Regardless of quarterback, Texans need Duane Brown

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As the holdout of Texans left tackle Duane Brown lingers, it makes sense for now to play rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, given (as coach Bill O’Brien noted after Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars) Watson’s ability to escape the pocket. It would make far more sense for the Texans to escape the predicament of not having Brown.

So will they have him soon?

“Again, I have no idea,” O’Brien told reporters on Monday. “I really don’t. I really wouldn’t be able to answer that question at all. I coach the team. The thing that I am in charge of is what you saw yesterday which wasn’t very good and we are trying to work better at it. I’m in charge of what happens on Sundays, who plays and how we play. Other than that, I don’t really have anything to report to you because I don’t know.”

The man who does know is G.M. Rick Smith. But, as one source with knowledge of the situation puts it, Smith seems to have little or no motivation to get the situation fixed.

It may just be a negotiating ploy, a corporate philosophy aimed at not encouraging other players to play the same game. It also may be, as one source has speculated, a lack of interest by Smith in reaching for the proverbial brass ring in 2017 by putting the absolute best players on the field. Or maybe it was his way of forcing Watson onto the field sooner than later, given that Watson is indeed the better option when, as it happened on Sunday, 58 drop backs produce a whopping 26 pressures and 10 sacks.

Another theory could be that Smith and O’Brien simply don’t see eye to eye. With Brown out, O’Brien is placed in a very tough spot, which could hasten his exit and the arrival of a different coach in 2018 — a coach who could be more easily lured to Houston if it appears that a young franchise quarterback is under contract for four more seasons.

Even if Brown were to walk through the door right now, chances are he wouldn’t be helping the team any time soon, and definitely not in little more than 72 hours when the Texans face a Bengals team that will be equally desperate for a win. Regardless, the sooner Brown returns, the better suited the Texans will be to salvage a season that isn’t lost yet — but that quickly could be.

20 responses to “Regardless of quarterback, Texans need Duane Brown

  1. I think that the team owner, Bob McNair, is the one that signed off on the team policy of not renegotiating contracts with more than a year remaining.

  2. If one were to close their eyes, spin around and randomly point a finger in a room where the only others were the coach and gm, that finger would be guaranteed to be pointed where blame belongs.

  3. Texans have had pretty spotty O line play the last couple of years. The times they look good coincide with the times Brown is: (a) Playing (b) Healthy.
    I don’t know how much he has left, and I don’t like him holding up the team, but he’s all they’ve got. They need to get him playing, or Watson’s going to be involved in a Carr crash situation.

  4. Duane Brown’s agent had to be psyched watching that game. Whoever the replacement left tackle was, he wasn’t

  5. jacunn2000 says:
    September 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm
    Wait a minute!! I live in Houston and according to the fan base here, Texans are heading to the Super Bowl this year!! This must be FAKE NEWS!
    ______________________________________________________
    Sure you don’t live in Dallas? Every year they say there are going to Super Bowl.

    I have lived in Houston since they got the team and only ONE Season did they say the Texans are going to the Super Bowl.(the infamous letter jacket season)
    Texans need more than Duane Brown, they an ENTIRE offensive line. O’Brien and Smith should be fired, 2 seasons in a row they have put a premium on finding a QB while ignoring the guys that are paid to protect them.

    Sad, sad organization

  6. I’m sure the Bengals will be desperate for a win, but checking the scoreboard from yesterday it would appear they will also be desperate for any points on the scoreboard at all.

  7. I’d be pretty worried about the lack of productive from Watt, Clowney and Mercilous too. Clowney got utterly shut out by a 2nd round pick rookie, playing his first NFL game, Watt got held to one tackle by Jeremy freaking Parnell, and I only saw Mercilous show up once.

  8. The very last thing the team should do is capitulate. This will simply increase the chances that this happens in the future. In fact, if I were the GM I would not forgive the fines. Players usually do not publicly complain about this nonsense because it is a “business decision”. However, I suspect many on the team are livid.

    Do not capitulate and do not forgive fines. Call it a business decision.

  9. That brilliant front office thought they could get Romo for nothing and wouldn’t make a trade…just like Elway in Denver. How’s that workin’ out for ya thus far?

  10. Adding Brown will help, but he is still just ONE guy and he alone cannot fix what we all witnessed this past Sunday. Every team on the Texans’ schedule now knows you can go all out with your pass rush. No fear of a vertical passing game and let your linebackers stop the run as Watson scrambles for his life. The architect of this disaster is NOT O’brien; it’s GM Smith who wasted an entire year and draft with his Osweiler deal.

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