The Houston Texans open up the 2017 Preseason on Wednesday, August 9th against the Carolina Panthers. After a long and anticipated wait for some kind of football to begin, the preseason is officially here last week after Dallas and Arizona played the Hall of Fame Game. As a die-hard Texan fan, our time is here! I just want to highlight a couple of things to expect and look for with the start of the preseason finally here!
The Texans have named quarterback Tom Savage the starter for the preseason opener against the Panthers. The QB battle between Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson will be one to watch for this preseason, but it looks like the team is looking more towards Savage taking the reigns Week 1 as well as he has a lot of support, a lot of support especially from superstar Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins publicly stated how he supports Tom and feels he gives them a great shot at winning and leading the team this year. We all know Deshaun Watson is the future, but right now it is time for Savage to show what he has. After taking over for benched QB Brock Osweiler last year, in 3 games Savage went 46 for 73 with 461 passing yards, a 63.0% completion rate, along with 0 touchdowns or interceptions. For his career, Tom has 588 total passing yards on 92 attempts with a completion rate of 60.9%. He doesn't have any career touchdowns and only 1 career interception after 5 career games played since being drafted in 2014. Savage has a lot of people behind him so it will be interesting to see how he does this preseason.
Another big subject coming from Texans' camp is it is reported that J.J. Watt will make his preseason debut in Week 1 as well and will see some playing time for his first time in nearly 11 months. It will be J.J.'s first action on the field since Week 3 of the 2016 season. After undergoing back surgery, J.J. was put on I.R. and was out for the rest of the season. For a guy that has a non-stop motor, it was in his best interest to sit out and recuperate fully after having the surgery. However, even with losing J.J. for the season, the Texans Defense was ranked as the number 1 Defense for a time and they showed consistency as a whole without their superstar Defensive End. J.J.'s return will be much anticipated and exciting for Texans fans and NFL fans in general that follow his play. J.J. is the anchor the of the Defense as well so it will be exciting to watch him lead the troops again!
David Quessenberry, an offensive lineman drafted in 2013 out of San Jose State was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2014 and has yet to play a game for the Texans. After a long battle since 2014, Quessenberry has returned to the Texans this summer and will compete for a spot on the official roster after beating his battle with cancer! Quessenberry is a true warrior and the Texans never gave up on him as he continued to fight and get back to the playing field! He is an offensive guard and is listed on the Texans unofficial depth chart for Preseason Week 1 as the back up to starting Left Guard, Xavier Su'a-Filo. I hope he gets his shot for a spot on the roster. Another big piece coming back to the offensive line this season is second round draft pick from 2016 Nick Martin. He underwent ankle surgery before the season last year and was out for the whole year. It will be exciting to see Martin get his shot as well as he was a highly sought out rookie from the 2016 draft. He has drawn comparisons to his brother, All-Pro Guard Zack Martin of the Dallas Cowboys. Week 1 of the preseason will be our first chance to see how Nick does and if Greg Mancz pushes him for the starting Center spot.
The Texans play a total of 4 games this preseason after starting the preseason off against the Carolina Panthers. They will go on to play New England, New Orleans, and will end the preseason with a game against our in-state rival Dallas Cowboys. Even though it's the preseason, anytime the Texans play the Cowboys is always a pleasure and fun game to watch. I predict the Texans going 3-1 this preseason as The Patriots have our number every year and I can see them taking a game from us this preseason. Preseason is set for guys trying to compete for a roster spot and mainly to see how rookies are going to play as well. Roster spot battles can get intense, but it's all part of the game. I am looking forward to Football returning in whole, and I'm really looking forward to this season!
Die-hard Sports fan/nerd born and raised in Houston, TX! I love any Houston team and mainly follow the Texans, Astros, and Rockets. Follow my twitter @TFoRTLeW. I also run a sports podcast with my good friend Noah!