The final pre-season game of the year is always about battles – position battles and guys battling for roster spots, as teams get ready to make their final roster cuts. The Texans/Bucs game on Friday night was no different, as final roster cuts were yesterday.
Some of the more interesting questions coming into this game and the roster cuts were; are the Texans going to keep Alex Brink and carry 4 QB's on the roster? Who are they going to keep at the overloaded positions of WR and CB? What exactly are they going to do with versatile rookie James Casey?
The Texans started the game with most of their starters on the bench. Dan Orlovsky started at QB, Arian Foster started at RB, and in a very interesting move TE James Casey started the game at fullback. TE Anthony Hill fumbled the ball after a catch on the second play from scrimmage to start a wild two play scenario. On the next play, the Bucs first from scrimmage, Brice McCain made a nice interception of a Josh Freeman pass. During the return he fumbled and the Bucs recovered. Two plays, eight seconds, three turnovers. The Bucs took advantage of the field position and scored a field goal.
Rex Grossman came into the game in the second quarter. On the second play from scrimmage he hit WR Jacoby Jones in stride for an 87 yard touchdown. Sexy Rexy later led another touchdown drive, throwing a TD pass to James Casey, who actually lined up at TE for the play. Grossman's play in this game did two things: it led to the release of Brink and muddied the position battle for back-up quarterback. Dan Orlovsky has been the clear no. 2 all pre-season, but now Grossman knows the system and might be the guy the Texans go to if Schaub can't play.
The team still does not know what they are going to with James Casey. Here is what we do know – he will be on the team, and they want to get the ball in his hands. His primary position is tight end, but he has seen time as the back-up fullback because of an injury to Boomer Grigsby. He played well against the Bucs at both positions. Casey is a special player and is too valuable not to have.
Wide receivers Jacoby Jones, David Anderson, and Glenn Martinez continued their good play; Jones had a Texans pre-season record 148 receiving yards against the Bucs. This led to the team releasing two WR's, Darnell Jenkins and Mark Simmons. Jones and Martinez will see time mostly on special teams, while Anderson should be the no. 4 guy behind Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, and Andre Davis.
Brice McCain and Fred Bennett have both played very well and grown in the pre-season. The team is still holding out hope that Dunta Robinson will report before next week's game against the Jets. For these reasons they released or waived four different corners yesterday, including veteran Deltha O'Neal. O'Neal, a nine-year vet signed this pre-season to add depth, had trouble learning the system and was not very effective.
The biggest surprise cut was running back Arian Foster. He led the Texans in rushing against the Bucs with 49 yards on 16 carries. The Texans were very high on Foster at the beginning of training camp, but he just got pushed out because of the numbers game. The backfield is crowded with Steve Slaton, Chris Brown, Ryan Moats already established and Andre Hall playing well. There was simply no room for Foster.
Oh yeah, the Texans won the game 27-20. They finished the pre-season with a 2-2 record.
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.