1. Miller should have more help
Because of a less-than-stellar passing game last season, the Texans relied heavily on running back Lamar Miller. The 26-year-old set a career record for carries (268) in 14 games, but he might have more assistance this year. Houston drafted Texas running back D’Onta Foreman in the third round, with hopes of establishing a reliable second option. Foreman, who won the 2016 Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back, is a welcome addition to an ailing offense. Miller played through injuries most of last season and missed the final two regular-season games. A strong one-two punch with Miller and Foreman could help open the passing game and relieve the pressure on the quarterback — whether that's Tom Savage or rookie Deshaun Watson.
2. Watson will get a crack at the starting QB job
When it comes to training camps, few things are more exciting than a quarterback battle. After shipping off Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns, the Texans traded up to No. 12 in the draft to select Watson, giving up next year's first-round pick to make the jump. A national champion at Clemson and a two-time Davey O’Brien and Manning Award winner, Watson will have a chance to compete for the starting job. There are questions as to how quickly he can pick up the Texans' system, and Savage remains the starter heading into training camp. But Bill O'Brien has said Watson has given no indication so far he wouldn't be ready if needed in 2017.
3. Watt is healthy again
After starting every game in the previous five seasons, defensive end J.J. Watt played in just three contests before being sidelined for the year by his second back surgery in three months. In February, Watt announced his rehab was finished and he was on pace for a return in 2017. Despite his absence, Houston finished with the league's No. 1 overall defense. A four-time Pro Bowl pick and three-time NFL defensive player of the year, Watt makes the defensive line difficult to contain when he is healthy. He had 38 combined sacks in 2014 and 2015, while the Texans had just 31 total last season.
4. There's potential for big plays in the passing game
By almost any measure, it’s safe to say the Texans' passing attack struggled in 2016 after averaging just 198.5 yards per game (29th in the NFL). However, there were times last season when the unit showed promise. If Houston can find stability at quarterback, wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller have the explosive, playmaking capability to lift a struggling offense.
5. The secondary should be in good shape
With Watt out for most of last season, the rest of the Texans' defense rose to the occasion in 2016. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the group's breakout star, applying consistent pressure en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. The secondary also stepped up by holding opponents to 201.6 passing yards per game, second only to the Denver Broncos. The loss of rising star cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Jacksonville Jaguars stings, but there's ample depth at the position with Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson returning.