Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans...
The very intelligent Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com thinks the Houston Texans will be better than you think in 2014. He cites statistics that indicate more than a little bad luck was involved in last season's collapse. In each of the past two seasons, the team that finished with the worst record in the league, made the playoffs the following year. I found this particularly interesting: "Four teams (the 2004 Chargers, 2008 Dolphins, 2012 Colts, and 2013 Chiefs) have accomplished the feat in the last 10 years, but before them, the last franchise to make its way from dead last into the playoffs was the 1982 strike-season Patriots."
The Texans are looking to solve their biggest problem from the 2014 season with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, writes Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press. "This is completely new," Fitzpatrick said. "We're not even thinking or talking about last year ... I think everyone has seen that it is really a year-to-year league. Just in terms of whatever happened the year before, it doesn't matter. If you think about it too much then maybe it affects you in a negative way."
Backup running back Andre Brown is getting more work with Arian Foster sitting out, writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Brown is focusing on taking care of his body more than ever these days. "Doing the extra stuff," he said. "Being young, you didn't really know how to take care of your body. When I started looking at the older vets, they're in that training room stretching. They're in the cold tub after practice every day making sure they get their legs back. This year, that's my approach to it. Making sure I eat right, keep my weight down and stay healthy. You have to mature. You're not 21 anymore. You can't just go out there and touch your toes and be ready to practice all day. I have to make sure I'm here an extra hour early to make sure my body is ready to go."
Alfred Blue is also benefiting from this, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. “I’d say it’s very beneficial for more practice,” Blue, a rookie from LSU, said. “Practice makes perfect, so I think it’s a big opportunity and I just got to make the most of it.”