3 Position Battles to Watch in Texans Training Camp
By Jerry Trotta
All eyes will be on the Houston Texans in 2020 following a heavily-scorned offseason conducted by head coach and de facto general manager Bill O'Brien. The defending AFC South champs are also fresh off getting embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round after jumping out to a big lead, so the pressure will be on for them to help fans forget about these recent atrocities.
Before that, however, O'Brien will need to sort out a slew of position battles that will commence at the start of training camp in a few weeks. Here are three that you should keep an eye on.
3. Right Guard
Entering camp, the Texans will have four players -- Zach Fulton, third-round pick Charlie Heck, Senio Kelemete and undrafted rookie Elex Woodworth -- vying for the starting right guard spot. The former played 90% of the offensive snaps last season, but also logged a woeful 52.2 grade from Pro Football Focus, so his starting role is anything but guaranteed heading into 2020. Keeping Deshaun Watson upright should be Houston's paramount concern, so expect there to be a juicy competition for the right guard position as camp gets underway next month.
2. Wide Receiver
Houston maddeningly traded away All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason, but O'Brien did a reasonably solid job (considering) at attempting to fill the void. As things stand, the Texans will have Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills battling for the starting two spots. All four players are coming off down years and you can bet that there will be a legitimate competition among them once training camp beings. This is definitely a position battle to keep tabs on before the preseason. What makes this impending slugfest even more spicy? That each of them love lining up in the slot.
The Texans have a log jam of cornerbacks, and it's anyones guess as to who will emerge as a starter for the upcoming season. In terms of competition for the gig, Houston has Gareon Conley, Vernon Hargreaves, Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson Jr., and 2020 fourth-round pick John Reid. It would also be foolish to simply write off the likes of AJ Moore and Keion Crossen. You might say that this is an embarrassment of riches for head coach Bill O'Brien, but rotating too much at one position can be detrimental. He has big decisions to make in the secondary heading into training camp.