While much of the discussion surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars this week has been around the firing of head coach Urban Meyer — and how the Jaguars fired Meyer with cause and aren’t planning to pay him for the remaining four years on his contract — there is still a game to be played against the Houston Texans on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (CBS). Darrell Bevell will be at the helm for the Jaguars as interim head coach.
Our conversation is below:
1. In your opinion, are the Texans and the Jaguars the two worst teams in the NFL? Is this contest going to be the lowest-rated game of the NFL season thus far? In all seriousness, what are you hoping to see from the Texans on Sunday?
Jeremy: They both are definitely bottom-three alongside the Detroit Lions. The draft implications give this game a storyline, so at least there’s the slightest bit of relevancy toward this game on Sunday. If I’m being totally honest, I really hope that the Texans and Jaguars get out of this game healthy. Imagine getting COVID or suffering a serious injury playing in a game like this. It just wouldn’t be worth it.
2. How big of a rival are the Jaguars for the Texans? Would you say this is just a divisional rivalry and not much more, or is it deeper than that for the two organizations? How do Texans fans generally view the Jaguars?
Jeremy: The Jaguars are definitely a little brother or cousin to the Texans. The Jaguars remind the Texans a lot of themselves, but in reality, the Texans know the Jags will never match them in dysfunction. And that says a lot considering all the Jags have been through this season.
3. It appears the Texans will be starting rookie quarterback Davis Mills for the rest of the season. What have you seen so far from Mills that you like? What would you like to see him improve on moving forward? Could he be a long-term answer in Houston?
Jeremy: Davis Mills is a hard worker. I do think he’s putting his best foot forward and trying to become the future starting quarterback. He’ll put together a nice drive or two during the game, but we’ve yet to see a full game of strong play from Mills, which leads me to believe he is just a bridge for the next quarterback in Houston. He reminds me a lot of Mike Glennon. And Glennon has had a decent career in the NFL as a backup and sometimes pseudo-starter, but he never truly became the answer at quarterback for an NFL offense.
4. Which players have made an impact for the Texans this season, and could make a difference on Sunday, who you did not expect major contributions from prior to the season starting?
Jeremy: Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill has been the team’s most consistent player on defense all season long. He recorded a franchise record 19 tackles a few weeks ago against the Colts, but of course, he’s out with COVID this week. But in terms of who will actually play Sunday, my eye is on rookie tight end Brevin Jordan. The fifth-round pick fell in the draft and didn’t make his debut until Week 8, but he is tied for the team-lead in touchdowns with three. He had a season-high seven targets last week and can be the tight end of the future for the team.
5. By the end of the season, do you expect the Texans to secure the No. 1 overall pick, or do you think that spot will belong to the Lions or Jaguars? What would you like to see Houston do in 2022 free agency and the NFL Draft to help speed up the rebuild process?
Jeremy: This year, having the No. 1 pick isn’t as important as it was in past years, because there isn’t a surefire top pick or a quarterback worth trading up to the top pick. The Lions control their own destiny, so I believe that pick is theirs and Sunday’s game decides the No. 2 pick. This Texans rebuild will take several years, and they will likely do exactly as they did last offseason — signing majority fringe-NFL veterans looking to turn around their careers. The best way to speed up the rebuild is to give your draft picks more playing time and to give them experience and reps on the field. Next year, the Texans will have some top picks that will see the field from day one, and hopefully that will make Houston look more like an NFL team again, but this is definitely a marathon for the Texans.
Thank you to Jeremy once again for providing great thoughts and insights into Houston for the second time this season. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter, and for news on the Texans, follow Battle Red Blog as well.