The Houston Texans weren’t too sure about Davis Mills in 2021.
The team gave first-team quarterback reps to Tyrod Taylor throughout the offseason workout program and training camp. Taylor was also the starter for the first two weeks of the regular season until a hamstring strain compelled Houston to start their third-round rookie from Stanford.
Mills ultimately went 2-9 as a starter with a 2-3 record down the final five games, including a 41-29 win over the playoff-hunting Los Angeles Chargers. The rookie posted a 9-2 touchdown to interception ratio with a 102.4 passer rating.
Houston did not sign a viable veteran quarterback in free agency, and let Taylor walk. The Texans also avoided quarterback in the 2022 NFL draft.
The keys to new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense belong to Mills.
After completing the 2022 offseason program, general manager Nick Caserio told “Payne & Pendergast” on Sports Radio 610 [KILT-AM] Thursday that Mills is further along compared to where he was a year ago at the same time.
“Overall I would say from he was, call it a year ago, to where he is now, he’s certainly a lot further along,” Caserio said. “So, I think the preseason and the training camp will be another opportunity, not only for him, but the whole team to see if we can kind of build on some of the things that we’ve done here over the last however many weeks it’s been.”
What Mills has displayed throughout the offseason program — albeit in an environment wherein tackling is not allowed and quarterbacks are off limits — is good decision-making and accuracy.
“I would say two of the most important things are decision making and accuracy,” said Caserio. “So, when you look at that position, do you take care of the football, do you make the right decision, do you go where the play tells you the ball should go. So, I would say for the most part, the majority of the plays that we’ve run during the course of the spring, that’s been the case. Are there some instances where he could have made some better throws or a throw there? So, I would say for the most part those couple of areas I articulated I would say he’s certainly ahead.”
What Caserio has appreciated about Mills throughout his tenure with the Texans is his ability to shake off bad plays and move on.
Said Caserio: “I would say the one thing that’s been consistent relative to his personality and his demeanor if regardless of what happens on a play good or bad, it’s just kind of on to the next play. He really doesn’t let that ruffle him, which I would say is a good quality as a player because, look, there’s 70 plays that happen during the course of a game. So, you’re going to run a play, and then you’re going to go to a next play. So, what happened two or three plays ago honestly it doesn’t really matter. What matters is can you focus on what your job is, what you have to get accomplished on that particular play regardless of the situation.”
If Mills is able to carry over his decision-making and accuracy into training camp, preseason, and the regular season, it should provide consistency to a position that has been a colossal question mark for the entire Caserio era.