The offensive rankings for the Houston Texans in 2016 were nothing pleasant to look at when the season finally concluded. The Texans ranked 29th in total yards and 28th in points scored, landing near the bottom of the league in passing yards (29th), passing touchdowns (30th), and rushing touchdowns (29th), the worst offensive output in the Bill O’Brien era.
Moving on from offensive coordinator George Godsey prior to the off-season, the Texans made some additional internal moves for the coaching staff and O’Brien has stated, “It’s important for me to take a little bit more ownership of this offense.”
With so many new starters in 2016, (six to be exact), the Texans offense never made the jump that was expected from the outside, but internally, the Texans knew it would take some time.
“I look at our team and obviously we had a lot of new parts and pieces on the offensive side of the football last year – new quarterback, new running back, new guard, new wideouts,” General Manager Rick Smith said of the offense. “So, it takes time for all of that to come together, and we knew that.”
The brunt of the Texans struggles were placed at the feet of Brock Osweiler due to the contract he signed in the off-season guaranteeing him $37 million along with the expectations of him being an instant fix to the revolving door at the position since the exit of Matt Schaub in 2014.
Bill O’Brien knows that Osweiler has to put in work to give himself a chance to compete for the job in 2017, but he also knows the offensive issues went beyond the quarterback position.
“I’m not going to get into each position on the team, but when you look at our offense, there’s a lot of areas that need to improve. It’s not just one position,” O’Brien said of the paltry offensive output of last season. “It’s protection, it’s run blocking, it’s route running, throwing the ball, all those things. It all goes together. It’s not just one thing. So we’re working hard to get it better. That’s what the offseason is all about.”
The Texans remain committed to their plan from the previous off-season, but are not naming Osweiler the de facto starting quarterback for the upcoming season. Patience remains a virtue within the organization but they know corrections have to be made this off-season for the team to take the next step.
“That offensive piece has to continue to gel,” explained Smith. “We spent a lot of time, effort and energy on the defensive side of the ball and we did that with some acquisitions last year on offense, but it takes time.”
“We recognize that. We understand that,” Smith continued on the offensive struggles from last season. “It also takes a lot of work. We understand that and recognize it. Our guys are committed to doing that, and that’s what we’re working on now.”
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