Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/6/13
Going into this years off season the Houston Texans knew that there would be a chance they’d lose some players that had been with the team for a long time. Both S Glover Quin and OLB Connor Barwin were both starters on defense and it was thought the Texans would keep at least one of them. As it turned out they didn’t keep either and also lost another player that started on the offensive side of the ball in FB James Casey as well. Even after all the losses the Texans staff still feels like they’re are a better team now, a team that has filled important spots to get them over the hump in the AFC and get them to a Super Bowl. Ed Reed in, Glover Quinn out: Many Texans fans weren’t happy that S Glover Quin was allowed to leave for more money in Detroit. Quin was a very talented player who’s versatility made him able to play at the line of scrimmage a lot in Wade Phillips defensive scheme. And while I do think Quin was great at what Phillips asked him to do, I can say with confidence that no player in football is better then Ed Reed at knowing what an opposing offense wants to do. This is why Reed is such s great fit with the Texans. Reed is arguably the games best ball hawk of all time, and he’s goin to a team that routinely tips passes. To be more correct he’s going to the team that led the league in defenses passes. JJ Watt himself had more than many defensive backs. And another thing to remember is that the Texans did a lot of this without ILB Brian Cushing. Cushing is a very ball alert type player and will only help next season if he’s fully healthy. The Texans got a player they think could be the missing key to a Super Bowl appearance in Reed. Re-signing CB Brice McCain: As the year went on the Texans figured out who they wanted to play inside in nickel situations at CB. That man was Brice McCain. Many didn’t think that this signing warranted much attention but the simple fact is this before McCain got hurt against the Titans the Texans were 11-1, after they went 1-3 to finish off the season. In every one of those games the Texans lost because they failed to stop teams from moving the ball through the air. McCain was truly missed both times the Texans played the Patriots. McCain was vital to this team, he even played for Jonathan Joseph when he went out with a groin injury and did really well. With McCain back and healthy this season the Texans secondary should be on good shape against a pass happy AFC. Texans bring in solid run blocking FB Greg Jones from Jags: Though the Texans offense didn’t seem slowed by it the team lacked an actual run blocking FB. After releasing Lawrence Vickers they decided to convert TE James Casey to FB, and while it had some benefits in the pass game the Texans really struggled at times in the red zone. Jones should make an immediate difference as a Texan as he did the past 2 seasons blocking for Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville. Jones fits the mold of former Texans FB’s Vonta Leach and Lawrence Vickers as big bodies looking for someone to hit on just about every play. RB Arian Foster finished the year with the league lead in TD’s and rushed for over 1,400 yards last season. But his yards per carry were down from the year before, a big blocker like Jones should help remedy that and put the Texans a step closer to their goal of a super Bowl. FB Greg Jones will be looking to bring a more physical mindset to this Texans offense. Texans address special teams, bring in Lechler: Shane Lechler is without a doubt among the league’s best punters. Only player that can rival his kick power is 49ers P Andy Lee. In a league that’s so driven by offense now it’s more important to attempt to make teams go the length of the field to score points. Last season the Texans had problems with there special teams unit. They gave up a good amount of big plays off of punts ans kickoffs, and never had any success in the return game all season. Signing Lechler should help at least half of that problem. Last season Lechler got hurt, but playing for a team that’s not winning will do that to some. Not saying he tanked the season, I’m just bring honest. The Raiders gave Lechler the biggest contract any punter had ever seen 4 years ago. But after being on a losing team for that long Lechler needed a change of scenery. The Texans have one of the league’s most aggressive defense’s, and they’re hoping that Lechler’s boot will be able to force teams into tight spots all year long so that defense can make plays. All in all I’m giving the Texans a free agency grade of a B+. I know free agency is far from over and that there are still moves to be made. I could see the Texans going after a veteran DT like Casey Hampton formerly of the Steelers. He’s a big body that could do exactly what the Texans need and that’s plug the middle while Watt and Antonio Smith rush outside. ILB is also a priority for the Texans and I could see them bringing back Bradie James for a second year. I could also see the Texans making a move on Shaun Phillips. The former Charger played for Wade Phillips while he was the defensive coordinator there in San Diego and could be looking for a change.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kobe has worst game of his career against Warriors

Rams WR Stedman Bailey in hospital after being shot in head

Furious Brad Stevens blasts Celtics after lackluster game

Did Bryce Harper deserve the MVP?

Duke 5-star commit posts moving message after successful surgery

Ex-LSU commit still supports Les Miles


Report: Ray Lewis gave Bills pregame pep talk

Report: Marshawn Lynch out a few weeks to recover

Peyton Manning to miss at least two more weeks

Notre Dame DT: Committee 'spit in our faces' with ranking

LaRon Landry suspended indefinitely by NFL

Don’t blame Mike Pettine for benching Johnny Manziel. Blame Johnny.

The B1G uglies – which division leader might stumble?

Six MLB teams that will be most active at Winter Meetings

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 12

Nick Young seems to take shot at Kobe Bryant

WATCH: College basketball player makes 3-pointer while wobbly from concussion

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

Clemson WR calls South Carolina fans 'rude'

Jonathan Lucroy trade market bolstered by weak catching market

Michigan State lists two starting QBs on depth chart

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

LISTEN: Browns fan cries on radio while ripping Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen says he was injured vs. Alabama

Report: Maple Leafs are no longer the NHL’s most valuable franchise

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker