Last updated 9/2/2019 at Noon
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!!