It’s late April 2006 and every NFL fan is glued to ESPN and Mel Kiper Jr.’s hair. This is the moment all Texans fans have been waiting on since the disastrous 2005 season. Up to the podium walks NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and he says to the crowd, “Welcome to New York City and the 2006 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans are now on the clock.”
The man the fans want is right there in the green room. He wears number five and was sort of a big deal at USC. He just came off a Heismann Trophy winning season and another national championship.
Bush has been heralded at the “Next Big Thing” and already one of the greatest running backs seen to eyes. You can already hear the “Reggie, Reggie” chants in H-Town. There’s only one problem, and Tagliabue delivers the most unpredictable four words in NFL Draft history: “We have a trade.”
Yes that’s right, and no it’s not totally unthinkable. You see, the Texans aren’t just bad; they’re despicable. I could have used a lot of others words, but they don’t belong in a newspaper. Remember that night against the Dallas Cowboys when the franchise shocked the world and even themselves?
Seems like a long time ago. This was supposed to be a team vying for a wild-card spot this season, not competing for the number one pick of the draft. What problems you might ask caused the meltdown? Well there are 53 of them if you get my drift.
The fans and the media can blame head coach Don Capers all they want for this mess and he deserves a lot of it. But the number one finger should go right at general manager Charlie Casserly. He’s the man responsible for the offensive line and non-existent defense. He’s the one that drafted “pretty boy” quarterback David Carr over the likes of Julius Peppers, Dwight Freeney and Ed Reed. Snagging Andre Johnson the next season was a nice pickup but doesn’t do much good when all he can run is five-yard slants because of the awful offensive line’s protection.
The off-season signings have been even a bigger joke. Cornerback Phillip Buchanon was supposed to be a savior when he came over from Oakland. Instead, in 10 games, he had zero picks and had numerous occasions where he was literally afraid to tackle.
This team needs more than Bush; it needs an anchoring offensive line, a tenacious defense and another receiver to go with Johnson. If you hadn’t noticed Corey Bradford, it’s for a good reason. He has completely vanished with age and inconsistent play.
So what options are out there for the poor Texans? There should be plenty because of how high Bush’s stock has risen and could rise after the championship. Remember what the Cowboys did with Herschel Walker? They sent him to Minnesota and received a trillion draft picks that netted them Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson. The trade propelled Dallas into a dynasty and sent Minnesota towards mediocrity.
Don Capers probably will get fired and the Texans more than likely will take Reggie Bush if they do indeed get the first pick of the draft. But there is more than meets the eye when it comes to drafting highly touted players out of college; no matter how “sexy” and “obvious” the pick looks. The Texans need to start fresh and anew, the only question now is will it be a Bush or a garden of talent?