Hindsight is 20-20 and for the Houston Texans the 2012 cap situation put the team in some bad spots, and forced their hand to make some moves. We understand in a perfect world you want to keep everyone, but this is the NFL and there has to be moves made for the greater good of the organization.
We list the top five moves that if the Texans could re-do they would at least take a look at possibly not making these moves.
*Also note that not all of these moves could have been done.
5. Trading Sherrick McManis for Tyler Clutts
One of the moves that looked hopeful, but Tyler Clutts did not pan out as the fullback the offense needed. Throw in what McManis was on special teams, losing him on the majority of the teams play didn’t help much either. McManis for some reason could not crack the defensive secondary rotation but his value as a special teams player looks very important in the long run.
4. No Lawrence Vickers
This to us is more about the lack of a real lead blocker for Arian Foster and the offense. Vickers was able to move linebackers out of the hole and provided an edge the offense did not have this season. Vickers was not scared to protect his fellow offensive players and was always on the brink of starting some extra curricular activities with the opposing team. If Vickers could have been resigned, it would have allowed the Texans to use James Casey more than a fullback and use his offensive skill set.
3. Releasing Troy Nolan
The failures of Quintin Demps late in the season raised the red flags for the safety play in Houston, so much they had to turn to Shiloh Keo during the playoffs. Nolan always showed he could get into great position to make plays but wasn’t always a great tackler. Bigger than that was the fact he was a safety in dime packages in 2011 but was demoted in favor of Demps at the start of the 2012 season. Nolan could have provided some much needed insurance late in the season, and on November 17th he was released when Darryl Sharpton was activated from the PUP. Big plays hurt the Texans and prevented the #1 seed and maybe more for the Texans. Nolan proved he could do it in 2011 but was with the Chicago Bears when they needed him the most, when Demps fell apart late in the season.
2. Letting Mike Brisiel Walk
Right guard was a bigger issue in our eyes than the right tackle position. Brisiel was a hard worker who worked well with Center Chris Myers. There was numerous times this season where Antoine Caldwell, Ben Jones and Brandon Brooks did not get the job done. Brisiel was under-appreciated as a key piece of the Texans’ offensive line and it showed in 2012.
1. Trading DeMeco Ryans
Yes, we know the move was made for cap reasons, but the Texans miscalculated the health of Darryl Sharpton, which forced the Texans to sign Bradie James off the free agency pile late in the offseason, which he was immediately penciled in as a starter. The Texans learned the hard way this season on what a defense will turn out to be if there is not an above average linebacker behind your star player, Brian Cushing. The defense used James, Sharpton, Mister Alexander, Barrett Ruud and Tim Dobbins to try and fill the void in the middle. Ryans could have softened the blow of losing Cushing, but more than that the team lost a leader and someone who could pull this team together when it got a little tough.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.