Duane Brown (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: Can Duane Brown continue to develop in his second season at the vitally important position of left tackle?
Breakdown: The Texans are finally getting continuity up front and the pieces may be in place for the unit to make a jump from an above average line to a very good one. Eric Winston has evolved into a Pro Bowl caliber right tackle and he fits perfectly into Houston’s zone-blocking scheme. Left guard Chester Pitts has also adapted well to Coach Kubiak’s system and Brown might thrive in it as well, as he started every game as a rookie. Center Chris Myers was underwhelming last year and will be pushed by third-round selection, Antoine Caldwell. Right guard Mike Brisiel must also watch out for the powerful Caldwell.
The Big If? If the team gets consistent play from young players such as Brown and Caldwell, this could be a group that paves the way for a playoff run. If not, the line will likely be pedestrian and so will the team’s record.
Our Call: Brown should continue to grow and you already know what you’re getting with Winston and Pitts. As long as the interior of the line finds two steady players, which it should, there’s reason to believe that Houston’s offense will be as good, if not better, than it was last season.
Confidence Rating: 7