2010 Houston Texans Season Preview

In the nine years that the Houston Texans organization has been around, not once have they made the post-season. However, for the first time last year, the team finished with a winning record, at 9-7, though once again were on the outside of the AFC playoff picture looking in. This could possibly be the year for break into the postseason according to the 2010 Houston Texans Team Preview

Entering the 10th year of the organization, another missed opportunity at the playoffs may not be accepted as it was in years past, as the team looking to break through. That excuse is no longer viable, as the organization has had ample time to put together a winner, with positive signs showing in 2009. Head coach Gary Kubiak may be on the hot seat for the first time in his career in Houston, as the patience of the front office and the fans alike may be wearing thin.

Offensively in 2009, the Texans were among the best in the NFL, ranking fourth in the league and second in the conference, averaging 383 yards per game in total offense. Quarterback Matt Schaub anchored the best offense in Texan history to 24.2 points per game, which was top-10 in the NFL. The Texans sported the top passing attack in the NFL, throwing for 290 yards per game. As good as they were passing on offense, they were that inept at run production, ranking 30th in the NFL. Houston gained just 92 yards per game on the ground, and had to rely heavily on the pass.

Defensively, the Texans were pretty solid, ranking 13th in the NFL in total defense, surrendering 325 yards per game. They were better defending the run than the pass, and suffered in turnover differential at -1. The failure to create turnovers hampered the teams throughout the course of the season. Houston gave up 20 points per game, which ranked in the middle of the league.

Looking ahead to the 2010 Houston Texans Season, Houston has a lot to build off of following the first winning season in team history, but at the same time go into the year expecting to win and challenge Indianapolis for the AFC South title. At the least a wild card berth and a first-ever appearance in the post-season will be expected.2010 Houston Texans Coaching Staff & ChangesGary Kubiak led the Texans to their first-ever winning record, but will most likely need that or more to hang around for further seasons in Houston as their head coach. The Texans have never made it to the playoffs and the excuse that they are a new team is not a option entering the 10th year. Kubiak is making entering his fifth season with Houston and sports a record of 31-33 overall.

The Texans had to make a move in the offensive coordinator department, as Kyle Shannahan bolted to Washington to work under his father. In his place, Rick Dennison will take over coordinator duties this season in his first year with Houston after being in Denver for a long time. Frank Busch is in his second season as Houston's defensive coordinator running a 4-3 base that will need to improve on that side of the ball, specifically in the secondary.2010 Houston Texans Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
G - Wade Smith from Kansas City Chiefs
LB - Darnell Bing from Detroit Lions
TE - Michael Gaines from Cleveland Browns
K - Neil Rackers from Arizona Cardinals

QB - Rex Grossman to Washington Redskins
CB - Dunta Robinson to Atlanta Falcons
RB - Chris Brown to Free Agency 2010 Houston Texans NFL DraftRound 1: Pick 20 - CB, Kareem Jackson (Alabama)
Round 2: Pick 58 - RB, Ben Tate (Auburn)
Round 3: Pick 81 - DT, Earl Mitchell (Arizona)
Round 4: Pick 102 - LB, Darryl (Miami)
Round 4: Pick 118 - TE, Garrett Graham (Wisconsin)
Round 5: Pick 144 - CB, Sherrick McManis (Northwestern)
Round 6: Pick 187 - OG, Shelley Smith (Colorado State)
Round 6: Pick 197 - RB, Trindon Holiday (LSU)
Round 7: Pick 227 - TE, Dorin Dickerson (Pittsburgh)
2010 Houston Texans QuarterbacksMatt Schaub was healthy for a complete NFL season, and as a result, only led the entire NFL in passing, throwing for 4,770 yards. He threw for more yards than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and tossed 29 touchdowns. Schaub is 29 years old and in the prime of his career heading into 2010 and looks poised to take Houston to the next level in the playoffs. The Texans also brought John David Booty a former USC Trojan will be the second quarterback on the depth chart for the 2010 NFL Season. Behind Booty sits Dan Orlovsky in the third position.

2010 Houston Texans Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Matt Schaub
QB - John David Booty
QB - Dan Orlovsky2010 Houston Texans Running BacksHouston does not possess a running back that can give them 25 carries per game, as was evident during the 2009 NFL season when they ranked 30th in the NFL in output. However, Houston made a move in the 2010 NFL Draft by selecting Ben Tate out of Auburn, who possesses both size and speed and has the potential for play-making ability. The tandem of Tate and Steve Slaton could be the missing piece to the puzzle that Houston could desperately use to get back to a two-dimensional offense.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Steve Slaton
RB - Ben Tate
RB - Chris Henry2010 Houston Texans Wide ReceiversThe Texans have arguably the best receiver in all of football in Andre Johnson, who is both big and quick. John is Schaub's go-to receiver, and despite double-teams, he still gets the ball and creates plays. Johnson hauled in 101 receptions in 2009 for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns. Opposite Johnson is No.2 receiver Kevin Walter and slot receiver David Anderson. This receiving corps was responsible for the No.1 pass-attack in the NFL. The unit should be the beneficiary of the drafting of Tate if he can help drive the run game and create a more balanced offense. Tight End Owen Daniels will also be back after tearing his ACL in Week 8 of last season.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Kevin Walter
- Andre Davis
WR - David Anderson

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Owen Daniels
TE - Joel Dreessen2010 Houston Texans Offensive LineDuane Brown was a first round pick at left tackle in 2008 and continues to improve and anchor the offensive line that was good enough in pass protection to allow Schaub to throw for 4,700 yards last season. In addition to Brown, the guard position will have plenty of depth and competition as Kasey Studdard and Antoine Caldwell will likely fill those positions. The line will once again be key in the offense, as they struggled at run blocking and will need to improve, while at the same time continuing to perform well in pass protection.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Starting Offensive Line
LT - Duane Brown
LG - Kasey Studdard
C - Chris Meyers
RG - Antoine Caldwell
RT - Eric Winston2010 Houston Texans Defensive LineHouston will enter 2010 with two first round draft pick on the front line, including 2008 No.1 overall selection Mario Williams. Still, the line has failed to live up to expectations. Amobi Okoye will line up with Williams again in 2010, as the defense will look to improve after ranking 13th in the NFL. Shaun Cody and Antonio Smith make up the rest of this unit. Williams is the lone Pro Bowler on the line, and undoubtedly the best pass rusher on the front. He is extremely quick off the edge, but will need to improve a straight rush. All in all this is a solid unit that will look to take that next step forward for a playoff push.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Starting Defensive Line
DE - Mario Williams
DT - Amobi Okoye
- Shaun Cody
DE - Antonio Smith2010 Houston Texans LinebackersThis is arguably the strongest portion of the defense. Led by DeMeco Ryans, who made his second Pro Bowl appearance a year ago, the linebackers are very active for the Texans. Brian Cushing was voted the defensive rookie of the year in 2009 after leading the team in tackles with 134 and five sacks to along with four interceptions. Zac Diles rounds out the corps of linebackers that look to continue a high level of production in 2010.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Starting Linebackers
SLB - Brian Cushing
- DeMeco Ryans
WLB - Zac Diles
2010 Houston Texans SecondaryLooking at the rest of the defense in the 2010 Houston Texans Season Preview, the secondary will need to step up to match the high play of the D-line and the linebackers. They made strides by doing that by acquiring defensive back Dunta Robinson from Atlanta to come in and add depth to help out Glover Quinn. The Texans also drafted Kareem Jackson out of Alabama in the first round in this year's draft. So it looks as if Houston knew that this was an area for concern and have addressed it to turn it from a liability to an asset.Bernard Pollard will start at the free safety position as a big hitter who is capable of making big plays. Still, this area of the defense is largely unproven as a unit.

Projected 2010 Houston Texans Starting Seconday
CB - Glover Quinn
CB - Kareem Jackson
SS - Bernard Pallard
FS - John Busing

2010 Houston Texans Preview