Despite winning the AFC South last season, the Houston Texans have major question marks at the quarterback position. On Thursday, team owner Bob McNair reiterated the Texans will focus on finding a signal-caller in the offseason with the draft a little more than two months away, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
"We need to have reliable play at quarterback," McNair said. "We don't need a superstar there, but it needs to be reliable play that won't take anything away from us."
That was not the case in 2015, as Houston used four quarterbacks and ranked 15th in the NFL in passing touchdowns (29), 24th in quarterback rating (85.3) and 29th in yards per attempt (6.6). In a 30-0 Wild Card Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Brian Hoyer was 15-of-34 for 136 yards and four interceptions.
The 30-year-old quarterback has one year left on his two-year, $10.5 million contract.
McNair hinted that the team might find the answer in the draft, per Wilson.
"There are a number of quarterbacks out there, college quarterbacks coming out, and I think we have a good chance at getting one of them," he said. "There are four or five of them who look like they have enough talent and size and athletic ability. I don't know any reason why we wouldn't be able to do it."
According to CBS Sports, McNair is mostly right. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch all project as possible first-round talent, however there are a few teams ahead of the Texans—such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns—who are in desperate need of quarterbacks as well.
While the free-agent quarterback market is not strong, Andrew Perloff of Sports Illustrated and The Dan Patrick Show pondered whether this year's Super Bowl-winning quarterback could be a short-term answer:
.@AdamSchefter asks if you're Peyton Manning and the Texans call, w/ that defense in that division, do you consider it for next season?— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) February 9, 2016
Houston's defense, led by defensive end J.J. Watt, is one of the best in the league, and Peyton Manning, who actually hinted he might retire, showed he can win with a strong defense behind him. It also would be a positive for a young quarterback to know his team isn't going to allow 30-plus points per game.
McNair didn't say anything most people didn't already know, but it has to be reassuring for the Texans fanbase that the team is looking for an answer to one of its problems.
If quarterback Andrew Luck can get healthy next season, the Indianapolis Colts should be tough to beat, but with young teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans in the division as well, the AFC South should be wide-open again.
A good quarterback could help the Texans win the division with an even better record than the 9-7 mark they posted this year.