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Bye Week Mailbag: QBs, Clowney and more

Hello, hello. Welcome back to the mailbag -- a bye week edition.

No need for introduction, let's get right to it.

Ganguli: He says he plans to, so unless he has another setback, that should happen.

Ganguli: It will likely take a receiver taking an inexplicable nose dive or an injury for DeVier Posey to work his way back into the lineup. The Texans like the versatility they get from players like Keshawn Martin and Damaris Johnson, who can also function as returners. Martin can also play inside and outside whereas Posey is more of an outside receiver.

Ganguli: Hey, we have a celeb drop-in to the mailbag. Welcome, welcome. Congrats on the Chick-Fil-A. Tom Savage has been getting a majority of his reps on scout team and the coaches have been pleased by what he's done there. When he got here, Texans' coach Bill O'Brien wanted him to get into the weight room to get stronger and more durable, and he's done that, too. The Texans took Savage in a round (the fourth) where Texans general manager Rick Smith has said he's not expecting starters from. That doesn't mean he won't get a chance this year, it just means there's time to be patient. More on that next...

Ganguli: I think so. The point of starting Ryan Mallett now is to see what he can do. If he lights it up and leads the Texans into the playoffs, he'll earn himself a real starting quarterback job (and contract). On the other hand, if the Texans don't see a future with Mallett, it's likely they'll turn to Savage to see where he is.

Ganguli: Mallett will be more comfortable making some of those deep throws than Ryan Fitzpatrick was and for good reason. This excellent piece from before the 2011 draft by ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill tells a story where Mallett stood on a 50-yard line, aimed at a goal post and hit it. There are tales he can throw it 80 yards.

Ganguli: They do spend a lot of time watching themselves. Tendencies are important to know -- opponent's tendencies and your own. Each week's game plan is based on what they've put on film in previous weeks. Fooling opponents requires an understanding of what an opponent is expecting from you, which requires some self-scouting.

Ganguli: They'll keep chasing that Holy Grail they've been looking for throughout their entire existence. Next up is the 2015 draft, which will have some decent options like Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook. Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke gave the Texans Cook with the 15th selection. Here's what he said about Cook: "Assuming Ryan Mallett does not light the world afire, the Texans have to find Bill O'Brien a quarterback. Cook comes with some rough spots, mainly of the "gunslinger" variety -- i.e. he trusts his arm over making good reads at times. He also stands 6-4, carries a strong arm and frequently attacks defenses downfield. Cook has said he plans to return for his senior season. We'll see if he still feels that way in a couple months."

Ganguli: It's clear that this team had a number of holes after last season, most glaringly at quarterback. And when the quarterback you gave a contract extension to just two years ago is no longer an option, that's a problem. There were defensive holes as well. They had to replace four starters, two from within and two by bringing in players. The nose tackle position wasn't even resolved until after the season began. If McNair is honest with himself, I think he'd agree that there were more weak spots on the roster than after last season than he initially thought.

Ganguli: I've liked what I've seen from Alfred Blue. He's learning to understand what he sees and how to process that. He's shown awareness on his runs and on his special teams plays, notably on that blocked punt he scored on in the season opener. His vision and escapability aren't at Arian Foster's level yet, but he can get there. He's a hard worker and very coachable if he keeps improving, he can definitely have a solid career.

Ganguli: The Texans' trouble getting the ball to tight ends has been from a combination of factors, that involves both the tight ends and the quarterback, so it's hard to say if the switch to Mallett will change that. As for tipped balls -- the height of the quarterback matters for those. Mallett has NBA height at 6-foot-7 (it comes from his mom's side of the family) and that will certainly help with those tipped balls.

Ganguli: I'm not one to declare someone a bust after the first nine games of his career, so I don't think they would go that far yet. The beginning of his career hasn't gone swimmingly, but it's entirely possible that once he heals from this injury, he'll return to his pre-NFL mostly injury-free ways. I'd also keep an eye on Blake Bortles' progression. He's played well, but if he becomes great then you could argue the Texans would have been better off taking Bortles than Clowney. Again, it's early and those are a lot of "ifs."

Ganguli: Unfortunately for you fans, there isn't anything you can do. The problem for J.J. Watt's candidacy is the Texans' record. This is an award that goes to the best player on one of the league's best teams. Watt is probably the best player, but most valuable player is an award that includes "value" as a consideration, and that's a very subjective one.

Ganguli: Ever? Anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow?