Texans offseason wrap-up

May, 23, 2014
May 23
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With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror and training camp just a couple of months away, we assess the Houston Texans' offseason moves.

[+] EnlargeJadeveon Clowney
Pat Sullivan/AP PhotoThe Texans scored big by landing the player many considered to be the NFL draft's best overall prospect in Jadeveon Clowney.
Best move: Selecting Jadeveon Clowney first overall was the Texans' best move this offseason. He'll help the Texans' pass rush, and they'll use him in a hybrid fashion, beginning at outside linebacker, that will best suit his talents. It might take a few games for him to really get it -- it took J.J. Watt until late in the 2011 season to truly feel comfortable -- but when he does, the Texans' defense will benefit.

Riskiest move: Though we knew the Matt Schaub era was over as soon as the season ended, trading him away was a pretty risky move, especially given the fact the Texans didn't feel strongly about any of the draft's quarterbacks. Schaub's 2013 season was a disaster, but he was the most successful quarterback in franchise history and he could have been the guy to hold Houston over until they found the QB of the future. Of course, trading him away saved the Texans some cap space and they got something back for him, which is good.

Most surprising move: Nothing the Texans did rises to the level of "surprising" this offseason. Bill O'Brien was a fairly natural choice for head coach. ... No one ever expected Houston to take a quarterback first overall. They talked about trading the pick since January and tried to do it until the last moment they could. Their draft was a lesson in discipline. ... It was a mild surprise that they felt Antonio Smith's time as a starting defensive end was done, but only a mild one.

Focus on teaching: It's hard to judge many of the Texans' offseason moves because of the huge amount of upheaval within the franchise. A big part of whether the on-field moves they've made work will depend on the teaching aspect. With his smart and energetic staff, O'Brien will try to alter a culture that existed in Houston for most of a decade. Their teaching will impact Clowney's growth and the quarterback position. It will dictate how the team's established veterans transition to a new scheme and coaching style.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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