The Texans haven't even gotten on the practice field yet, but if you think that's going to stop me from wild speculation, well, then you haven't read my previous article about Mario Williams.
Oh, that secondary... and uh, entire defense. What an unbearable Hell they put us all through last season. With three additions to the secondary after the draft, let's take an early look at what I think will be the early cornerback depth chart. Take my hand. It's safe.
Likely Starter 1, Free agent not yet on the team:
Who will it be? Does it matter? Even if the Texans only spend an average to a bit more than average amount on a starting-caliber free agent, he's going to be better than anyone currently on the roster. Of course, that's not a reason to settle for someone who is "just better" than any other corner on the roster. I'd love for them to shoot for the stars and go after you-know-who-the-ex-Raider, but for the love of all things holy and for your own mental health, stop even considering that as a possibility. It's not about the money, it's about Nnamdi wanting money AND a chance to win a Super Bowl. He'll have several choices that fit both of those categories. Ike Taylor? Eh, no thanks. Carlos Rogers, I'm listening. Jonathan Joseph - yes please.
Likely Starter 2, Kareem Jackson:
If there was a just and loving God, Kareem would actually have to earn wherever he ends up on the depth chart. But that's not the Texan way, unless - UNLESS - Wade Phillips is allowed to do it his way. If he is going to do it his way, Jackson will have to earn his way - but more likely, he'll be required to give Jackson every opportunity to be the starter because of his draft status. Fair enough - we DO need to actually find out if this guy can play with a (hopeful) pass rush and (hopeful) better coaching and (hopeful) better safety play. Wow, this is already taking a dark turn. Anyway, get used to it - he's going to start.
Nickel corner, Brandon Harris:
Based solely on talent and football IQ, I'm thinking Harris is going to be the third corner. John McClain thinks it's going to be Brice McCain, but those words make the left side of my face twitch and subsequently sag. So please stop saying that. Harris isn't going to be outworked, and honestly I wouldn't be shocked at all if he outplayed others on the depth chart (rhymes with Hareem Hackson) well enough to start... but I'm going to give (rhymes with Fareem Fackson) the benefit of the doubt for reasons that are lost on even me.
I'm curious to see what McManis can do with some playing time. He's not going to set the world on fire, but could he be worse than what we saw last year? I still see him as a guy who can provide decent depth at the bottom of the depth chart.
Very excited to see what Carmichael can do. Hopefully he'll stay healthy, see a lot of time in preseason, and log a ton of practice time during the season. If he's playing a lot in 2011, that's probably not good news for the Texans, unless he's just playing out of his mind as a rookie.
Likely to return but not without me loudly whining about it
Brice McCain: It's not personal. He was just so awful last year... but so were a lot of other guys.
Maybe I'm not being fair.
Not likely to return
Jason Allen (free agent): I wouldn't mind Allen returning at the right price. I'm good with more veterans in the secondary. I imagine he'd rather go somewhere he can get closer to the top of the depth chart.
Karl Paymah, Antwaun Molden: Really, what needs to be said here?