NEW NFL SEASON STARTS WITH MANY ROSTER CHANGES
If there’s one thing Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien learned while
employed with the New England Patriots, it had to be that if you want a more aggressive
franchise, go all in. Make the moves that others are afraid to make. Follow New
England’s blueprint, according to Sunday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle.
That’s exactly what the five-year head coach did Saturday after all 32 National
Football League teams pared their rosters down from 90 players to the league rule of 53.
Not only did the Texans hierarchy send some 37 players packing, but O’Brien did
some massive wheeling and dealing, making four trades and adding six new players in a
day unlike any other in the franchise’s 18-year history.
We won’t have to stumble pronouncing Jadeveon Clowney’s first name anymore,
because, after shopping him then entire spring and summer, Houston finally found a team
that wants him in the Seattle Seahawks, who made similar blockbuster trades last season.
Clowney wanted a long-term contract with the Texans, who refused to negotiate
until his present contract expired. So, they made him the franchise player, who cannot get
a new contract this season, which was worth nearly $16 million.
In return, Houston got a third-round 2020 draft pick as well as outside linebackers
Barkevious (another tongue-twister first name) Mingo and Jacob Martin. This trade made
many NFL insiders and Texans season ticket holders furious. They feel as if Houston
came up on the short end of the stick on that trade.
And because the Texans haven’t had a quality blind-side left tackle since Duane
Brown was traded to Seattle, also with a contract dispute, Trader Bill gave away half the
future to obtain offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and speedy wide receiver Kenny Stills
from the Miami Dolphins.
But Houston had to hand over their 2020 and 2021 first-round draft picks, a 2021
second-round draft pick, reserve offensive tackle Julie’n Davenport and special-teams
contributor and reserve cornerback Johnson Bademosi, according to the Chronicle.
Besides Tunsil and Stills, the Texans get back a 2020 fourth-round pick and a
2021 sixth-round pick from the rebuilding Dolphins.
And as a replacement for injured running back Lamar Miller, who’s out with a
season-ending knee injury, Houston tried to bolster their backfield deficiency by picking
up veteran running back Carlos Hyde from the Kansas City Chiefs for second-year
offensive lineman Martinas Rankin.
O’Brien now has less than a week to create a productive offense and defense with
the newly-acquired personnel. Don’t be surprised if Trader Bill isn’t through making
deals. But he already has received unmerciful criticism locally and nationally for his
trades and the steep price he paid for Tunsil and Stills, the Chronicle pointed out.
The Texans open their season Monday night in New Orleans where the Saints are
a solid touchdown favorite. We’ll find out really soon if Tunsil can protect quarterback
DeShaun Watson’s blind side.
And we’ll also see if Trader Bill can handle both jobs as Head coach and general
manager.

I don’t think three-time defensive MVP J.J. Watt will miss Clowney as much as
Clowney will miss No. 99 on the opposite side getting double and triple teamed while
Clowney was free to mount up his defensive statistics with the Texans.
At Seattle, Clowney will get double and triple-teamed and get transformed into
just an average NFL defensive end. We’ll see Sunday when the Seahawks play
Cincinnati.
KWICKIES…I knew it would happen sometimes this season but on Sunday
Houston Astros’ ace right-hander Justin Verlander pitched a no-hit, no-run game at
Toronto against the Blue Jays. Houston won 2-0 after Abraham Toro belted a two-run
home run in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a scoreless pitcher’s duel. Toro began
the 2019 season at AA Corpus Christi. The Astros continue to get great production out of
their new players who fill in for injured starters. Verlander becomes the sixth pitcher in
major league history to throw three no-hitters with only Nolan Ryan (7) and Sandy
Koufax (4) ahead of him in the history books.
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs were sailing along with a comfortable 14-0
lead Friday night at Nederland until they suffered three straight turnovers which aided the
Bulldogs to score 20 unanswered points. But they started playing Mustangs football late
in the fourth period, with the vaunted Chain-Gang Defense stopping the ‘Dogs
impressively and then marching downfield to score the touchdown and the crucial extra
point giving them a hard-fought 21-20 opening game victory.
The Atlanta Falcons got greedy at the end of the 2018 NFL season and waived
kicker Matt Bryant of Bridge City, hoping some rookie would come along and do the job.
But that didn’t happen and fortunately for Atlanta no other team signed the 44-year-old
veteran who holds many NFL records. Matt signed a one-year contract last weekend for a
cool $3 million.
Three huge upsets were suffered by Southeastern Conference teams Saturday as
Georgia State overpowered Tennessee 38-30, Wyoming overran Missouri 34-27 and
North Carolina ran past South Carolina 24-20 in Mack Brown’s debut with the Tar Heels,
where his coaching career first began.
There was much celebrating at the Orgeron household late Saturday night after
Ed’s LSU Tigers walloped Georgia Southern 55-3 in Baton Rouge, which was the Tigers’
second largest opening victory since 1936. In the meantime, Ed’s son Cody
quarterbacked the McNeese Cowboys to a 34-28 win over Southern in Lake Charles.
JUST BETWEEN US…I went to the bank Friday and was told that former
Orange resident Jim Colvin had passed away. His close friends and Dallas Cowboy
teammates called him Rocky and after retiring in the late 1960’s he wrote an interesting
sports column in the Orange newspaper entitled “Rocky’s Report.” Jim was an
entrepreneur and owned several businesses, including a fried chicken restaurant here in
Orange right where Cody’s used to be. Our paths had not crossed in over a decade. He was just a good guy!!