Texans will open up playbook for Mills in second start

By Tyler Tyre, Times Sports Editor
Posted 10/2/21

“He’s going to have a lot more put on him than he had put on him last week," Culley said. "I feel like he’ll be able to handle that. We’re just going to run our offense and let him handle it from there.”

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Texans will open up playbook for Mills in second start

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David Culley knew they would need to give Davis Mills added protection in his first NFL start.

The Houston Texans head coach and coaching staff installed a simple gameplan to try and give the rookie success against he top ranked Panthers defense, and it worked, to an extent.

Mills threw for 168 yards and a touchdown while not throwing an interception, but the teams run game was never able to get going in a loss.

“We didn’t really attack (the Panthers) the way we normally would have. I think a lot of that had to do with our gameplan,” Culley said. “We kind of cut down some things, we normally have a few checks in there but we didn’t want to put that on Davis to do too many of those kinds of things, but now that he’s had a game and a half under our belt,  we’ll go back to doing what we normally do.”

It wasn’t just the offense that struggled against the Panthers, as the Texans defense allowed 478 yards of offense and let Sam Darnold pass for 304 yards, as the quarterback made a number of big plays in the process.

““I think what happened was that the pass rush was good, but Darnold was able to move around back there and got in a couple of situations where he scrambled and he hit about three big passes off of just scrambling, where he moved around, kept the play alive and you get those receivers moving around. Part of that happens simply because we did have a good rush but weren’t able to get him down.”

The Texans will try and bounce back from their two-game losing streak when they play the Bills noon Sunday at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo.

The Bills have started the season 2-1 and sit first place in the AFC East.

The offense has been a strong unit for the Bills but so has the defense, as the unit has only allowed 44 points through the first three games.

“That’s a very good football team, they’re a playoff caliber football team and they’re very good in all phases. Offensively, defensively and on special teams they’ve been very consistent. It’s a well-coached football team that has a lot of good football players on it.”

Offensively, the Bills are led by the runner up to MVP last season, Josh Allen. Culley coached Allen for a year in Buffalo and knows how much of weapon the quarterback is.

“He’s become one of the top quarterbacks in this league. I know when I had him as a rookie, he just has everything you want in a quarterback and I’m not surprised where he’s at right now. He’s a heck of a player. There’s not a throw that he can’t make, he’s athletic, he’s big and strong and can run. He’s the total package.”

Playing such a strong team, Culley knows that the Texans will have to open up the offense if they have a chance of winning. They plan on giving Mills more responsibility than last week in hopes of rejuvenating both the passing and ground game against the Bills.

“He’s going to have a lot more put on him than he had put on him last week," Culley said. "I feel like he’ll be able to handle that. We’re just going to run our offense and let him handle it from there.”

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