Some people are fans of the Houston Texans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Houston Texans. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: Houston Houstonians
Your 2013 record: 2-14. Two straight wins. Fourteen straight losses. Now THAT is how you do 2-14. And then there was this…
It's amazing how quickly it can all go to shit. One season, you're riding high off of thrashing the Bengals in the playoffs for the 90 th straight time. The next season, people are setting Matt Schaub's children on fire. This is not a kind game.
Your coach: Bill O'Brien. I went to Penn State's first home game after Joe Paterno died, and people were walking around in officially licensed shirts that said BILLIEVE. I'd like to think that Bill O'Brien approved that shirt motto while sitting in a very large, trophy-adorned office. "Ah. Billieve. That'll do it." In two seasons at Penn State, O'Brien went 15-9. But don't worry, that record translates into 20-4 in non-diddling years.
The Texans rushed to hire O'Brien while willfully ignoring the notorious legacy of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. These names have been rehashed many times for the sake of scaring small children, but let's go through them once more:
- Romeo Crennel
- Charlie Weis
- Josh McDaniels
- Eric Mangini
I don't know why any team would voluntarily smash their faces into this particular wall for a fifth time. There's only one Bill Belichick and his name is not Bill O'Brien. And like many failed Belichick assistants, O'Brien is already asserting himself and micromanaging players into fine dust. Hot take provider Pete Prisco marvels at O'Brien's techniques…
O'Brien has eliminated scooters and Segways for his players to get around
YOUR SCOOTERING DAYS ARE OVER, MEN.
"You want to know how to win?" O'Brien screamed at his players. "Listen to me."
"I went 15-9 in a middling conference! I know what the fuck I'm doing!"
There is talk the Texans will also do Oklahoma drills, a high-school staple that many teams don't do anymore for fear of injury.
But the Texans are gonna be doin' it because old school football, people! Needlessly bashing into each other and wearing players down before the season has even started is what it's all about.
O'Brien might not win a popularity contest, but he isn't paid to do that.
See, that's precisely what I thought he was paid to do. I thought Bob McNair brought O'Brien into his office and said, "Listen, Bill. We're gonna pay you millions to coach this team. And my expectation is that you will win our popularity contest, which is staged every Friday at 4pm. There is a lip syncing round."
Prisco also writes that players crave discipline, which O'Brien presumably provides. This is not true. Players crave organization and structure and a sense that the guy in charge knows what the fuck he's doing. They do not secretly crave scooter confiscation. You know you want it, men.
In other news, O'Brien has a chin you could slide a pair of underwear on.
Look at that cleft. What's in there? Diamonds? State secrets? NARNIA?! I'm fascinated.
Your quarterback: You do not have a quarterback. Your team forgot to get one. It's like when I come home with $100 worth of groceries from the store and somehow I forget to include anything that can be made into a proper dinner. Happens at least once a week. You have J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson, Jadeveon Clowney, Arian Foster, and Johnathan Joseph on this team. How the fuck can you sit there and let those studs go into a full season with Ryan FitzHarvard at the helm? It's malpractice, is what it is.
Your backup terrible quarterback is Case Keenum. And I think we all remember the three games last season when Case Keenum Fever swept the greater Houston suburbs. Any small white backup quarterback named Case or Colt or Chase will automatically become adored by 80 percent of your local fanbase.
Tom Savage was drafted in the fourth round mainly to keep people from rioting in the streets.
What's new that sucks: If there is a motor to be had within Jadeveon Clowney, by God O'Brien's Oklahoma drills will surely leave that motor permanently warped and useless.
Apart from getting the first overall pick in the draft and using it correctly, the Texans' offseason was notable mostly for its losses. Gary Kubiak and his lifetime supply of pomade are gone, along with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who has been replaced by Romeo Crennel. Listen, if you're gonna grab a failed head coach for your DC, you stick with ol' Wade. You don't double down on Belichick's toilet runoff.
Ben Tate is gone, which is good because I hate Ben Tate. Owen Daniels is also gone, which means Garrett Graham is the guy to catch three TDs in one game and then make zero catches after you pick him up off the waiver wire. Oh hey, remember when this team signed Ed Reed last offseason and then cut him in November? That was fun.
What has always sucked: These are horrible fans. You're talking about a group of people that had to BUY a Matt Schaub jersey before burning it:
Have some pride, man. Burn a jersey that you've actually worn at some point. That's the whole point of the jersey burning. It is a severing of emotional ties… a spiritual cleansing. You need to LOVE a player to be hurt by him. And here you are buying Schaub's jersey after the fact. What a bunch of fucking morons. They couldn't even burn that shit correctly. Matt Schaub sucks, but he's the best quarterback in team history BY FAR (other Texans starters: David Carr, Tony Banks, Dave Ragone, Sage Rosenfels, T.J. Yates, Keenum, and Matt Leinart, who was arguably the best QB of this group) and you people turned on him like it was nothing. No wonder Andre Johnson is dying to leave. You make Cowboys fans look loyal by comparison.
Not that I expect anything less from the citizens of Houston, which is the worst city in Texas. You gotta work real hard to be the shittiest city in Texas. I mean, Dallas is right there, and Dallas is everything wrong with American urbanity. But Houston is worse. It's hotter than red death. Traffic is shit. Everyone is dumb. Going to the mall food court counts as fine dining. No one goes to Houston on purpose. It's Phoenix with humidity. One day a giant mosquito swarm will consume the city entirely. Tim Burke:
Smelliest city I've ever been in. Stinks even worse than New Orleans. Human stink, garbage stink, oil refinery stink? I dunno, but that place smells.
You hear that, Houston? YOU SMELL. Take a shower, for fuck's sake. Have some dignity.
Houston is what would happen if The Blob swallowed Atlanta, rolled sideways a few hundred miles, and then slowly rotted in the middle of a poisoned bayou. It's hot, totally disordered, crime-ridden, flat, and strapped into some kind of shape by ring roads like an obese man stuffed into five layers of Spanx. Please note that I like it a lot!
I do not believe you. I feel like all Houston people do is burn Matt Schaub jerseys poorly and complain about "the Mexicans".
What might not suck: Hoo boy, Clowney and J.J. Watt in the same front seven. People might die. I can't wait.
Hear it from Texans fans!
A few tidbits about the Houston Texans:
- The coach had a heart attack, came back in the same season, got fired, and no one really minded.
- Arian Foster's initial public offering didn't go so well. Also not a lot of public backlash against purchasing a portion of the profit of manual labor by a young African-American in the South.
- Rich businessmen took out full-page ads and billboards to Keep Johnny Football, even though (a) his hometown is 260 miles from Houston and (b) the same strategy worked so well for Vince Young.
- No one has realized that JJ Watt is actually Jon Cena, but when they do, they will most certainly turn on him.
The Houston Texans fanbase is irrationally optimistic about everything - new starters/draft picks, our upcoming win/loss record, etc. I myself guessed this team would go 13-3 last year - what an idiot! I understand that this is the case for most fanbases but the Texans in particular have done next to nothing in their brief history to allow this attitude. The opposite should be true. Example: people in Houston should hate the fact that we drafted Tom Savage as our "quarterback of the future". Here's a brief list of notable quarterbacks drafted in round 4:
Meanwhile Tom Savage transferred 19 times in college (estimated) and possesses the one redeeming quality of being 10 feet tall (also estimated). Radio callers are guessing which week the guy is going to start.
The owner is well-respected around the league and we periodically get props for running a "quality organization" which translates to "we don't take a single look at Mike Vick in the offseason and instead handed the reins to Ryan Fitzpatrick". I can't believe Peter King doesn't fawn over this team A LOT more. This team belongs in Wichita.
If you've played fantasy football more than a few years, you've found yourself in a draft situation where all of the top quarterbacks are gone and you're not excited about the middle tier. What do you do? You decide that you are smarter than everyone else and select a "sleeper" quarterback late, while bolstering your team in other positions. This NEVER works. This is what the Texans are doing this year. They are putting on a big shit-eating grin and rolling the dice with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
And what a contempt-filled statement this is to the Houston fans. "Oh, you didn't like rooting for a 2-14 team last year? You didn't like watching Matt Schaub piss down his leg on every passing attempt? Here's some RYAN FUCKING FITZPATRICK then. Fuck you."
I work for the radio show that led the "BENCH SCHAUB" billboard campaign— Living in a football-centric city during a season like that, especially with the expectations coming in, was like watching a perpetual loop of that Sarah MacLachlan dog commercial.
They finally got rid of Gary Kubiak and Mr. Pick-Six, and had a great spot to take a quarterback #1 overall (or #33 overall, or #65 overall), but waited to take a project guy that'll probably reach full maturity right after their most valuable offensive asset retires.
Just drafted the best college D-Lineman in years? Fuck it, he's a linebacker now.
Texans fans are the worst. Andre Johnson, easily the best player to wear a Texans uniform and a future Hall of Famer, decides to hold out from OTAs, for rumored reasons anywhere from not wanting to do yet another rebuild, to wanting to get paid more money, to being pissed off at the QB situation here in Houston. What do fans say? FUCK THAT GUY, LET HIM GO, I NEVER LIKED HIS ASS ANYWAY. Assholes. Oh, and did I tell you they did the wave last year? While the offense was on the field?
The Texans are the Juggalos of the NFL. We all like each other but everyone else wonders what the fuck we're doing with our lives dedicating it to something so stupid.
I once saw David Carr get two illegal forward pass penalties in the same fucking game.
Andre Johnson has been a two-time All Pro, a perennial Pro Bowler, and a consistently great player. He never complains. He plays hurt. He blocks. Most importantly, he catches everything...and with no QB and with the only other downfield threats being slow white TEs or Arian Foster. He's not too cocky to offend the sensibilities of the good people of [the] Houston [suburbs]. He's actively boring off-the-field. He barely says a thing to the media. Every year at Christmas he takes a dozen little kids from local Child Protective Services to Toys R' Us to have a shopping spree—literally. Grab whatever you can. No limit. He doesn't taunt or over-celebrate—unless you count beating the shit out of the arch-rival's most hated player (Cortland Finnegan) as taunting or celebrating. He's the guy who's been here the longest and most loyally—playing in this fucking mall of shit, a gleaming shrine to irrelevant, corporate, generic, and mostly crappy football played in front of fat, stupid fans. If the NFL was comprised of rock bands, the Texans would be or Billy Squier. If the Texans ever put someone in the Hall of Fame, it'll be Andre Johnson—and I'm not saying he deserves it based on his statistics—which is arguable, but but based on his total body of work and the conditions under which it's been accomplished, he should be in on the first ballot. If he retired tomorrow, he should get his jersey retired the day after tomorrow. He and Bun B should be our permanent city council.
Which brings me to the most current reason why the Houston Texans suck: This offseason, coming off a 2-14 year during which Schaub finally revealed his true-self and lost his job to the scrappy undrafted (and tiny) QB from UH, Andre publicly suggests he'd like to be traded to a contender. How does the public (and management) repay this guy? Complete and total shitshow. Suddenly he goes from a local favorite to some Deion Sanders-Pac Man Jones-Randy Moss hybrid. Rather than give him the slow-clap, find him a nice Green Bay or New England to play it out on, give him a parade and a police escort to the airport, or show some modicum of class, the screeching moron base of Texans fans acts like he's some kind of a traitor who impregnated their teenage daughter before getting caught trying to skip town at the Greyhound station.
Fuck them. All. The fans. The owners. Management. But not Andre. Free Andre!
My assistant is a huge flipping Texas A&M fan and she could not shut up about Johnny Manziel and she thinks Johnny is the greatest thing to ever happen to the planet. She was also, until recently, a huge Texans fan. The day after the NFL draft I asked her what she thought of the Texans skipping Manziel and her stone-cold reply: "The Texans are dead to me." She was seething with rage. She had already bought a Browns jersey.
In a desperate hunt for some shimmer of hope, many in this city are still blindly hoisting Case Keenum up as some sort of white Houston night. And they won't shut up about him. To give some perspective, I recently got in a discussion at a bar with a gentleman who asked: if Case Keenum were surrounded with the right talent, could he have the upside of Drew Brees? No, stranger...no he could not.
I have never seen a fanbase disappear on campus as quickly as the Texans did last season. It was like some David Blaine type magic shit. I swear, after the third loss I never saw another Houston shirt again. Coincidentally, a whole lot more Cowboys shirts starts appearing out of nowhere the further into the Texans descent it went. Fuck Texas.
It's just a matter of time until JJ Watt falls in line and starts getting hurt more. He already bleeds like a Klitschko brother.
Our 2013 Draft class may go down as the worst in recent history. Out of the 9 players drafted, only 3 are with the team right now. The rest were either released/injured/cut/have cancer. This was just last year! Oh Rick Smith, the guy that drafted them…..he is still with the team.
We got swept by the Jaguars last year.
Fitzpatrick is Schaub with a neckbeard.
Sorry drew I'm drunk right now. Anyways, when they threw in pick sick fuck off Shuab in the game since the houston hopeful Case (fuck the nfl) Keenum shit his pants, the arena was up in boos. My dad and I were ok lets go! cause hey if I go to a game, I want to see them win. But Texans fans deserve the fuckin worst. They are that fucking kid who's dad just won the lotto and are pieces of shit through out. [sic]
I love Brian Cushing but that guy is one more knee injury from the training staff surrounding him with the large blue tarp. The fans will celebrate is legacy when he is given the "Barbaro Memorial Statue" treatment outside of Reliant Stadium.
Since our inaugural year in 2002, we have already had the #1 overall pick 3 times and still don't have a franchise quarterback. In the last 11 drafts (12 first round picks), the Texans have taken a defensive player in the first round in 10 of them. Other than JJ Watt, I dare you to name more than half of them.
I have left three separate games early (I don't go to many) over the past 10 years with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter with comfortable leads to beat traffic and we have lost all three of them.
Our fans sip Bud Light and delusion equally and get drunk off both.
The Texans only exist because the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo allow it.
Also, football season means we have to listen to this shitshow for the rest of the year:
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