Matt Schaub (Getty Images)
Before any team starts a season, there are always a handful of questions to answer. How will the quarterback play be? Will your top players stay injury free? Does your team have enough depth to overcome injuries?
There is seemingly an endless list of questions that coaches, fans and journalists alike will have about every team before a season begins. Usually, the more times you say “yes” the better. What really instills confidence though is when there aren’t even questions to answer.
The Texans have some questions, like any team in the NFL, but the questions this season appear to revolve more around health than talent, as Houston seems fit to compete. To further analyze how confident fans should be of the team, we’ll take a look at each position’s positives, lingering questions, and how the position should perform. We will follow this with an overall confidence level, running from 0-10, 10 being the highest.
Pressing Question: Can Matt Schaub remain healthy for a full 16-game regular season and beyond?
Breakdown: Schaub was a marginal starting quarterback prior to 2008, in which he broke out after a tough start to the season. Texans fans should feel confident in Schaub as a starter, but there are still the obvious durability questions. The young Houston starter goes through his progressions well, and has a good enough arm to make all the required throws.
The Big If? What happens if Schaub continues his usual career path and is forced to miss some games? Will the Texans still stay in the playoff hunt? Houston feels that they've upgraded the backup quarterback position with both Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman, and both players could make the final roster. Grossman has quarterbacked a team in the Super Bowl, but has a tendency to make big mistakes, a problem that plagued Schaub's previous backup, Sage Rosenfels. Orlovsky looks the part of an NFL quarterback, but he's experienced very little success and nobody knows for sure what will happen if he has to take snaps in a real game.
Our Call: Although there's no precedent for this to happen, but we believe that Matt Schaub will stay healthy this season thanks to a greater emphasis on the running game and an improved offensive line. If Schaub goes down for a few weeks, we believe Grossman can step in and Houston won't have to change the game plan all that much.
Confidence Level: 7