The Houston Texans had many laudable performances by newcomers in their first win in almost a year. Here are some players who could crack the rotation in the regular season.
With Arian Foster coming of age and injuries becoming frequent, the Texans have found themselves a couple of solid backs in Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue. Both fit into O’Brien’s system perfectly just as Arian Foster did with Kubiak’s zone blocking design. Grimes is averaging 4.3 yards per carry while Blue is averaging 4.7.
I personally think Blue should end up with the backup position behind Foster. His 6’1 frame becomes very useful at the goaline and the rookie even looks like Foster in the way he smoothly slithers through defensive holes. O’Brien will have to make a tough decision on which to play, however, both look to be very promising.
Former Kansas City DB Kendrick Lewis laid the wood a couple of times on Falcons receivers and running backs. If the 5th year veteran can bring that same intensity to the secondary and play just as well in the passing game, the Texans could have a pretty stout defense with the emergence of Clowney and the experience of Joseph, Jackson, Watt, and Cushing.
Hal also impressed in his second exhibition game in the NFL. The 7th rounder picked off former Texan T.J. Yates and returned it for a touchdown. Houston is need of depth in the secondary and Hal could be extremely useful if he continues to be aggressive on the field.
The rookie from Michigan State found himself in the right spot at the right time after picking off T.J. Yates in the 4th quarter. Texans will need some help at the linebacker position as Brian Cushing will just be getting back into the swing of things.
The chemistry between Case Keenum and Travis Labhart was discovered in the Texans second preseason game against the Falcons. The rookie had a solid outing catching 3 passes for 36 yards and had a decent return of 16 yards as a punt returner. Houston has a nice WR group, nonetheless, depth is always needed with injuries during the season and Labhart could find his way on the field if he keeps putting up respectable numbers.
During a postgame interview, Ryan Fitzpatrick called the rookie tight end a “reliable” target. Although Fiedorowicz only caught two passes for 14 yards, the coaches and players could see the kid has a good chance of seeing some good minutes on the field this season. With O’Brien coming from a Patriots’ system where tight ends are worshipped, I expect there will be times where both Graham and Fiedorowicz will be one the field at the same time.