Rick Smith’s Best-Laid Plans

Sometime back in the darkest days of the George W. Bush years, a meme was making the rounds on the Left side of the Internet: “ZOMG! The US military has a plan to invade CANADA!!!!”

canadian-bikini-bottom

At the time, I took it as yet more evidence of the depressing depths to which our political discourse had sunk.  The United States is a real country with a functioning military — of course we have a plan to invade Canada, just as Canada, a real country with a functioning military, has a plan to invade us.  Any country more serious than, say, Luxembourg has plans to invade all its neighbors, plus plans to fight off invasion from America, Russia, Mars, and zombies.[i] “Having a plan” is not the same thing as “having a reasonable expectation of executing that plan,” let alone “really really wanting to.”  Planning for highly improbable scenarios like a Canadian invasion, a zombie outbreak, etc. is how military officers get practice doing important parts of their jobs.  Breathe easy, Saskatchewan — the Marines won’t be storming ashore anytime soon.[ii]

In fact, I thought all large organizations behaved this way.  Banks “plan” to get robbed all the time, right?  Not that they really expect to – you know, given how extensive and expensive their security is – but they’d be fools not to have a contingency plan in place, right?  I mean… right?

The Texans make me wonder.  Professional football is pretty much the definition of a contingency-dependent business.  Teams expect their players to get injured and miss time.  So why do Rick Smith and Co. seemingly have no plan at all for replacing Deshaun Watson?  Or anybody else for that matter?

Consider Rick’s recent free agent moves.  On November 3rd – that’s five days ago – he signed QB Matt McGloin, another graduate of “quarterback guru” Bill O’Brien’s ashram.  But before McGloin could even start deciphering the terminology of BOB’s legendarily complex offense, the Texans cut him in order to sign… Josh Johnson.  In case you’re wondering who Josh Johnson is, don’t worry, the rest of the league is wondering the same thing – he hasn’t suited up for an NFL team since 2013 and last attempted a pass in 2011.  Remember 2011?  Back when Adele ruled the airwaves, Green Lantern was on the big screen, and hair-gelled android Mitt Romney was thinking about maybe running for President?

This is not the work of a man who has carefully considered a basic part of his job.

Current starter Tom Savage has yet to play six straight quarters of professional football without getting hurt.  He’s been on injured reserve more times than he switched colleges.  The dude’s fragile, is what I’m trying to say, and there’s a very good chance that the backup, whoever that might be, will be on the field this Sunday.  A general manager who knew what he was doing would want the backup – again, whoever he is – to get in as much practice as he possibly can.

With Duane Brown, too, Rick seemingly flew by the seat of his pants.  Risking injury by playing a guy one game, against the team he’s about to get traded to, is, upon further reflection, not the Rick Smithiest thing a GM could possibly do.  The Rick Smithiest thing to do is what Rick Smith actually did, which is trotting out the combination of Chris Clark, Kendall Lamm, and Julien Davenport at the second most important position in football and saying “we’re good.”  I’m not saying the dead certainty he’d be running for his life every game definitely blew Deshaun Watson’s knee out, but I’m not not saying it either.

And so it goes down the line.  J.J. Watt was coming off two back surgeries; do you think he might miss another game or two?  Nor is Jadeveon Clowney the paragon of long-term health.  Shouldn’t we have, I dunno, signed a D-lineman or two in the offseason, when a few guys who aren’t Lamarr Houston might’ve been available?  Ditto cornerback, where Kevin Johnson’s walking boot, Jonathan Joseph’s festering corpse, and Kareem Jackson were penciled in to start?  You think maybe there were some depth issues there?  Ditto inside linebacker, where only the magic of discount steroids kept Brian Cushing’s 947-year-old thrice-repaired knees from starting again.

Rick Smith evidently saw none of this.  This is not a man with a plan.  We’re going 3-13 this year.  Can we finally fire this fucking guy?

 

[i] No offense to Luxembourg.

[ii] Wonder if anyone will get that joke?

What is Deep Steel Blues?

This past week in the city of Houston is the very definition of Deep Steel Blues. It’s why this blog was created. It is, simply put, the very essence of Houston sports fandom.

Deep Steel Blues is 55+ years of frustration finally coming to an end with a World Series victory in Game 7 and learning — less than 24 hours later — that the city’s franchise quarterback blew out his knee. During a non-contact drill. In practice.

Deep Steel Blues is losing your two best pass rushers (J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus) for the entire season on the same drive in Week 5.

Deep Steel Blues is a three year revolving door at quarterback that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, and Tom Savage under center. As starters.

Deep Steel Blues is starting a season 11-1 and deciding it would be a good idea to buy letterman jackets.

Deep Steel Blues is watching Matt Schaub throw a pick-six against Tennessee in Week 2. Then another one against Baltimore in Week 3. Then another one against Seattle in Week 4. And then a-FREAKING-nother one against San Francisco in Week 5.

Deep Steel Blues is taking a sort of twisted comfort in the fact that Schaub’s injury in Week 6 will end his pick-six-a-thon, only to have T.J. Yates enter the game and promptly throw a pick-six himself.

Deep Steel Blues is earning the number one overall pick in the NFL draft on three different occasions when the best quarterbacks available (arguably) are David Carr, Vince Young, and Blake Bortles.

Deep Steel Blues is enduring an offensive line that surrendered 76 sacks in one season.

Lifelong Houston fans know that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. It goes back further than that.

Much further.

Deep Steel Blues is Bud Adams.

Deep Steel Blues is Joe Montana. Kansas City Chiefs Joe Montana.

Deep Steel Blues is the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach any time you hear the name Frank Reich.

Deep Steel Blues is the Oilers’ defensive coordinator punching the offensive coordinator in the face. During a game.

Deep Steel Blues is the absence of an instant replay rule in Pittsburgh in 1979.

And it’s not just football.

Deep Steel Blues is having the Houston Rockets’ capturing the city’s first major championship in 1994 offset by the Astros being robbed of a potential World Series run due to a work stoppage and the first cancellation of the fall classic in 90 years.

Deep Steel Blues is having to listen to those outside of Houston refer to the Rockets’ back-to-back championships as “tarnished” because Michael Jordan decided he wanted to play baseball.

Deep Steel Blues is Texas native and Rice graduate Lance Berkman winning a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Deep Steel Blues is Earl Campbell in a New Orleans Saints uniform. Hakeem Olajuwon in a Toronto Raptors jersey.

Deep Steel Blues is 16 innings against the Mets in 1986; 10 innings against the Phillies in 1980.

Deep Steel Blues is J.R. Richard.

Deep Steel Blues is Jeff Alm.

But despite all of that, more than anything else, Deep Steel Blues is the inability of Houston fans to turn away from our hometown teams no matter how bad things get. No matter how many injuries, no matter how many close calls, no matter how many blown draft picks, no matter how much heartache: Deep Steel Blues is what being a Houston fan is all about.

It’s picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and saddling up for another ride with the hometown boys in the hopes that one day, our having endured those decades of Deep Steel Blues will be rewarded. Hell, we might even get to a point where it doesn’t resemble the “Blues” at all.

I wonder what we’ll do with ourselves then…..

Monday Wrap-Up

As usual, it’s time to see how our predictions went.  I was sicker than sick and in bed all weekend, so I’m going on internet reports and the box score here.

Our prediction: Texans 17, Seahawks 35.

RESULT: Texans 38, Seahawks 41

Verdict: NO.  We were up until the very end, when the defense surrendered a last-second touchdown, because of course it did.  Like every team in the BOB era, we beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones.  The Seahawks are good.  Gee, ya think they’re going to go to Jimmy Graham in crunch time?  Mike Vrabel apparently didn’t.

Our prediction: “Mike Vrabel will once again blitz like Rommel on speed”

RESULT: Looks that way, with predictable results.  Russell Wilson’s pass chart shows lots of short throws for easy completions, especially on the right side.

Verdict: YES.

Our prediction: “Bill O’Brien will make a potentially game-changing boneheaded call sometime in the third quarter”

RESULT:  This one was a gimme.  BOB always makes a stupid call in the third quarter.  He’s BOB, and that, along with “handing the ball to the smallest RB on the roster on fourth-and-inches,” is just what BOB does.

Verdict: YES.

Our prediction: “Duane Brown will play.”

RESULT: Yep.  Though he might well be back on a plane to Seattle tomorrow.  That would be a fairly Rick Smithy thing to do – play the guy once, risking injury while not shaking off much rust, against the team you’re about to trade him to…

Can the Rick Smithiness of a decision be quantified?  I don’t know how the Pro Football Focus guys do their statistical jujitsu – I was an English major – but we can at least get a rough comparison going.  Here is my first stab at quantifying the Rick Smithiness of any decision, on a scale of 1-10.

  1. (the least Rick Smithy decision): Drafting a guy from a real school with starting experience at his projected NFL position; signing a free agent at a position of need before the start of training camp; basically, doing anything a normal GM of a real football team would do.
  2. Re-signing everyone on what has consistently been the worst special teams unit in football, especially when they are, collectively, 452 years old.
  3. Trading a backup quarterback who is not demonstrably worse than your starter for a 7th round draft pick.
  4. (approaching baseline Rick Smithiness) Signing a clearly washed-up player to the kind of contract he would’ve reasonably gotten in his prime
  5. (baseline Rick Smithiness) Spending more than one draft pick on tight ends, then signing a few more in the offseason just in case.
  6. Spending high draft picks on “project” players from tiny schools nobody but the 200 students who actually go there have heard of.
  7. Forgetting that entire positions, e.g. “strong safety,” exist in the game of football.
  8. Signing a quarterback, sight unseen, to a $37 million contract.
  9. Botching a draft so badly that five of nine picks never played a snap for you, and one of the few that actually played is Ryan Griffin.
  10. (peak Rick Smithiness) Looking at your QB situation in the offseason and saying “Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage… yeah, we’re good.” Or your offensive line and going “who needs tackles anyway? Or guards for that matter?” Or your defensive backfield – which is, collectively, 852 years old and can be timed with a sundial – and saying “we got this.”  Or….

Verdict: YES.

Our prediction: “CBS will cut repeatedly to that one shot of Bob McNair looking like he just got a Sriracha enema while Rick Smith tries to melt into the furniture, because CBS hates us.”

RESULT: They showed that shot all right, I’m sure, but only because of this:

nfl-texans-superJumbo

Verdict:  Who cares?  At this point, I’m pretty much done with pro football.  This shit isn’t going to stop.  ESPN, Roger Goodell, the players’ unions… they’ve all doubled down on the politics.  I, like most Americans, watch sports to get away from politics.  Our Betters in the media, academia, both political parties, etc. have decided that we shall be made to care….. but they forgot that TVs have an “off” button.  There’s lots of stuff I should be doing on Sundays – cleaning up the house, going to church, getting ready for work on Monday, spending time with the wife and kids.  Blowing three hours and thirty bucks on greasy food in a sports bar is, when you think about it for a second, a fairly Rick Smithy allocation of resources.

I’ll still do some predictions, and keep making fun of Battle Red Blog – that’s a public service to the English language – but no, Roger Goodell et al, I can’t be made to care.  It’s been fun, guys, and I wish y’all the best, but I’ve got better things to do with my free time.

Texans-Seahawks Predictions

So far, our prediction record looks like a bad hockey team’s line: 2-5-2.  Let’s see if we can do better this week:

Overall prediction: Texans 17, Seahawks 35.

Specific Predictions:

— Mike Vrabel will once again blitz like Rommel on speed, because hey, it must’ve been the pressure that made Browns’ QB Kevin Hogan spray passes all over the NRG Stadium turf. It won’t go so well this time.  Russell Wilson excels against the blitz, and while Pro Football Focus has had some well-documented WTF moments in the past, I trust them here.  Through week seven, Wilson ranked 3rd against the blitz, 6th against pressure, and 1st in short completion percentage… anyone who has seen our linebackers-not-named-Dylan-Cole trying to chase running backs down in the flat knows how that generally works out.

— Bill O’Brien will make a potentially game-changing boneheaded call sometime in the third quarter, because he’s BOB and that – along with “run the same five plays over and over” and “burn with unrequited love for replacement-level players like Alfred Blue” – is just what BOB does.

— CBS will cut repeatedly to that one shot of Bob McNair looking like he just got a Sriracha enema while Rick Smith tries to melt into the furniture, because CBS hates us (I’m clearly just padding my stats now, as all the major networks have had had a hate-boner for the city of Houston generally, and the Texans specifically, for a long time. I hope the World Series goes seven games, just to make those bastards suffer).

— Duane Brown will play….

Here’s the hard part about writing a “predictions” column, y’all.  It’s not the scrying — I follow Nostradamus’s basic technique of “meditating in front of a bowl filled with water and herbs” (like KFC’s, the specific mix is a closely-guarded secret).  Rather, it’s the predictions that don’t come to me via a bowl full of herbs – the ones, in other words, where I actually try to think it through the way the Texans’ “brain” trust would.

Which is why Duane Brown’s future is so hard to see.  Trying to see things from Rick Smith’s perspective is like trying to guess what your loopy old uncle is thinking.  You know, the one who is “just asking questions” about stuff like the moon landing.  You know he’s wrong in general, but he’s never specifically wrong in any consistent way.

reverse

Here’s what I’d do in Rick’s shoes:  We’re not in “win now” mode, because this team is like every other team in the BOB era – we beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones, and there are more good teams than bad on the upcoming schedule.  The Titans and Niners are probably gimmes at this point, and the Colts should be, but given our track record against Indy I’d count on us dropping at least one of those.  Even if we get all four, that’s seven wins… and that might be it.  9-7 is optimistic; 6-10 is a real possibility.  The AFC South is still a dumpster fire, of course, and if another 7-win team is going to sneak into the playoffs, it’ll undoubtedly come from our putrid division, but that just means getting embarrassed on national TV again.  It’s time to start thinking about next season.

Given that, I’d trade Duane Brown.  He’s frequently hurt and on the wrong side of thirty.  Teams that are in win-now mode might be willing to fork out a huge premium for him.  Ask for the Earth, and settle for a continent or two.  Given that our highest draft pick right now is a third rounder, and given that Rick Smith is to third round picks what Battle Red Blog is to the English language, we might well come out of next year’s draft with no serviceable players at all.  Trade Brown for something, anything, that’s younger, healthier, and cheaper than he… and for God’s sake, sit him this weekend.

Which is why I predict Brown will play.  The franchise isn’t in win-now mode, but Rick Smith most certainly is.  He mortgaged the future trading up for Deshaun Watson, and though Watson has worked out better than anyone could’ve dreamed – for now, at least, and on paper – that’s still not enough to save Rick’s job if we really do go 6-10.  I wouldn’t put it past Rick to trade some more draft capital for an additional lineman, or maybe a corner, in a desperate effort to postpone the inevitable for another season or two.

We’ll see.  Check back on Monday to see how we did.

This Week’s Most Perplexing Texans-Related Statement

 

perplexed-face-450x300

I thought I’d have to do some searching for this one.  ESPN’s Sarah Barshop is usually good for a head-scratcher or two, like this tweet:

Houston has been searching for a franchise quarterback, so regardless of what happens this season — and there’s plenty to play for — more importantly, the Texans have hope for the future with Watson under center.

But nothing really stood out… until Battle Red Blog’s Matt Weston, the Ultimate Metaphor Mangler, decided to write an AFC South wrapup today.  What Pennywise the Clown is to your children’s dreams, this piece is to the written word.  Fair warning: It’ll haunt you, especially if you passed Sixth Grade English.

Here’s the first sentence, in which the Texans not playing football is compared to the Earth’s magnetic field — the reversal of which would, apparently, adversely affect the NFL’s schedule:

Just because the Houston Texans didn’t play football last week doesn’t mean that the poles flip and football stops.

And here’s the followup:

No, it keeps spinning.

“It” being “the poles,” apparently.  Or maybe football, although why any of them would be spinning in the first place is beyond me.  (I majored in History, not astrophysics).

Here’s the third sentence, in which an anthropomorphized schedule moves Ron Jeremy-like into the future:

The NFL season thrusts forward into the invisible future.

As opposed to a visible future, I guess.  Either way, I hope the NFL season bought it dinner first.

That’s a hard act to follow, but our fearless scribe is up for the challenge.  Here are some…. highlights?  Yeah, let’s go with that.  To spare myself a carpal tunnel syndrome flareup, I won’t be typing [sic].

On the Indianapolis Colts’ shutout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars:

When you get shoved into the locker like that, nothing tastes good.

I never got shoved in a locker — I guess I was just too cool — but I seriously doubt it impacts your taste buds.

The only reason he should play is if Indy hovered around .500 and that cyclops busted through the wall with a club, shooting lasers from that one eye.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we’ve found the writer behind The Official Ninja Webpage.  Cyclopes are mammals, too.

[The Colts} have only two pass rushers who can generate pressure on their own….The three pass rushers the Colts signed this past offseason, Margus Hunt, Jabaal Sheard, and John Simon, are all having productive years. Each one has eleven pressures or more. The sacks aren’t there, but they have been generating a pass rush.

So only two of the three pass rushers who are having productive years can generate pressure on their own?  Who is the laggard?  Or are the productive ones two different, unnamed pass rushers?  (Isn’t five quite a lot of pass rushers?  Especially if three — or however many there actually are — aren’t producing?)

Seasons like this hurt. But they become loving purple scars once things gel back together, and the team becomes good again.

Loving scars?  Do you get those from thrusting into an invisible future?

Oh, and that doesn’t even include last week’s shutout of the Colts in the soup.

Statistics are tasty.

Combining him with Malik Jackson has given the Jaguars one of the best interior pass rushes in the NFL, which in turn has given young players like Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler, Jr. calm meadow strolls to the quarterback on stunts and one-on-one matchups to devour.

In his famous essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell advised writers to “[n]ever use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”  Given their well-documented love for Big Brother, it’s not surprising that a Battle Red Blogger would try to ape Orwell.  And given that it’s Battle Red Blog, it’s no surprise they fucked it up.*

[A.J. Bouye has] been sharing a bedroom with [Jalen] Ramsey

I’m starting to notice a pattern with the mangled metaphors.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

When games are close, or Jacksonville is down, wins aren’t going to happen.

Yes, when one is down in the score, one generally doesn’t win.

The exotic methmouth style is still here.

Apologies in advance for this:

m3_methmouth2

Kinda sums it up, don’t it?  “Congrats” again to Matt Weston, the two-time winner of “Most Perplexing Texans-Related Statement of the Week.”

 

 

*Ten bucks says I’ll now have to go and delete fifty seven comments from BRB fanbois telling me that haha, Orwell didn’t say that the new metaphor has to make sense, so I should shut up and grow a pair.

Pro Football Focus Hates Deshaun Watson

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a particularly strong grasp of the allegedly-sophisticated statistical voodoo that the folks over at Pro Football Focus employ to come up with their quarterback rankings (mostly because I’m a cheap bastard and I don’t want to pay for their service). But when that system produces a list that ranks the NFL leader in touchdown passes and overall QBR at a mind-boggling 31st overall at the quarterback position, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.

Rather than analyzing Deshaun Watson’s “way-the-fuck-better-than-31st-overall” statistics, let’s have a look at PFF’s reasoning behind other quarterbacks’ higher ranking:

30. Mitch Trubisky

No, that’s not a joke. A guy who’s appeared in exactly two games, completed less than 50% of his passes, and has 15 fewer touchdowns than Deshaun Watson is somehow ranked higher. You’d better have a damn good explanation for this one, PFF.

“[The Bears] kept it simple for him with a number of bootlegs and screens, and while his 8-for-16 passing line isn’t impressive, six of the eight incompletions where [sic] throwaways as Trubisky did a fine job of taking care of the ball.”

Nope. That explanation blows. I call bullshit.

T-26. Trevor Siemian

Siemian is coming off of a loss at home to the previously-winless Giants where he threw as many touchdown passes to Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (1) as he did to his own teammates (1). So your rationale for ranking him ahead of Watson after his third consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes is…?

“On the day, Siemian was just 2-of-9 for 23 yards one interception and a 0.0 passer rating under pressure.”

As I expected. Bullshit.

Siemian, as you can see, was locked in a tie at the #26 spot. With whom, you might ask?

T-26. Joe Flacco

Now you guys are just trolling.

Joe Flacco. Joe Fucking Flacco. This guy has twice as many interceptions this season (8) as he does touchdown passes (4) and has the worst QB rating of any starter in the league not named Deshone Kizer. Oh, and that QB rating? It’s 35 points lower (66.1) than Watson’s (101.1).

There were no comments provided by PFF about Flacco’s ranking. I can only assume that’s because even they looked at this and said, “Shit. We’re gonna catch hell over this one.”

24. Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford in Weeks 4-6: Average QB rating of 82.2 with 5 TDs/3 INTs

Deshaun Watson in Weeks 4-6: Average QB rating of 116.1 with 12 TDs/2 INTs

Seriously, what are you guys looking at over there?!?!!!

“The ball was bouncing all over the place, with nine batted passes at the line of scrimmage including two that resulted in interceptions for touchdowns.”

To put it another way, Stafford would have needed all seven of the batted-down passes that weren’t intercepted to magically land in the hands of a teammate, then have that teammate somehow figure out a way to score, just to equal Watson’s TD pass output in the last three games.

Upon further review, Stafford’s ranking seven spots higher than Watson is — you guessed it — bullshit.

14. Ben Roethlisberger

I’m not even going to read the comments for this one, because there is absolutely no logical explanation for a guy who has more interceptions (8) than touchdown passes (7) this season — AND has a quarterback rating a full 23 points lower than Deshaun Watson — somehow being ranked 17 spots higher. Total bullshit.

I’m on the verge of throwing things, so I’m not going to dig any deeper into this list. To summarize: according to PFF’s quarterback rankings, six weeks into the football season, Deshaun Watson has been better than Jay Cutler, Deshone Kizer, and…no one else.

Bullshit.

Most Perplexing Texans-Related Statement of the Week

Pretty much the only reason we write this blog is: Most other Texans coverage, including so-called professionals’ work, is terrible.  They say things that don’t make sense about football.  They say stuff that doesn’t make sense, period.  Some routinely produce “sentences” that are like Zen koans in reverse — should you ever figure out what they’re trying to say, you’ll instantly achieve a lower consciousness.  Here is an example.  What is the sound of one hand clapping?  These guys’ sixth grade English teachers giving it up for their writing skills.

In the spirit of advancing basic literacy, we hereby present a new feature: “Most Perplexing Texans-Related Statement of the Week.”

The Runners Up:

Deshaun Watson is a one-man force, able to over come a questionable offensive line to wiggle the team down the field.  —bigfatdrunk, Battle Red Blog.

Ummmm…..wiggle?  The team. Wiggle the team.   That sounds like a bad parody of Jive from an ’80s movie.

The Texans are 3-3 heading into the bye, but we are a night and days difference of a team at the season opening snap.  –bigfatdrunk, Battle Red Blog.

“A night and days [sic] difference,” even if punctuated correctly, would be…. 24 hours’ worth of difference?  The cliche is “as different as night and day,” which would at least make sense.  This is what happens when the Hooked on Phonics ™ generation tries to do metaphors.  My favorite fuckup along these lines is “taking ___ for granite,” but “a night and days [sic] difference” is still pretty good.  (PS we’ll be skipping the [sic] from here on out, as typing as needed would wear out my keyboard).  Also, from the team at the season opening snap, not of it.  We’re different from that team — not least because that was six weeks ago, not 24 hours ago.

The transformation has honestly been remarkable to the point where I’m astonished at how far my perception of the team has switched within these first six weeks to the point where the rest of the season has me optimistic about the long term future of the team.  — Luke Beggs, Battle Red Blog.

Use the Force, Luke — or, at least, a comma or two.

The Winner:  This entire…. thing… from Matt Weston, Battle Red Blog.  I’ll break it down into smaller sections for you, but be warned….

They are gone. They aren’t coming back. You have to learn to not think about them no matter how casually they come slithering inside your head, to not sit in the residue of memories that once occurred, to not go back and place your feet in Earth that already has your impressions.

We’re writing an elegy, I see… and no, “elegy” doesn’t mean “mishmash of absurd, mixed metaphors,” though you could be forgiven for thinking so.  “They,” I assume, are J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, but Weston apparently thinks they’re snakes – snakes in leisure suits, which are the only things that can slither casually.  Who then somehow sit in residue… but not just any residue; the residue of “memories that once occurred.”  That’s some redundant residue right there, as memories “once occurred” by definition.  Nor should you stand in your own footprints, Grasshopper.

The Texans’ biggest strength, their front seven, is decimated without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Other players have to step up. Mike Vrabel has to do a better job. But more importantly the offense is going to have to make up for the defense. 30 point games need to be the norm now. Deshaun Watson has to stay spectacular.

Technically a “front seven” can’t be “decimated,” as that’s the loss of one in ten, but forget it, he’s rolling.  The next five sentences are recognizably English, and they make clear (if trite) points, so maybe….

Bill O’Brien has to continue to be an artist and use pure self expression to soak the most out of Watson and his skill players like the light of a spring day.

….aaaand it’s gone.  Forget, for a moment, the idea of a coach using “pure self expression;” just focus on that mangled metaphor.  “Soak” means “to absorb.”  You don’t “soak out of,” you soak into.  Except that’s not right either, because only sponges soak.  He means “squeeze,” of course, which the more literate among us realize is the exact opposite of “soak.”  I honestly have no idea what “like the light of a spring day” means in this context.  Spring days are sponges?  Or they squeeze Deshaun Watson?

Kids-R-Us maybe bankrupt but those skeletons laying in the flesh of strip malls still remain.

Okay now it’s getting reeeeaallly weird.  You mean “lying;” present participle of “to lie.” “Laying” is the present participle of “to lay,” which means “to put something down.”  Either way, dude – “the flesh of strip malls?”  It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

Houston’s offense took it to Cleveland and once again proved that Watson and this offense can lit up bad defenses like a witch in a Puritan town.

Can light up bad defenses.  Verbs have these things called “tenses,” and they’re important. They used to cover this in, like, fourth grade.

Hopefully these future difficult endeavors end the same as the easier ones have with more time, practice, and development.

This is what a college professor buddy of mine calls “word salad.”  There’s an idea in there somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it is.

And there you have it, folks – today’s Most Perplexing Fan Statement.  The bar’s been set awfully high.