HOUSTON — There's a new aura surrounding the Houston Texans in 2022. The hiring of Lovie Smith as head coach set the tone for a culture shift in Houston, which increased following the talents obtained during the 2022 NFL Draft.
There is a lot of promise surrounding the Texans after spending the previous two seasons in football purgatory. And the outlook of the franchise has CEO Cal McNair in good spirits this offseason.
"It's normal to go through the ups and downs of the business side of sports, but we always had our fans with us," McNair said during the Texans' Charity Golf Classic on Monday. "We had a lot of different things that impacted us at the stadium. But we are excited to get everything back together and going again."
The positivity surrounding the Texans extends to the veteran players who are optimistic about the upcoming season. The Texans have emphasized winning in 2022 after registering a record of 8-25 over the previous two seasons.
The most significant reason for the Texans' change in atmosphere was jettisoning disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson.
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After a year of failed trades and off-field legal issues, the Texans sent Watson to the Cleveland Browns in March. Houston received five draft selections in exchange for Watson, which included the No. 13 overall pick in this year's draft.
General manager Nick Caserio used the additional first-round selection to trade down with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire offensive lineman Kenyon Green at pick No. 15. Green's run-blocking ability will give the Texans a significant boost in their rushing attack next season.
Watson played four seasons for the Texans before missing the entire 2021 campaign. He requested a trade in January of 2021 following the hiring of Caserio and former coach David Culley.
"The attitude and focus have been consistent and good since the offseason program started," Caserio said. "Once everyone started receiving clarity both individually and about the direction of the franchise, the mindset is now on 2022.
"The attitude in the building has been great. We have a long road in front of us. And once we get into training camp, we will have a better understanding of where we are as a team."