NFL Lockout Luxury: 5 Reasons It Could Work to Houston Texans' Advantage

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIJuly 5, 2011

NFL Lockout Luxury: 5 Reasons It Could Work to Houston Texans' Advantage

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    The Houston Texans may have a unique opportunity to make the NFL lockout work in their favor in 2011.

    Now, I know what y'all are saying.

    "Yeah, right, the lockout isn't going to benefit anybody, much less one specific team."

    Well, frankly, you are probably right.  But you know what?  I'm going to present this convincing argument anyway.  If all the right strings are pulled and everything falls into place like a jigsaw puzzle, the lockout could end up benefiting the Houston Texans franchise.

    Here are five reasons why.

Bob McNair Might Pony Up for Pricey Free Agents

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    Houston Texans owner Bob McNair knows the heat has been ramped up from the fans. And because of the decision to retain head coach Gary Kubiak, fans will be more impatient than ever this year.

    A franchise-first playoff berth might be the only option to appease the Texans' fan base, and McNair might be willing to dish out some more lucrative contracts to high-profile free agents in order to accomplish this.

    Now, with the lockout threatening to create a painfully short window of time for offseason activity, McNair may not be able to afford dragging out the process to try and land a guy for less.  This means fans could be very happy about who McNair is able to lure in with a large sum of money.

    One example is this guy named Nnamdi Asomugha.

    Arguably the NFL's top cornerback, Asomugha will demand a giant contract—and he'll be worth every penny. If McNair wants to repair what was a truly awful secondary, the former Raider would be one enormous step towards that goal.

    Since Andre Johnson has been talking to Asomugha about joining the Texans, Houston might have a legitimate shot at landing him.

Texans Free Agents May Be More Apt to Stay

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    Houston has a few key free agents who hit the market this offseason.

    As stated before, the lockout will push offseason activity back to a very short amount of time before the season begins.

    Because of this, Texans free agents may end up feeling more comfortable re-signing with their former team rather than trying to hurry a deal with someone else.

    Before I go any further, I do realize that this reason and the last reason are potentially contradictory. As I noted in the opening slide, all the pieces would have to fall in the right place.

    However, if the Texans are crafty and a little lucky, its not impossible to have the best of both worlds.

    Guys like fullback Vonta Leach, who is an instrumental part of the running game, and safety Bernard Pollard, who is a force in stopping the opponent's ground game, are unrestricted free agents in 2011. It would be very beneficial to Houston's playoff hopes if they are able to get them back.

    The lockout just might help them do that. 

Strong Veteran Leadership

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    Throughout the franchise's nine years of existence, Houston has slowly but surely built a solid group of veterans to lead the team.

    Guys like Andre Johnson, DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams and Matt Schaub are great leaders who can take this team a long ways even during the lockout. With training camp still being held, it's up to the players to push their teammates and get a head start on the season.

    While this reason could be a reason any team will benefit, the Texans have one of the better veteran bases in the league, and for that reason Houston will have a leg up over teams with less leadership.

    As small an advantage as this might be, football is a game of inches, and this group of guys could make the Texans just an inch better. 

Wade Phillips Will Work His Magic

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    When former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was hired on as the Texans' defensive coordinator, Peyton Manning curled up in a ball and started crying.

    After all, he knew Indianapolis would no longer have a chance to defeat the now-invincible Houston Texans.

    Despite his Cowboys being on track for a Super Bowl season, Phillips was inexplicably fired by Dallas owner Jerry Jones.  What an idiot.

    Phillips was a master head coach, and now the Texans have his services for the defense.  His magical defensive touch will be coupled with his firey demeanor and unique ability to motivate his players to play harder than they ever have.

    This will make the Houston Texans literally unstoppable.

    And since the lockout will force all other teams to miss some practice time, having a guy who can magically make his players stars in an extremely short amount of time will be very beneficial.

    (Okay, so I think you've all figured out this slide is a joke.  Frankly, Phillips was awful as a head coach. Still, I think he was a very good hire for defensive coordinator.)

Gary Kubiak Is Staying

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    After a very disappointing 6-10 season, many Texans fans were calling for head coach Gary Kubiak's head.

    But Bob McNair decided to give him one more chance, and I am of the opinion Kubiak won't disappoint.

    One benefit of Kubiak's retention may go relatively unseen, but cannot be forgotten.  In this lockout season, stability may be more important than anything, and that's exactly what Houston gets with Kubiak staying.

    Teams who switched head coaches this year could be in for a nightmare season if their new head men don't have much time to incorporate themselves, their staff and their ideals into the system.

    Since Kubiak is staying, the Texans won't have to deal with all that.  

    And because they have nearly all the pieces for a playoff run, they can focus solely on free agency to fill remaining holes, which bodes well for my first two reasons.

    So if you are the speculating type, the lockout could end up indirectly resulting in Houston's first playoff appearance in franchise history.

    Regardless of whether or not you agree, it's an interesting proposition.