Interview with Dave Razzano by Dewey Hammond.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Q: How will the suspension of Brian Cushing impact the start of Houston’s season?
A: It will definitely hurt them. I think he was the best player on their defense. The Houston Texans, to me, get better in some spots but they take small steps. They need to take bigger steps. They’re your typical 9-7 team. I just don’t see them as a playoff team. With all the teams in the AFC getting better (e.g. Bengals, Jets) but when you look at Houston’s depth chart, they’re really lacking in some key areas, especially the defensive line, the linebacker depth, the safeties are OK, offensive guard. They have a good QB, they’re good in some areas, but when I look at the roster I just don’t see a playoff team. I wish I could say something different. People always look at them like a sexy sleeper pick but I see several teams better than them in the AFC.
Q: Depth is even more of an issue with Cushing on the sideline. Who specifically will have to pick up the slack?
A: You’re going to have to have Andre Johnson match up. They’re going to have to score points. They’ve got DeMeco Ryans in the middle. They have a good young corner in Kareem Jackson, a rookie. Also Glover Quin. So I like their corners but their outside backers, they’re very average, and their inside guys, they’re average. Then there is Mario Williams, who is a lot like Julius Peppers. They’re huge men and they flash, but when you study them play in and play out, they’re not as good as they could be. Their motor doesn’t always run. They’re a good middle of the pack team, but taking the next step, I don’t see it.
Q: What are your thoughts on Matt Schaub, who statistically had his best season last year?
A: I like Schaub a lot. He’s pretty much a pocket passer. He’s smart, has a good arm, very functional, knows the system, he’s accurate. He’s been dinged up a little bit. Last season was the first time he played 16 games. He’s very solid but they have to be careful and keep him healthy because they fall way off with Dan Orlovsky. They do not have a real capable backup quarterback there. Matt has to stay healthy. They have their quarterback of the future with Schaub if he stays healthy. He’s a bit like Matt Ryan too. Same size. Same arm. Smart. He’s very solid. They just have to continue putting skill players around him and get the running back situation solidified. They need a receiver too. They need to put a better cast around him. They’ve got Andre Johnson but they need more help at wideout. Tight end Owen Daniels will be really helpful this season, if he’s healthy and to my knowledge he is. They just need to keep Schaub healthy too because they fall way off if they’re injured.
Q: You’re the GM of the Texans for one day this offseason. What do you do differently?
A: You have to look at what’s out there and they need more wideout depth. Maybe grab a veteran receiver.
Q: What about Terrell Owens?
A: I wouldn’t touch T.O. because he brings hoards of media. He’s a distraction. He takes away from the team concept the same way Barry Bonds did in baseball. The media follows him around wherever he goes and that’s where he becomes a distraction, and then he gets mouthy when he doesn’t get the ball. With his age and personality, I wouldn’t touch him. Maybe get a guy like tackle Jammal Brown. I don’t think there was a huge market for him. They maybe should have hit free agency harder than they did.