After firing their General Manager, the inexperienced Toby Carswell has come in to Houston to run things alongside Head Coach Bill O’Brian. Carswell had a promising start to their PFL career last year with the Redskins, which saw them continuously on the cusp of the playoffs. He’ll look to take this Texans side further in search of that elusive playoff birth, despite long time rival @DanMcGrath77 taking over the Titans, following Carswell to the AFC South. To achieve this playoff goal there’s been quite the shakeup in Houston, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback unsurprisingly remains unchanged, with Deshaun Watson looking to continue to progress after a good start to his NFL career. The major difference is the weapons he now has available. ‘Nuke’ Hopkins returns as the superstar of the group, but savvy trades have seen the injury prone Will Fuller depart, and in his place the speed threats of Nelson Agholor and Robby Anderson come in. Another weapon for Watson to utilise is Zach Ertz, who will contribute with his reliability down the middle of the field.
Running back is another position of all change, with Lamar Miller, Duke Johnson and Josh Adams coming in. Look for this be running back by committee approach, with Adams taking the goal-line carries and Johnson catching the ball out of the backfield. Quite the change from the Guice machine Carswell ran in Washington. The offensive line is anchored by two rookies at tackle, and with experience in the middle O’Brian hopes this new blood can sure up a unit that has been shaky at the best of times.
Defensive co-ordinator Coby Tarswell with head coach Bill O’Brien
One of Carswell’s first moves upon taking over was to hire unknown defensive coordinator, Coby Tarswell. His multiple look 4-3 defence will try and move pass rushers around built off of a solid base of linebackers. Jadeveon Clowney’s contract situation proved to be too much of a headache for the new GM, reluctantly offloading him to lifelong Texans fan, Jets GM @Vondia. The pass rushers looking to fill Clowney’s shoes are rookie Jachai Polite (operating on a strict diet plan in light of past combine events), Whitney Mercilus and emerging edge defender Brennan Scarlett. The middle of the D-line looks very strong, with a healthy JJ Watt and Muhammed Wilkerson sharing time with young stud D.J. Reader.
Linebacker was a focus of Carswell’s upon taking this role, and he was delighted to acquire superstar CJ Mosley to play alongside pro-bowler Benardrick McKinney and free agent pickup/former Redskin, Zach Vigil. Secondary could be a problem moving forward, and an area to address in upcoming drafts after losing Eric Reid in a trade with the Eagles. For now they turn to veterans across the board to hold it together for a season, with rookie Lonnie Johnson Jr. and safety Khari Willis the only youngsters in the group.
Special teams appear to be solid if not spectacular, with young receiver Johnnie Dixon looking to add a spark to the return team.
The Texans season kicks off with a tough away matchup at @DJFierro‘s Saints tomorrow evening. Can Toby Carswell finally make the playoffs, or will his stacking of offensive skill position players mean this overlooked defence will struggle. Tune in to the PFL on mixer.com to find out!