Few teams have seen more talent leave in the last couple of weeks than Houston, which has seen Mario Williams sign a huge contract elsewhere, traded DeMeco Ryans and released Eric Winston, among others. Texans coach Gary Kubiak acknowledges that’s going to hurt.
“Obviously, it’s been a difficult 10 days,” Kubiak told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve lost some key players who are tremendous people and leaders. They played a big part in our building process. It’s going to be difficult to replace them, but obviously we have to move on and other players have to step up.”
The Texans are coming off by far their best season in franchise history, reaching the playoffs for the first time, and it’s been surprising to see just how many players from last year’s team won’t be back this year. Other players who have left include tight end Joel Dreessen, guard Mike Brisiel, cornerback Jason Allen, fullback Lawrence Vickers and quarterback Matt Leinart.
Kubiak lamented in particular that the Texans weren’t able to retain players from their strong 2006 draft class, which included Williams first overall, Ryans in the second round and Winston in the third round.
“I’ve never been part of a better draft class in all my years of coaching,” Kubiak said.
And he may have never been part of a worse first couple weeks of free agency.