Houston sports fans, I hope and pray the Texans and Rockets get their collective shit together.

Deshaun Watson to DeAndre Hopkins highlights the work in the second preseason game

11 observations from Texans-Lions

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Easy does it

The Texans capped off an 11 play, 72 yard drive with the above play. Deshaun Watson had all the time in the world on the drive and on one play he moved around and found DeAndre Carter for the first down. It was smooth without any hiccups.

The line that started

Left to right it was as follows: Roderick Johnson - Tytus Howard - Zach Fulton - Max Scharping - Seantrell Henderson

They did an excellent job on the first drive they had with Watson. There was one hiccup where Howard missed an assignment it seemed but overall they were sturdy.

Matt Kalil was not dressed to play.

After the game Bill O'Brien said Matt Kalil is the team's starting left tackle. O'Brien said Kalil will play next week. Kalil has not practiced particularly well recently but O'Brien and the team still seem committed to the veteran. His week ahead and any work against the Cowboys will be interesting to see if he is or can be pushed by Roderick Johnson.

Tim Kelly calling plays

Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly had the headset and the play sheet for this game. Bill O'Brien has always maintained the offense is a collaborative effort but he's been the one calling the plays. It was interesting to see O'Brien give up the reins to Kelly and if this is something we will see more of in the future.

After the game. O'Brien noted yet again it is a collaborative effort and that sometimes when he has the headset Kelly makes calls and sometimes when Kelly has the headset he calls some plays.

"He did a nice job. He got the play in quickly. There were no hiccups with substitutions or anything like that."

Easy work for Whit

The Lions will be happy they don't have to see anymore of Whitney Mercilus. He was incredible all week against Detroit and he made it happen in the game this time. He's the team's second best pass rusher behind Watt and that might even be when Jadeveon Clowney is back with the squad. Mercilus should have a very nice year.

Charles Omenihu flashes

The late-round defensive linemen got some pressures against the Lions and it was a nice development for him. He looked a little slow and plodding last week but he looked much better this week. The hope would be he can factor into the pass rush packages soon.

Adams deserves a roster spot somewhere

Jerell Adams' agent did him wrong. When he signed to the Texans there were two 2018 draft picks and Ryan Griffin here. The team then drafted another guy and signed a blocking tight end. Jerell Adams is good enough to be on someone's roster, it just won't be the Texans.

Smith's big make

Vyncint Smith hauled in another impressive catch against the Lions. He had a nice week of practice though he has been up and down overall in camp. A big catch like this has to get him extra eyeballs on his work.

Tyron Johnson's big miss

Rookie wideout Tyron Johnson dropped what would have been a huge play. It looked almost as if he got nervous with the impending contact. He also had an offensive pass interference later in the game. He was given a chance to return a kick and had a nice return after the game too.

Jordan Thomas working back

The touchdown didn't count but Jordan Thomas made a nice play. However, he got snaps after Darren Fells and Jordan Akins. He is behind after missing time with an injury and it wouldn't shock me to see him have to work out of the hole. He had a couple of plays where he looked a little sloppy on his routes, which O'Brien mentioned post game, and let the defensive back bat the ball away. He has the most potential of the tight ends though so he will need to keep working his tail off.

Play of the day: Jerell Adams

Vyncint Smith hauled in one heck of a catch but I love a good stiff arm. We go with the Jerell Adams stiff arm. Peter Kalambayi gets an honorable mention for a huge stick on a special teams play.

Quote of the day: Me

"Is that Brian Gaine?"

Me when I saw former Texans general manager Brian Gaine in the press box Saturday. Gaine is a member of the Buffalo Bills front office and was there scouting. He was cordial when talking with the people who came to speak with him from Texans employees to media members. He took notes, took the game in from the press box with binoculars, and spoke at length with another Bills staffer who was seated next to him.

O'Brien loses pass interference challenge

​Bill O'Brien lost his pass interference challenge during the game. He said he believed the Lions player hooked his player's arm and it was pass interference. O'Brien speculated it would need to be an egregious foul to be called in review.

No Lonnie Johnson

Bill O'Brien said Lonnie Johnson was banged up and didn't play but expects him to play next week.

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