Jul 26, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) stretches during training camp at Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans Vs. Arizona Cardinals: What To Look For

It’s GO time!  After an extremely disappointing 2-14 season followed by an uplifting and positive off season, the Houston Texans look to take the field for some healthy competition for the first time in nearly eight months.

The team now has a new coach, a new system and definitely a new mindset.

The Texans look to do battle with the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

It’s always fun to watch a duel and it will be none the exception starting tonight as players work hard to make the final roster, which will be decided later this month.

Keep an eye on the jockeying for these positions:

QUARTERBACK:  My favorite battle!  I’ve written about it countless times here.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter but I’m going to love to see Case Keenum redeem himself and Tom Savage, our 4th Round draft pick out of Pitt show why he belongs in the NFL.  Watching these guys signal-call should be interesting and will be a treat!

WIDE RECEIVER:  Of course, there’s no competition here with Andre Johnson.  But just sit back and watch DeAndre Hopkins, he’s our future at being our top wideout and has had an extremely impressive showing at training camp!  Let’s go Nuke!

Jul 26, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) catches a pass during training camp at Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

RUNNING BACK:  Yes, Arian Foster is our No. 1 option but with his health status continually being up in the air, whomever gets the No. 2 back job will be just as important.  Bill O’Brien can always do a running back-by-committee type of evaluation but it will be interesting to see if Andre Brown, Jonathan Grimes, Dennis Johnson and Alfred Blue will get some considerable reps to get a shot at that spot.

TIGHT END:  We all know Garrett Graham is a lock at the starting spot but it will be interesting to see Ryan Griffin, who made some big plays last season to get some time in.  We’ll also get to see C.J. Fiedorowicz, the 3rd round pick out of Iowa from this year’s draft as he uses his large frame to demonstrate his exceptional blocking capabilities.

PUNT/KICK RETURNER:  With longtime special teams coordinator Joe Marciano out and Bob Ligashesky now has his “interim” tag lifted, it will be interesting to see some of the schemes that he comes up with for this important and sometimes forgotten unit.  I did see some slight improvement when Ligashesky took over last season.  He will know have the opportunity to show his stuff.  As mediocre as Keyshawn Martin was last season at that position, it’s nice to see a fresh face leading at PR/KR in Mike Thomas.  Thomas hasn’t seen much action since 2012 is looking to make his mark as a member of the Bulls.

RIGHT TACKLE:  It honestly is Derek Newton‘s job to lose and we’ll see if he can shed his tag of being the matador that he has been known for, allowing unfettered access to the quarterback.  Olé!  Also keep an eye on Tyson Clabo, who can hopefully give him a push and desire to be the best.

Of course, we’re all anticipating the debut of our No. 1 draft pick from this year’s draft in Jadeveon Clowney but he’ll just get a few reps at JACK before he goes and splits one of the Cardinals apart!  They’ll save his exceptional energy for the upcoming season.

I’m thrilled that football season is underway and it will be great to see this team show a marked improvement from last year as the season progresses.

They have no where to go but up!

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CDT and the game will be televised on ABC Channel 13 (KTRK) and also will broadcasted on 610 SportsRadio/100.3 FM (KILT).

Go Texans!

 

Tags: Houston Texans

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