Landry Locker’s five most intriguing storylines heading into training camp along with his take on each one along with the conversation about each one on Mad Radio with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne.
1. The Deshaun Watson-Tom Savage QB Battle
Most people are under the assumption that the starting quarterback job already belongs to Savage, who hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass heading into the fourth year of his career and has struggled to stay healthy when given opportunities. Savage has lingered around the organization for over three years and has familiarity with the system, but I find it hard to imagine Savage being anything better than average. However, if the defense is as good as it was last season, or even better with the return of JJ Watt, he might not have to be better than average. See: The Brock Osweiler-led 2016 AFC South Champs.
2. JJ Watt coming back from surgery
The Texans had the best defense in the league in 2016 despite being without Watt for the majority of the season because back problems. Watt, the 3x NFL Defensive Player, might not be what he was before his back surgeries, but if he’s anything close to it then the Texans front seven could be historically good.
3. Duane Brown’s holdout
How long will it last? How much money is Brown willing to lose? It’s hard to imagine Brown missing real games, but this will at least be fun to talk about as camp opens.
4. The Receivers not named DeAndre Hopkins
Will anyone emerge as a solid No. 2 receiving option behind Hopkins? Will Fuller was a first round pick last season and showed a lot of potential early in his rookie season, but fell off at the end of the season and struggled to catch the football at times. He’s the most realistic candidate to breakout, but second-year wide receiver Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong will also have opportunities.
5. Can A.J. Bouye replaced?
The toughest decision that Texans made during the season was to not pay Bouye, which led to the 25-year-old cornerback signing within the division in Jacksonville. Kevin Johnson returns from injury and will look to fill Bouye’s shoes. When a front seven is elite it can make a cornerback’s job easier and the Texans have the most talented front seven in the NFL. I don’t think Bouye will be missed and people will look back at the organization’s decision to not pay him as a smart one.