We continue this most-compelling series with quarterbacks and running backs.
2011 starter: Arian Foster
2011 relevant depth: Ben Tate, Derrick Ward
2012 starter: Arian Foster
2012 likely depth: Ben Tate, Justin Forsett
Obviously the top two will remain, as Foster and Tate are arguably the best 1-2 RB punch in the NFL. I am actually kind of excited about the addition of Justin Forsett as the number three. I didn’t think much of Ward, at least for his on-field results. Several players have said he is phenomenal in the locker room, but all I have to go by is what a sensitive whiner he was on Twitter. So if that’s not fair to say, then I guess it’s not fair, but I wasn’t a fan.
Call me crazy, but I think Forsett is not only an upgrade over Ward, but probably a significant upgrade. He’s only 26, and is already accustomed to the Texans’ zone blocking scheme, not to mention his success catching the ball out of the backfield.
Verdict: 2012 group is superior with the addition of Forsett.
2011 starter: Matt Schaub
2011 relevant depth: Matt Leinart, TJ Yates
2012 starter: Matt Schaub
2012 likely depth: TJ Yates, John Beck
I’d say I’ve heard a pretty even split amongst Texans fans who aren’t overly concerned about Schaub’s foot injury, and those who think there’s a serious problem lurking there. I am concerned, especially since so much of Schaub’s game is pivoting on that foot in the play-action passes. That said, I’m so not in the camp of people that think he is injury prone.
Compared to last year’s group, I have to give the potential edge to the 2012 set of QBs. You had Schaub, a rookie in Yates who nobody expected to ever see the field, and Leinart who – and I cannot be convinced otherwise – was a nothing before coming to Houston and was never going to be anything but after. Now you have Schaub, Yates with a bit more seasoning, and Beck, who I would still take over Matt Leinart. I do not think Case Keenum is going to make the team, but he certainly seems like a likely candidate for the practice squad. I just think Kubiak is going to want a guy who is familiar with the system, and a little older, both of which fit when it comes to Beck.
Verdict: The saddest part of losing Leinart was that it didn’t give enough time for Rivers’ nickname of “Floaties” to set in. I’ll take the 2012 guys.