49ers opponents 2013: A look at the Houston Texans offseason

Thomas B. Shea

We take a look at the Texans in anticipation of the upcoming season.

Veteran Additions: CB Alan Ball, FB Greg Jones, S Ed Reed, P Shane Lechler.

Veteran Subtractions: OT Rashad Butler, WR Kevin Walter, TE James Casey, DE/OLB Connor Barwin, RB Justin Forsett, K Shayne Graham, S Glover Quin, P Donnie Jones.

Rookie Additions: WR DeAndre Hopkins, S D.J. Swearinger, OT Brennan Williams, DE Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB Trevardo Williams, OT/G/C David Quessenberry, WR Alan Bonner, DT Chris Jones, TE Ryan Griffin.

More 49ers opponents previews: Seahawks Cardinals Rams Falcons Saints Bucs Panthers

Strengths: Shane Lechler. ‘Nuff said.

But seriously, you could argue that he was the best addition to this Texans team (more on Ed Reed later). But, first round pick DeAndre Hopkins might want to argue about that. He looks like NFL ready talent, which is huge for the Texans, because their only good receiving option is the very talented Andre Johnson. And while the Ancient Romans might find it funny that a man named "concerning Andre" will be running routes alongside a man named "Andre," Matt Schaub has no reason to complain. He needs a better supporting cast.

And Mr. Schaub, despite his somewhat inconsistent play and some injury problems, deserves a mention in the strengths category. He is the clear offensive leader for this team - and this is a team with Arian Foster on it.

Foster also deserves a quick mention, since he is an undeniable strength for this team. He did, however, accumulate all 1,411 rushing yards, though, on too many carries. Not only was he not putting up other-worldly yards per carry numbers, but he was also running himself into the ground. He suffered a calf injury recently.

On the defensive side, the front seven is a huge strength. I got a little jealous of all the JJ Watt love last season because I wanted it directed at Aldon Smith, but I have to admit, Watt totally deserves it. He is crazy good. Fellow DE Antonio Smith is also quite good. Brian Cushing stabilizes the LB corps with his great inside play.

Weaknesses: I actually laid out some of the weaknesses of the team in the strengths category. Oops. But that's the nature of the Texans: my perception is that they have a lot of talent on offense that has been either underperforming or under-supported. The offense doesn't have a ton of depth. So, while it is easy to point at Johnson as the lone receiver, it's hard to pinpoint a weakness there since Hopkins might be able to produce like a true number two receiver in his rookie season.

One area of real weakness, though, is at safety. While the Texans don't have to worry too much since they have a pair of talented CBs, it looks like Ed Reed won't step right in as secondary savior with the loss of Glover Quin. He is apparently missing most of the offseason while he rehabs from hip surgery. This has opened the door for rookie D.J. Swearinger. It will be interesting to see how that battle plays out.

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