The headline should say it all. The reason the competition has been so good between both sides of the ball is the offense is more than likely trying to match what the defense did in 2011.
The Wade Phillips-led defense ranked second overall last season, while the offense finished the year in the middle of the pack. Yes, you could say that Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, & Arian Foster being out for a good portion of the season was a huge part of that. However, NFL players would tell you that competition will always be a part of the job.
The offense averaged about 27 points per game while Matt Schaub was the QB-1. After the injury, the offense averaged 18 points. Needless to say, the Texans offense is looking to match the defense’s accolades this season.
“Yeah, no doubt,” Gary Kubiak said. “We’ve been dang good on offense around here for a long time, and to me, the job that (Offensive Coordinator) Rick (Dennison) did last year, losing his quarterback, his receiver – or losing a few quarterbacks, I should say – not playing with (RB) Arian (Foster) for a while, was tremendous.”
That being said, Gary Kubiak knows his team will also be relying on some new faces to come in and help the offense reach the top tier status they’ve had over the past few seasons.
“This year we’re going with some younger guys, so we’re trying to kind of – I don’t want to ever use that word ‘rebuild,’ because I don’t believe in that; I think you should be as good as you can be all the time – but we’ve got to get some new faces come in and keep our standard of play up, I guess is a good way of saying it,” Kubiak said.
As OTA’s come to a close, one thing is pretty certain this season. Matt Schaub will be back and starting on September 9th against the Dolphins. That being said, TJ Yates is getting good reps on the field as the starting quarterback, after he was put into the starting role in week 13 against the Falcons. Yates welcomes the friendly competition between both sides of the ball.
“We respect the defense (and) we know that they’re one of the best in the league,” Yates said. “But, that’s better for us.”
Yates also added that the competition between both sides can no doubt make this team even better.
“We’re out there practice against the ones (first team) and that very good defense and its very good competition,” Yates said. “We keep it clean and we respect each other, it creates a good atmosphere.”
Owen Daniels is also on the field for OTA’s and realizes the offense has to rely on some new players to add to a when healthy, very top-notch offensive attack.
“Its tough not having Dre and Matt,” Daniels said. “Other guys are getting opportunities to make plays and young are getting chances to step up and get some experience.”
With the way the defense played last season, Daniels knows this team is much different.
“Its kind of always been the other way around, its been a good offense and a defense that’s trying to play up to our level,” Daniels said. “Now it’s a big competition, it’s pretty darn close and obviously they did huge things last year. So, we feel if we can compete against our defense, we got a pretty good chance of being ready to have a pretty good offense and compete against any team this year.”
Balance on both sides of the ball is something that every team in the NFL strives for and the fact the Texans have that developing has to make any fan of this team very excited for the things to come.