Making Calls on the Houston Texans' Hardest Remaining Cuts

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Making Calls on the Houston Texans' Hardest Remaining Cuts
Patric Schneider/Associated Press

Two games into the 2014 preseason, the Houston Texans have befuddled and bedazzled those searching for signs of improvement.

The 32-0 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals was proclaimed by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle as the worst preseason opener he had seen in over three decades of covering the NFL.

That model of unequaled ineptitude was reversed by a 32-7 trouncing of the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium a week later.

Any Cardinals fans who felt they were on the expressway to Super Bowl contention after pounding the Texans needed a reality check. A win over a team recuperating from a 2-14 season is not an accurate gauge of what the future holds for this year.

Conversely, the first victory for Houston in 11 months does not firmly establish an upward trajectory from this point forward. Beating a squad that went from the conference championship game to the bottom of the NFC South in 2013 says little about the rebuilding process. Much of the success in this process depends on restoring the depth of the roster.

The “next man up” plan worked in 2011, when the lower levels of the depth chart helped lead the franchise to its first-ever playoff berth. Only 15 players from that landmark season are still with the organization, illustrating the volume of player movement in today’s NFL.

The job for head coach Bill O’Brien is to determine how much new blood should be added and what deadwood needs to be trimmed. The following names could end up falling into the latter category.

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