The Houston Texans gave up a future sixth-round pick to sign CB Keion Crossen. Questions remain about his purpose but Bill O’Brien addressed them recently.
Houston Texans fans — we’ve got five days to go before the start of the 2019 season is official. They’ll be taking on the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome to kick off the season and they will have their hands full against what most of us regard as a Super Bowl contender.
Drew Brees still remains in top form after all these years and I wouldn’t expect anything less out of him. His training/diet regimen is just as strict as Tom Brady‘s so it’s no surprise he’s still turning heads at age 40.
With the NFL rules favoring protection of the quarterback, these guys could last a long time as long as they’re in shape. But the contrast is that Brett Favre tried to do it himself but it took one tumultuous hit in a playoff game in his last season with the Minnesota Vikings before he decided to call it a career.
Since then, the Saints and the New England Patriots are dead-set on ensuring their quarterbacks are protected. These guys also have quick releases on their passing so the defense doesn’t have an opportunity to get to them that often.
We’ll see how our pass rushers — sans Jadeveon Clowney — can get to Brees but that’s another storyline for another day.
Anyway, speaking of defense, the Houston Texans traded recently for cornerback Keion Crossen from the Patriots. Crossen is just in his sophomore season and has still a lot to prove in this league but the team feels that he can be a valuable contributor.
As I wrote the other day, what could possibly be his purpose?
Bill O’Brien gave clarity indicating that he’s a replacement for special teams whiz Johnson Bademosi — who was traded to the Miami Dolphins in the Laremy Tunsil package — and here’s what he had to say via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson:
"“Johnson Bademosi did a lot of great things for us here, that was a tough decision,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “But when we decided to include Baddy in the trade with Miami, we felt like we had to replace that. Crossen’s a little bit of different player than Baddy, but both have excellent special teams production.”"
He also added this tidbit:
"“Keion Crossen played on a Super Bowl team last year, played well in the AFC championship game and is a great guy. Comes to our organization very highly thought of. I just met him and he’s got a lot of energy and I think he’s going to be a good addition.”"
Bademosi was signed by the Houston Texans before the start of last season to a two-year, $6.25 million deal, making him the highest-paid special teams player in the NFL at the time. With him having a base salary of $2.5M for 2019 (the last season of his expiring contract), his versatility and team-friendly made him an asset the Houston Texans were willing to deal.
But let’s compare the numbers, shall we?
Pro Football Focus graded Bademosi out a 52.2 through 322 snaps in terms of his special teams
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work to which in all retrospect, is quite underwhelming. But the Houston Texans valued his versatility it may not have mattered to them.
Crossen received a 58.4 through 122 snaps in 2018, which is slightly better than his traded counterpart so the Houston Texans feel that they’re getting a player that could adequately replace him and could possibly morph into a valuable asset for the team.
I’m sure Brad Seely had a say in this and if he did, I certainly trust his knack for finding talent because of his sterling reputation and his ability to turn around this unit after the team ousted the disgraced Larry Izzo after two seasons as special teams coordinator (2016-17).
We’ll have to see how it goes but the bright side is that Crossen did have 12 tackles, one pick and five pass deflections last week in their final preseason game against the New York Giants.
Let’s hope for the best — go Houston Texans.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE and ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.