Moldy Moulds

Questioning the Houston Texans off-season movements is about as easy as making fun of Maurice Clarett’s attempts to come back to the NFL. Before people jump on the current rant on the Texans bypassing Reggie Bush, just forget about that for a second, and flip back to an earlier off-season signing.

The Texans brought in Eric Moulds to be a complement receiver to Andre Johnson. Any doubts about a receiver that has struggled the last three years, and could not complement Lee Evans? Ah, yeah. Then why sign him for a four year deal for $14 million? He is thirty three years old now and picturing a turnaround at this point would be a shocker.

Eric Moulds was a definite great fantasy wide receiver five years ago, but those days are long gone. Just over the past few years he has had nothing but nagging injuries. Foreseeing a season complete with Moulds playing in all contests, is a fantasy that will never come true. If he possibly could do it, he would likely be out their playing hurt.

Maybe playing opposite Andre Johnson will create the mismatches Moulds needs. Because catching the football is something Moulds can do. The problem is his ability to separate from defenders and run after the catch. Last year and even the previous year he ranked in the top twenty in the league for caught footballs amongst receivers. Yet, his yards per catch were horrible because he did not have the legs anymore.

When a receiver loses his ability to be a dangerous threat with his legs, it is not long before injuries occur commonly. If a receiver goes his whole career as a deep threat and then has to change to a possession receiver, it is something the body is not ready for. Moulds may get his body to adjust by working out more and finally realizing what he is going to need to do as a veteran receiver.

The good thing for Moulds is that Andre Johnson is and will be a huge deep threat on every play. The bad thing for Moulds is that he played with one of the better deep threats in the league in Lee Evans, and could not handle Evans taking all the big plays. Maybe it was because Moulds was the household name for a receiver in Buffalo for so long. That can be hard for any athlete to take. But you would have expected Moulds to handle himself better, instead of being bitter about balls thrown his way. This led to Moulds being suspended last season, and eventually his exit from the team when he refused to take a pay cut during the off-season.

Moulds could have fit in well with a majority of NFL teams, but we just do not see it as a Texan. They have too much youth moving forward, that has been gelling for quite some time now. David Carr, Andre Johnson, and Domanick Davis have been a great force offensively, but the reason they have not continued to improve is because of the offensive line. That was the reason last year that Johnson’s numbers slipped and Carr continued to pace the NFL as the top quarterback being sacked.
By the Texans not addressing the offensive line, that bodes even worse for Moulds. Since he can not get separation well anymore he is just going to make it harder for David Carr, which will lead to plenty of errant throws.

If the Texans would have been smart they would have brought in a wide receiver like Nate Burelson. Who is a speedster that would stretch the field and make it extremely hard for any secondary, with Andre Johnson out there as well.

The only way Moulds can be a factor is if the Texans get a more mature Jerome Mathis entering the 2006 season. Anyone who watched the Texans last year saw the electrifying blazing speed by Mathis on kick returns. In a three wide receiver set, Mathis will be able to spread the defense out and that could help Moulds get some red zone touchdowns.

Do not expect Moulds to even come close to 1,000 yards receiving though. A destined spot for Moulds in fantasy drafts at this point would be the eighth or ninth round. Do keep your ears open for training camp reports, and if there is anything floating about Moulds looking better than he has in years, than consider him a potential sleeper. But do not get caught on his prior big name statistics and think he is a sleeper now. At best he is a deep sleeper, but just think of old receivers that try to reclaim their old fashion on new squads. It never works.


You must be logged in to post a comment.