We're getting into mid-season form here at Canal Street Chronicles by doing our weekly Q&A with an opponent blogger. This week I've exchanged questions with Tim from SB Nation's Texans blog, Battle Red Blog. Since this is just preseason, however, we only swapped three questions instead of the usual five. The Saints will be facing off against the Texans again during the regular season and like the teams themselves, Tim and I are saving our best stuff for the real deal.
You can read my responses to his questions right here over on BRB. I would like to thank Tim for taking the time out of his schedule to give me his feedback.
CSC: What were the key additions and subtractions for the Texans this off-season?
BRB: With the move to the Phillips 3-4 defense, most of the key moves this offseason were made on defense. Of the Texans' draftees, J.J. Watt is likely to make the most immediate impact, though I'd expect Brooks Reed and Brandon Harris to have roles in the rotation at their respective positions as the season progresses. The most noteworthy acquisitions via free agency were Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning; those guys will immediately and drastically improve what was a horrific secondary.
In terms of subtractions, I'd have to say the two biggest losses were Vonta Leach and David Anderson. Yes, I believe losing our fourth WR was a bigger deal than losing starters Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson, Zac Diles, and/or Amobi Okoye. And I don't think that's even much of a debate.
CSC: What are the key position battles going on in Houston right now?
BRB: Most of the starting gigs are relatively secured. The biggest battle, in my mind, is for the CB2 gig opposite Johnathan Joseph. Will it be Jason Allen or Kareem Jackson? I believe the majority of Texans fans would prefer Allen, but it'll be interesting to see if the coaching staff gives the 2010 first round pick the benefit of the doubt. Based upon Ice Kareem's abysmal rookie season, there's a whole lot of doubt.
There's a good bit of competition for the backup spots on the roster. In particular, the reserve LB and WR roster spots are up for grabs.
CSC: Tell us about a player or two on the Texans who Saints fans don't know yet but will know by the end of the game on Saturday.
BRB: If the first preseason game is any indication, keep an eye out for Bryan Braman (LB), Earl Mitchell (NT) and Chris Ogbonnaya (RB). All three of those guys were very active in the Monday Night opener against the Jets. Of the three, only Mitchell is guaranteed to make the team. Braman and Ogbonnaya are fighting for a roster spot. Even if they don't make the 53-man roster for the Texans, they could have a shot at catching on somewhere else. Worst case scenario, they'll likely earn practice squad nods in Houston.