Training camp practice is now just a matter of days away, and there is no shortage of storylines surrounding this Houston Texans team. To wit, our top five ...
1 Will Watson Work Out?
Deshaun Watson will be in attendance, despite his ongoing legal battles and determination to be traded away from the Texans.
So given that he’s available, assuming he trains ... does he work with the starters or fourth-stringers? Or does he just hang out in his room?
Or does this work in the Texans’ favor? Perhaps general manager Nick Caserio believes that they simply needed to get Watson in the building to see the changes they’ve made across the board to convince him to drop his trade request. That's a pipe-dream - but one worth dreaming.
2 - Smith's defense
An entirely new defense will suit up for the Texans this year with a new scheme and coordinator in Lovie Smith to boot. Look out for the competition at linebacker with no clear starters outside of Zach Cunningham, not to mention whether or not this change of scheme will suit the 2020 NFL tackle's leader.
Also, pay attention to safety Lonnie Johnson, for whom this new scheme could potentially be a strong fit.
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3 - Culley's style
A coach since the late 1970s, this will be the very first time that David Culley will take to the field as the boss. It will be interesting to see what kind of style he brings to the table; will he be standoffish or hands-on? Is he a task-master or is he avuncular?
Well, given his somewhat notoriously energetic nature, expect to see coach Culley here there, and everywhere as the weeks progress.
4 - Hamilton's influence
Well-regarded quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton has joined Houston's coaching staff as QB coach and passing-game coordinator.
Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Tim Kelly was one of the few to keep his position from last year, but with Hamilton now influencing the offense ... this could greatly benefit Kelly, who is still only 34, as he's learning from a style other than Bill O'Brien's.
5 - Wheeling and dealing
Caserio has left no stone unturned in his effort to improve this roster. Very few players enter this camp 'safe,' and given that he has already traded for another player this week (see our Anthony Miller analysis here), it seems a solid bet to say that there will be plenty more movement in and out of the roster in the coming weeks.