Editor’s Note: We chatted with new Toro Times editor Ryan Cook about what the Houston Texans were thinking during the offseason. Cook is really turning Toro Times into a great place to go for your Houston Texans fix if you’re so inclined, check it out for more information and news.
What positions are the (Texans/Jaguars/Titans/Colts) targeting in the first round of the draft?
This one’s easy, the Texans need a wide receiver straight up. Replacing lost free agent Kevin Walter and finding someone to take the pressure off Andre Johnson is a must, but it’s also about finding another target for Schaub down the stretch. Johnson turns 32 this year, and there’s too much receiver talent in the early rounds to consider taking someone later on.
Are there any players the front office seems to covet at this point?
The Texans have done most of their spending. They’ve sured up guys like Brice McCain but added some experience in Ed Reed and Greg Jones, while leaving some cap space to play with later on. The only players the Texans seem to be interested in right now are draft prospects – based on their meeting with Tyrann Mathieu last week. Don’t expect many big signings before the draft.
Did the (Texans/Jaguars/Titans/Colts) fill any major needs through free agency? What were they?
The Texans have filled two big needs early. Ideally general manager Rick Smith would have liked to hold on to Glover Quin, but signing Reed replaces his absence quite well. It’s obvious to say that Reed is a slight downgrade from Quin due to age, but Wade Phillips seems to like him. Reed should also help out the younger guys in the secondary, just like fullback Greg Jones should help keep Matt Schaub off the turf and set up some more rushing lanes for Arian Foster. He also has some receiver capabilities.
What was the (Texans/Jaguars/Titans/Colts) best free agent signing?
Ed Reed was the best signing, but Brice McCain was the most important. Last season he only had one interception and 24 tackles in the two games he started, but proved he can be a reliable replacement if guys like Johnathan Joseph fall injured again. There’s not a lot of depth at corner for the Texans, so bringing McCain back was big.
Which needs still exist after free agency, heading into the draft?
Aside from finding a wide receiver in the first round, adding both an inside and outside linebacker in the second or third rounds is big priority. The Texans lost Connor Barwin to free agency, and there were a lot of issues covering tight ends and receivers on shorter routes last season. Brian Cushing isn’t guaranteed to be his old self after coming off ACL surgery either.
A big thanks to Ryan for answering the questions for us here at B&T, it’s great to hear what some of the other guys are thinking.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims