Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSaturday, June 25, 2022

Articles tagged: Houston Texans

NFL scheduler admits to avoiding one specific matchup in Week 1

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

One NFL scheduling executive admitted that his department looked to avoid a specific matchup in Week 1.

Vice President of NFL Broadcast Planning & Scheduling Mike North joined Adam Schein on “Schein on Sports” on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Friday. In the interview, Schein asked North whether the scheduling department took into account a potential Deshaun Watson suspension when making the schedule.

North said they did not do so because they don’t have any information about whether Watson will be suspended, and if so, when the suspension will take place.

But North did admit to something else — they avoided having Watson face his former team, the Houston Texans, in Week 1.

“We knew that Houston and Cleveland were obviously gonna play each other this year. And Cleveland at Houston is gonna mean something,” North said. “I’ll be honest with you, we did see a schedule, somewhere along the hundreds of thousands that we looked at this year, where that game was in Week number one. And I’m just not sure that would have been the right place for it, right? That’s maybe not the right, you know, game that we want all eyes on, attention on, you know, taking attention away from some of these other big tentpoles … in Week 1. So other than maybe really just thinking about where that because where that actual Cleveland at Houston game fell, there really wasn’t a lot of attention paid because, honestly, none of us knows what’s gonna happen.”

Watson’s Cleveland Browns are scheduled to visit the Texans in Week 13 instead.

Watson did not play at all last season while remaining on the Texans’ roster. The 26-year-old quarterack was traded to the Browns this offseason. The trade came after Watson was not criminally charged despite facing numerous accusations of improper sexual behavior while receiving and seeking massages. The NFL has not officially handed down any discipline to Watson. NFL rules allow the commissioner to discipline a player despite the absence of criminal charges.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Report: Texans ‘in the mix’ for 2 veteran QBs

Lovie Smith in profile

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have two of the first 13 picks in the NFL Draft, but they are not expected to target a quarterback. That could mean they have genuine confidence in Davis Mills, but they are reportedly keeping tabs on a couple of veterans as well.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported on Thursday that he believes the Texans will be “in the mix” for Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield. While no trade appears imminent for either quarterback, that could change in a hurry depending on how the draft shakes out.

As Howe mentioned, the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks are two other teams that might have interest in Garoppolo and/or Mayfield.

It is no guarantee that the San Francisco 49ers will trade Garoppolo. They have reportedly been stumped by the lack of interest in him, and one line of thinking is that they will give him a chance to compete for the starting job again this offseason. Garoppolo is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, which has complicated his trade market.

Mayfield has had a less successful NFL career than Garoppolo, but you could make the argument that he has more upside. The 27-year-old has never been given a shot outside of Cleveland. At least one team appears to have legitimate interest in trading for him pending the outcome of the first round of the draft.

AFC team looking to make huge splash early in draft?

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans are in a great position to land multiple impact players in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, but they may not be satisfied with two picks in the top 13.

The Texans currently hold the No. 3 and No. 13 overall picks. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they have been exploring ways to trade up from No. 13 to have two picks in the top 10.

There is usually a steep price associated with moving into the top 10. The Texans would likely have to trade their 13th overall pick and another premium pick to make such a move. If they have their eye on a specific player, they will probably wait until the draft is underway to make any final decisions.

A previous report indicated the Texans could make a surprising pick at No. 3, so perhaps that has something to do with their ambitious plans.

Texans could make ‘surprise’ draft pick at No. 3?

Lovie Smith in profile

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have two picks in the top 13 of the NFL Draft this year, which gives them a great deal of flexibility. Assuming they do not trade back, no one seems to really know which position they might target with the first of their two selections.

The Texans are scheduled to pick at No. 3 overall and No. 13 overall. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said Tuesday that they are not expected to trade back, but they could surprise some people with their selection. Defensive back is one area of need for Houston, and Rapoport thinks cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is a name to watch.

“Considering his talents, it does not seem like (third overall) would be too early,” Rapoport said. “He’d fit perfectly into Lovie Smith’s scheme. This is one to watch. The Texans could do literally anything.”

Stingley is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He had six interceptions in a huge freshman season at LSU in 2019. He had trouble staying on the field after that. Stingley missed three games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and did not play well, but LSU had a bad year overall. He then suffered a Lisfranc injury last September and underwent season-ending surgery.

One draft analyst recently said Stingley’s stock is rapidly on the rise. If the Texans have interest in him at No. 3, that would help explain why.

1 AFC team reportedly in the lead for Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel warms up

Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel has asked the San Francisco 49ers to trade him, and it remains to be seen if the request will be fulfilled. If the Niners do explore potential deals for their star receiver, there is at least one AFC team to keep an eye on.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic views the Houston Texans as the possible “leading candidate” to land Samuel if the Pro Bowler is traded. The Texans currently have two first-round picks — No. 3 and No. 13. They are unlikely to deal the third overall pick, but Kawakami believes they might be willing to include the 13th pick in a deal for Samuel.

The New York Jets are another team to watch, which is a given at this point. It is no secret that they have been trying to land a top wide receiver this offseason. Samuel also has connections to New York’s coaching staff. Head coach Robert Saleh used to be the defensive coordinator in San Francisco, and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is a former Niners wide receivers coach.

Samuel will want a contract extension from his new team if he is traded. It is worth noting that there have been reports that rival teams do not believe the 49ers will part with Samuel.

While he has made it clear he wants a new deal, there is at least one other reason Samuel has requested a trade.

Brandin Cooks ends trade speculation with new Texans contract

Brandin Cooks after a catch

Brandin Cooks has been the subject of offseason trade rumors, but the Houston Texans wide receiver is staying right where he is.

Cooks agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Texans on Thursday, according to reports. The two-year deal is worth roughly $20 million.

Few players are committing their futures to Houston right now, but Cooks is clearly comfortable there. He easily led the Texans with 1,037 receiving yards last season, putting together a fine campaign despite Houston’s struggles in all departments.

Plenty of teams recognized Cooks’ value to the Texans, and he has reportedly been the subject of trade inquiries. Houston clearly thinks enough of him to keep him around, and he will be a huge part of the offense again in 2022.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) runs the ball for a first down against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson had interest from several mystery teams

Deshaun Watson at the Pro Bowl

The Cleveland Browns ultimately won the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, with at least three other teams trying and failing to land the quarterback. The significant interest did not stop there, at least according to Houston Texans GM Nick Caserio.

Caserio said the Texans had let other teams approach them about Watson and then whittled down the list of serious suitors based on whether they were willing to give up enough from Houston’s perspective. Caserio said there were “a few more” teams than publicly reported that the Texans took seriously.

“I think there was a certain threshold that I had established in order to make it a legitimate discussion, and if we got to that point then we could engage further,” Caserio said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I don’t want to get into the exact number, but there was a few more, however many teams than what everybody was reporting towards the end.”

We know that in addition to the Browns, the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers sought to acquire Watson. The Indianapolis Colts also need a quarterback, but the Texans were never going to entertain trading Watson to a division rival. They are moving on to another quarterback instead, it would appear.

There are not a ton of quarterback-needy teams other than those already reported, but some teams like the Browns may have sought upgrades even though they had a decent quarterback already. We may never know who else was in the running, if they seriously were.

Photo: Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Texans have interesting QB plans for 2022

Lovie Smith in profile

The Houston Texans have some interesting plans at quarterback for the 2022 season.

The Texans on Friday traded Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns for a haul of picks. They’re receiving three 1st-round picks, a 2023 3rd-round pick and a 2024 4th-round pick for their former franchise quarterback.

Not only do the Texans have an army of picks, but they also are set to choose No. 3 overall in this year’s draft due to their 4-13 record last season.

So, what are Houston’s plans at quarterback? NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the team is likely to stick with Davis Mills, whom they drafted in the third round last year.

“They have a quarterback they like in Davis Mills,” Rapoport reported Friday. “If he was drafted in the first round, I think people would be talking about Davis Mills differently. I think what the Texans are going to do is build around him.”

There are a few things to be said about Rapoport’s report.

Mills actually showed some decent potential as a rookie, throwing for 2,664 yards and 16 touchdowns. Maybe they will continue to give him chances to develop. Doing so has a few upsides.

One, Houston is probably in tank mode. They probably want a high draft pick in 2023 too, and maybe even in 2024 as they rebuild. Mills is a low-cost player who could aid their efforts to land a high draft pick. But if he turns out to be a very good player, they could have found themselves a surprising franchise QB, or they could trade him elsewhere for a decent return.

Overall, Mills seems to fit Houston’s 2022 plan.

Photo: Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lovie Smith has wildly ambitious target for Texans

Lovie Smith with the Texans

Lovie Smith cannot be accused of thinking small as he takes over the Houston Texans’ head coach position.

Smith told Peter King of Football Morning in America that he has his sights set on emulating the Cincinnati Bengals, who went from four wins to a Super Bowl appearance. Smith apparently does not see why the Texans cannot do the same.

“We won four games this year. The Bengals won four the year before, and this was a big year for them,” Smith said. “We don’t have to wonder — we just saw a team do it. Someone’s going to make that jump. Someone always does. Why not us?”

While it’s true that every NFL team is ostensibly trying to win the Super Bowl every year, some have more realistic goals than others. The Texans are in the midst of a rebuild, and the biggest difference between them and the Bengals is that Cincinnati has a franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow. The Texans do not, despite Smith’s assertion that he expects the Texans to have a “good quarterback” in 2022.

At least Smith is optimistic, even if it may be misplaced. The rest of the league sees the Texans as fairly dysfunctional, though. If they even make the playoffs, that would count as a major surprise.

Photo: Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans passed over Josh McCown for 1 reason

Josh McCown throwing

For much of the Houston Texans’ search process, Josh McCown was rumored to be the preferred choice as head coach. Ultimately, though, Lovie Smith was somewhat abruptly hired instead.

The Texans were poised to hire McCown as head coach, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. That changed, however, when Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams alleging racial discrimination in hiring and firing practices. While the Texans were not named as a defendant, the team’s treatment of fired coach David Culley was cited as evidence to back Flores’ case.

At that point, the Texans were already bracing for a backlash if they hired McCown due to his lack of coaching experience at any level. Once the Flores lawsuit was filed, the proposition became a non-starter, as the team was aware they would be hiring McCown at the expense of more experienced minority candidates. That led them to pivot to Smith, who would have remained in his role as defensive coordinator under McCown.

The Texans were so serious about McCown that they were reportedly hoping another team would want to speak to him to add legitimacy to their hire. Ultimately, their calculations were correct; hiring McCown would have sparked a significant backlash, and Flores may have even used it to support his allegations. The organization apparently decided they did not need that kind of PR crisis.

Photo: New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown throws the ball during warm ups. The New York Jets host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6 on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in East Rutherford. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com