As we all know the Houston Texans finished the 2013 NFL season we a league worst 2-14 record that included a dismal 14 game losing streak. That has earned them a new head coach in Bill O’Brien, and the first overall selection in the draft come May.
As I sit here trying to figure out what went wrong for this franchise this past season, I look at a team that should have made strides for the playoffs if it wasn’t for such lousy quarterback play. Sure they lost 14 straight games to end the year, and simply did not compete at times. Yet this team feels similar to this year’s Kansas City Chiefs, and a little like those dismal 2-14 Colts from just two years ago.
The last two years we have seen the team that has had the first overall selection go from worst to straight in the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts two years ago, and this past year the Kansas City Chiefs took that honor. Now while both teams did so with new head coaches, each team took a different path on how to get there. The Colts cleared the locker room full of veteran players and took Andrew Luck and put young pieces around him to rebuild. While over in Kansas City, the Chiefs traded for veteran Alex Smith and paired him with several pro bowl caliber players like Jamaal Charles.
Now the Texans are in a prime spot to take a little script from both teams here, as they have several pro bowl caliber players in their prime, but need a new face under center to lead them into the future.
There are several changes that will be made in the upcoming months, but here are 5 key things that need to happen in order for the Texans to get back into the playoff hunt.
1.) Use your draft pics wisely- The Texans not only must make the right choice with their first selection when the clock starts in May, but must find make use of the second round on selections. Just like the Colts did two years ago when they took T.Y. Hilton, Duawne Allen, and Colby Fleener to pair them with Andrew Luck. Getting the right players to build around a new quarterback will be key.
2.) Trust Your Veterans- Whether it be Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater or any other quarterback, Bill O’Brien will need to let his veteran offensive players like Andrew Johnson and Arian Foster help mold the young man under center. Do not let him try and do everything, and let him lean on the veterans as he struggles to adapt to the NFL.
3.) Make sure Foster Is healthy- The Texans have been a dangerous team in years past when they can run the ball well. Foster just had his lowest rushing total since his rookie year back in 2009. If he is fully healthy in 2014, this team will have the chance make a wild card spot come December.
4.) Be Patient in Your Guy- Like I have stated before, be patient in who you take with the first overall selection. This will tie O’Brian and the player to the hip. Make sure he is the right fit for this offense, and you are confident that he is the face of the franchise going forward. Whomever steps in under center, he will have the likes of Owen Daniels, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and DeAndre Hopkins to help ease the pressure off of him. Not too bad for a team that managed to win only 2 games this year.
Headed into the 2013 season, a lot of writers and analyst had the Texans going deep into the playoffs, and will now rule them out for anything but mediocrity for next season. But why should that be the case? The pieces are there, the locker-room is full of heart and desire to get to the post-season. So, if the Texans follow these steps will should be looking at the third straight year a team has gone from worst to playoffs bound.
Hey, stranger things have happened.
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