July 27, 2015

HOUSTON TEXANS (9-8)

OPEN CAMP: July 31, Houston

LAST YEAR: Inconsistency and injuries forced Texans to use four quarterbacks and they lost running back Arian Foster to season-ending Achilles tendon injury in October. Despite those setbacks defense, led by Defensive Player of Year J.J. Watt, helped them win seven of last nine games to shake off 2-5 start, win AFC South and reach playoffs for first time since 2012. But Brian Hoyer had career-high four interceptions and fumble in embarrassing 30-0 wild-card loss to Kansas City to end season.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QB Brock Osweiler, RB Lamar Miller, rookie WRs Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, rookie OG Nick Martin, and OG Jeff Adams.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: QB Hoyer, C Ben Jones, RB Foster, TE Garrett Graham, and S Rahim Moore.

CAMP NEEDS: New quarterback Osweiler needs to show he's mastered coach Bill O'Brien's offense and develop rapport with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins as well as rookie receivers Fuller and Miller. Texans need Watt to recover from July back surgery and be ready for season opener.

EXPECTATIONS: After spending $72 million to lure Osweiler from Denver and adding Miller from Miami, Houston's offense appears upgraded. However Osweiler is bit of unknown commodity after starting just seven games in four-year career. If he proves he was worth investment and helps Houston's offense keep pace with vaunted defense - if Watt is at full speed - Texans should be much improved from last season, when they benefited from weak AFC South to reach playoffs.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

You May Like