HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans are starting over — even if they refuse to admit a rebuild is on the way.
The Texans will begin the 2021 season with more questions than answers surrounding the roster following a 4-12 season. Deshaun Watson is not being counted on to play due to his legal battles. Even if he was cleared by Week 1, the 25-year-old gunslinger has made it clear he wants out of Houston.
Enter Tyrod Taylor as the next QB in the spotlight - and early suggestions of “disappointment.”.
Taylor, 31, has in a way become “the next Ryan Fitzpatrick” around the NFL due to his veteran leadership in developing young quarterbacks. In 2018, he played an essential role in the growth of Baker Mayfield with Cleveland. Last fall, the same happened with Justin Herbert in Los Angeles.
Until proven otherwise, Taylor will be the starter Week 1 against Jacksonville. Can he do enough to prove he's the deserving of being the long-term starter?
According to Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox, Taylor could be the biggest disappointment at NRG Stadium.
The Houston Texans are in a situation similar to that of Green Bay. They are unlikely to have former franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson under center in 2021. In fact, they may never have him there again.
Watson is currently being sued by 22 women alleging sexual assault and misconduct and has requested a trade from Houston. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Watson still wishes to be dealt.
This will likely leave Houston leaning on journeyman Tyrod Taylor at quarterback—barring a surprise surge by rookie third-round pick Davis Mills. Unlike Jordan Love, Taylor at least has a fair bit of starting experience. He spent three years as the starter in Buffalo and served as a bridge quarterback for both the Browns and the Los Angeles Chargers.
However, Taylor didn't last long in his last two stints, quickly giving way to rookies Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert.Taylor, who has a 24-21-1 starting record, may hold off the rookie this time around, but he's not going to make fans forget about the Pro Bowl-level play of Watson. - Kristopher Knox
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With Tyrod Taylor injured against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, who could the Houston Texans look to sign at QB in his absence?
Taylor, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million this season, will look to mend what was torn up in regard to Watson’s time here. The biggest concern, we say, is his health.
Taylor started the first three games for Cleveland before a hamstring injury forced Mayfield to enter the game. Tyrod never started a game for the Browns again. Last season, he played in the season opener before a freak injection illness cost him Week 2.
Herbert entered the game against Kansas City and never looked back. He went on to set the rookie record in touchdowns passes (33) before being named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Houston does have rookie Davis Mills waiting in the wings for his chance to start. The Stanford product was considered a rising name during the draft process thanks to his accuracy and high praise from coach David Shaw. Ultimately, Texans' GM Nick Caserio didn't hesitate to pull the trigger when on the clock at No. 67.
The Texans' fan base will be critical of any player who replaces Watson following a career season. Months after agreeing to a four-year, $156 million extension, he led the NFL in passing yards with 4,823. Watson also reset the franchise's record with 33 passing touchdowns despite not having All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins as his No. 1.
Taylor could be good. Heck, his record in Buffalo proves in the right system, he can be great. Already knowing Pep Hamilton's offense from the Chargers and first-year head coach David Culley's system from the Bills, this could be a surprise player to watch.
Then again, the production of Watson speaks volumes to those who call NRG Drive home. Anything less will be under scrutiny all season long.
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