Prior to all the free agent signings and departures these last couple weeks it appeared as if the Houston Texans were poised to run away with the AFC South next season. Now, I'm not so sure.
Fans of the Jaguars, Colts, and Titans would like to think that it has something to do with the quality of their teams, but that could not be further from the truth. It's Houston jettisoning some of their best players.
In the last couple weeks the Texans have said goodbye to Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Joel Dreesen, Eric Winston, Lawrence Vikcers and Mike Brisiel.
Defensively they will probably be just fine. Losing someone the caliber of Williams sucks, but he was out for most of last season anyway and the defense did fine. Ryans was playing a smaller role anyway since the team switched defenses last year so his loss is negligible as well. The offensive losses will be a little harder to swallow.
Dreesen was a capable pass catcher and a good compliment to Owen Daniels, but the biggest loss is the right side of the offensive line, Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel. Part of the success of the offensive line is how well it can gel, and that is not something that happens over night. With the offense leaning so heavy on the running game now having a line that worked so well together was key to the success of the team.
Having a guy as capable as Lawrence Vickers help clear the way too didn't hurt.
Typically teams wait till after they win the Super Bowl before they start dropping all their talent. For the sake Houston Texans fans hopefully the team has something up its sleeve. If this was a purely business decision, then fans might want to temper their expectations a little. After losing the guys they have already (no telling if they'll lose more) the journey will not be any easier.