The Texans have one of the most potent offenses in the league. They should be right near of the top of the league again in 2009. In part one of this preview we'll look at the quarterback and running back positions.
The Houston Texans have an explosive and productive offense. They finished third in the league in 2008 and should be near the top off the league again in 2009. They are very talented at each skill position. I’ll be taking a look at each position on the offense and letting you know what to expect from them.
Now, in part one, we’ll cover the quarterbacks and running backs.
Here we go.
Matt Schaub enters his third year with the Texans as their incumbent starter. In 2008 he had a career year, throwing for 3,043 yards and fifteen touchdowns, in only eleven games. He also set the single season franchise record with a 92.7 passer rating. Schaub has a big arm and is very smart. He is also very accurate. He has completed 66.2% of his passes in his two years with the Texans. The concern with Schaub is his health. He has missed five games, because of either illness or injury, in each of the last two seasons.
Should Schaub miss time this year, the Texans will rely on either Dan Orlovsky or Rex Grossman, both entering their first year with the team.
Last year, while playing for the woeful Lions, Orlovsky had the most productive year of his career. In ten games (seven starts) he threw for 1,616 yards and eight touchdowns, while completing just over 55% of his passes and posting a 72.6 quarterback rating. Orlovsky is a talented young player who should perform capably should the Texans need him.
Grossman is the most experienced quarterback on the team’s roster. He is entering his seventh season in the league. He seemed to be in a constant quarterback controversy in Chicago and posted only average numbers. However, in his one season as the full time starter, he led Chicago to the Super Bowl. He is talented and should feel little pressure to be “the guy” in Houston.
Currently Orlovsky is no. 2 on the depth chart, only because has a few months more experience in the system than Grossman. Expect Grossman to be the no. 2 guy by the end of the season.
Steve Slaton came into camp as the clear no.1 back for Houston. Last year, as a rookie, he started fifteen games and ran for a franchise record 1,282 yards. He was also a receiving threat, catching fifty balls for 377 yards last season. The concerns with Slaton are a possible sophomore slump and that he is a little undersized. Because of his small size, he was not used very often in goal line and short yardage situations. However, the word out of Texans camp is he bulked up in the off season and came into camp in great shape.
Chris Brown and Ryan Moats are Slaton’s primary back-ups. Brown, entering his seventh season, spent all of last season on the IR. He is bigger (6-3, 234) than Slaton and Moats, but also has breakaway speed. He should see time as the goal line and short yardage guy. Moats is a journeyman who spent time in Philadelphia and Arizona before coming to Houston in October of last year. He is a small speedy back much like Slaton. Expect him to be used to spell Slaton.
Recent signee Andre Hall and rookie Arian Foster add depth to the backfield.
At fullback the Texans will start Vonta Leach, one of the best at the position in the AFC. He is very strong and a punishing blocker. He is a special teams standout as well. He does not carry the ball often, but is used as an outlet in the passing game. Boomer Grigsby, of “Hard Knocks” on HBO fame, will be Leach’s back-up. He is also a hard hitter and a star on special teams. He is a converted linebacker who is one of the toughest players in the league.
Coming soon, in part two, I'll look at the receivers, tight ends, and O-Line. Stay tuned.
About the Author
Written by Gabriel Rodriguez
Born in Germany, early childhood in NYC, raised in the D.C. area, currently reside in Charlottesville, VA. Big fan of the NY Giants and San Antonio Spurs.