What to Watch: Denver Broncos Edition

What to watch for the Texans third preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

Will the Core Players Play?

Head Coach Bill O’Brien has made it clear that he thinks the weekly workouts with opponents has helped him see what he wants from his front line players. Chris Myers will not play in Saturday’s game against Denver, and it is also questionable if Duane Brown, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph will play at all. While it is important to get those players time on the field, keeping them healthy for the upcoming season is priority number one for the Texans staff.

Can they build off their second game success?

The Texans put together a solid showing in all three phases against the Falcons and now it is time for them to show they can sustain success on the football field. For a team that has struggled to show any signs of consistency, the Texans as a team have a chance to build for their week one showdown.

The coaching staff has been pushing their new vision since early June and games like these are about following what has been coached since day one. The team looks like they are taking to the new coaching and the message is being heard loud and clear.

Players Who Want In Will Need To Make the Move

It is time for players who are fighting for the last spots on the 53 man roster and practice squad (10 spots) start putting it together during the last two games, starting this weekend against Denver. Practice is a good barometer on how players will produce on game days, but it isn’t until the lights are on that the biggest impressions are made by the players.

It is time for players to start separating themselves from the rest to make sure they have a future with the Texans.

Players To Watch

Case Keenum

It is time for Keenum to put together a game where there is significant improvement to form a consensus decision that he can be the back up quarterback. His trigger in the pocket needs to speed up and he needs to show he can make throws happen with his intermediate passing game.

Brandon Harris

Since being overtaken by A.J. Bouye for the third cornerback position, Harris will need to put in the work for the staff to see him. He has been relatively quiet and was not seen too often in the Falcons game. Harris needs to find that consistency to give the Texans four solid cornerbacks for the season.

Brandon Brooks

Out since the start of training camp, the starting right guard had his first full week of practice with his team. Brooks will have to make up his missed time in a hurry to get ready for week one against Washington. He will need work on the field but the team has to make sure they do not push him too hard in order to avoid a setback.

Ryan Griffin

Ryan Griffin has not gotten off to the start that most expected and has quickly become the third tight end of the group. Struggling with run blocking, his time on the field has decreased and he has become a spot player. Griffin has plenty of upside but right now he looks overmatched mentally and physically on what the new offense is asking from him.

Tom Savage

The main threat to unseat Case Keenum as the backup quarterback, Savage moved the Texans efficiently with the first team against the Falcons. He did not have high passing stats but he showed poise to make calls at the line of scrimmage and get the offense into successful situations. Now if Savage can start getting his confidence up in the passing game, it could be a matter of time before the rookie is backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Louis Nix III

The rookie nose tackle had been out since prior to training camp with his knee being cleaned up. Nix returned this week and worked with the team for the first time all camp. He has to get into the defensive line rotation and get some NFL snaps to get his feet wet as a player. Nix is the nose tackle of the future for the defense, but seeing him back on the field is a step in the right direction.

Under the Radar

James Ferentz

The center played every snap against the Falcons. It looks like he is in line to do it again against the Broncos.

Julius Warmsley

The rookie defensive tackle has been showing up the past two preseason games against second and third team offenses, and he has flashed consistently.

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