The Houston Texans have issues with their current roster and they will use both free agency and the NFL draft to try to address these needs. There are plenty of ways to address team needs and with an extra two million added to the cap space for 2014 the Texans have some room to work.
With very little to try and retain with their own free agents, the Texans are close to unveiling their plan for the season which will be the mark the start of the new season.
No Particular Order
The elephant in the room and for the upcoming season, this is priority number one for the Texans. It is apparent why the Texans lost 14 games, and it came down to poor quarterback play in 2013. There looks to be no real solid option on the roster to take over the team for next season, so the Texans have their hands full trying to upgrade the position.
This is a two-fold need for the Texans and getting help a nose tackle, defensive end and outside linebacker are for the good of the defense. A stout front seven that can handle offenses in the run and pass situations will help the secondary from chasing receivers all over the field. The Texans gave too much time to opposing quarterbacks to pick a part the defense, and with zero push from up the middle they were ripe for the picking.
The Texans have declined since 2011 in the front seven and their needs to be a severe face lift to get the defense back on track.
A tough situation to watch last season, the right tackle position as been an open door since Eric Winston was cut prior to the 2012 season. Finding a veteran to replace would be ideal, and getting what used to be one of the top offensive lines in the NFL would be a good sight to see. The right tackle position is just as important as the blind side of the quarterback especially with the speed that is coming off the edge in the NFL in today's game. This should be one of the pieces the team mustaddress before the season.
Don't look now but there is no depth on this Texans roster when it comes to running back. Minus Arian Foster there is no real second or third running back on the roster. Finding players who can create mismatches and catch the ball out of the backfield is something that fits the mold of the type of offense Bill O'Brien wants to run. Looking at how the New England Patriots use and want from their running backs is key for the Texans to find.
Nickel Corner Back
Brice McCain was picked on and taken advantage of all season in the middle of the field. The size of players in the slot are bigger than what McCain can handle from game to game. The Texans need to find a bigger body to play on the inside of the defense and give the Texans a three at corner back position. The game is changing and if there are not three capable corner backs on a roster it makes life tough in the NFL.
Possibly the slowest offensive group in the NFL and it showed on defense when they were exposed by faster offenses. There needs to be a concerted effort to improve the speed of the team with players they add. Speed is one thing that team can not game plan for and getting faster players on the field will make a big difference in production. Through the draft or in free agency there needs to be players who can chew up yards in a hurry when they touch the football and find defensive players who can close down on ball carriers faster than previous defenses. Speed can't be coached and needs to be a skill on players who can actually produce for the team.