Texans Most Surprising Cut: Angelo Blackson

Anthony R Wood

The Houston Texans have revealed their initial 53-man-roster for the 2020 NFL season. Among multiple expected cuts, there were one or two surprises, none more so than the release of defensive lineman Angelo Blackson. 

Dropping Blackson was not a move many saw coming, with the recently acquired P.J. Hall a player many were expecting to be cut. Blackson spent the last three seasons in Houston appearing in 40 games and playing in 40% of their defensive snaps in both 2018 and 2019.

This move leaves the Texans with two new faces helping to command the center of their defensive line. Rookie second-round pick Ross Blacklock out of TCU, and third-year former second-round pick of the then Oakland Raiders Hall are now tasked with anchoring the Texans defensive front alongside veteran Brandon Dunn.

In hindsight, head coach Bill O'Brien's comments on Hall's performance during this week's scrimmage are somewhat telling.

"He's lost weight," said O'Brien. "He's shown up every day. He's worked hard in the weight room. He's trying to work hard on his diet. I thought he played well the last couple days, and I thought he played pretty well tonight from what I could see from the field level there. We'll continue to work with him and we'll see where it goes."

Dropping an experienced lineman for two youngsters may be a somewhat risky move, but this does say much of O'Brien and defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver's confidence in the new additions. They have also held onto Carlos Watkins, Charles Omenihu, and of course J.J. Watt to complete the line. 

It appears Weaver is looking to freshen up their defense with a few younger faces, with only two of the six linemen over the age of 26. 

However, with practice squad allowances having been bumped up to 16 for the season, don't be surprised if Blackson returns to Houston with his experience and knowledge of the system making him potentially a valuable backup.

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