Owen Daniels (Getty Images)
Before any team starts a season, there is 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: It’s likely not a matter of if but when Pro Bowler Owen Daniels will end his holdout. With that in mind, will there be any hard feelings if he doesn’t get the deal he wants?
Breakdown: Last year Owen Daniels continued his progression into an elite NFL tight end. He had 862 receiving yards and two touchdowns, earning him a trip to Hawaii. However, Daniels has decided to hold out for a new contract after his strong performance and there’s no knowing how long it will last. Daniels doesn’t have too much leverage though, as the team is comfortable with its fourth and fifth round draft picks, Anthony Hill and James Casey. Hill has the potential to be a dominant blocking tight end and Casey is shifty receiver who could also play some fullback. If Daniels decides not to cross the picket line, then the team will feel pretty good about its young duo.
The Big If? If Daniels doesn’t reach an agreement with the management, the team’s passing game ultimately will regress.
Our Call: Even if Daniels can’t come to terms, the rookie tight ends should fit into the team’s scheme. Obviously, they won’t fully replace the Pro Bowler, but the explosive Daniels will likely be back. He’s regarded as a professional and if he comes back, he should pick up where he left off. Either way, the Texans have some nice tight end depth heading into the season.
Confidence Rating: 8