[EDITOR’S NOTE: WE ARE ASKING EACH OF OUR JOCKS TO DECIDE IF A BUBBLE PLAYER FOR THE HOUSTON TEXANS IS GOING TO MAKE THE CUT AND BE ON TEAM’S 53-MAN ROSTER OR MISS THE CUT AND BE CUT BY THE TEAM. THE EIGHTH OF THE SERIES IS BY DANTE HALL – IN THE LOOP 10A-2P – ON WIDE RECEIVER CECIL SHORTS]
DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong are the epitome of a cinch. These four horsemen will certainly be hauling in passes from the Texans 72 million dollar man. That leaves six hopefuls vying for one seat. Among those, in this crab in a barrel race to the top, is Cecil Shorts the elder of ten receivers on the Texans roster.
Side note: my top two passions are sports and music, but I’m also highly intrigued by law. With that in my, to validate my opinion on whether or not Cecil Shorts will make or miss the cut, let’s state the case for and against Cecil.
First, beginning with the case for Cecil, let’s look at the body of evidence in his favor. There are many advantages to having a veteran receiver in your wideout room opposed to a young guy with a ton of potential. You can count on Cecil to know his alignments & assignments, two very underrated and overlooked qualities in football players. You can count on Cecil to be where he is supposed to be when he is supposed to be there. With 5 years experience in the “joint”, the “joint” being the NFL and Roger Goodell being the warden, there isn’t much this guy hasn’t seen. Although Shorts doesn’t do anything great, he does a lot of little things well. I will rest my case FOR Mr. Shorts with a few excerpts from a recent interview with the 72 million dollar man (actually the 37 million dollar man): “Cecil is Mr. Consistent,” Brock Osweiler said. “You know what you’re going to get out of Cecil every single day. He takes a pro approach every single day. He shows up. He knows his plays. He’s the same guy every day. He’ll make plays in the passing game. He runs great routes. He hits his depths. He’ll block in the run game. So Cecil Shorts is a tremendous football player and I’m glad we have him.”
Now the case against Cecil. The most damaging evidence against my client is the fact that his stats are descending opposed to ascending. His catch and yardage output has declined each year since 2013. Cecil caught a career high 66 balls in 2013, then 53 in 2014 and 42 in 2015. The yardage output has also declined since his career high of 979 in 2012, subsequently lowering to 777 2013, 557 in 2014 and 484 in 2015. One could point to the woeful quarterbacks he’s had to play with; Blaine Gabbert, yes the same Blaine Gabbert that suits up for the Niners now. Chad Henne. Blake “5 picks a game” Bortles [Editor’s Note: That is not Blake’s official nickname]. Don’t forget the quarterback by committee the Texans were trotting out each Sunday this past season. But one could also point out the nagging injuries, i.e. hamstring issues last year, as a valid reason for the decline. Josh Lenz and Keith Mumphrey are also potential issues that must be overcome in order to win your case and remain on the Texans roster. Albeit highly unlikely that Josh makes this team, there is a legit chance that Keith Mumphery, a favorite of BOB as well as a draft pick from a year ago, could be the Derek Foreal that knocks you off for that 5th spot at receiver (if you have seen the movie Blow, you’ll get that reference).
With all that said, I believe that when the dust settles and Judge Bill O’Brien and Judge Rick Smith slam their gavels, Cecil Shorts III will be part of the Texans doing a lot of little things well.