Potential Hard Knocks Storylines

The 10th edition of HBO's Hard Knocks has been announced for the 2015 season and the cameras will be following the Houston Texans during training camp. This is the first time that the Texans will appear on the television series. (Only Dallas and Cincinnati have appeared twice.) While the series focuses on the team as a whole, every year there are certain storylines, players and coaches that play essential roles. Who could fill that role in 2015? J.J. Watt The most dominant player in football right now, Watt is likely one of the main reasons the Texans are on the show. Even if you aren't a Houston fan, you have to appreciate what he is doing. His devotion to the game is well known and now everyone will get an inside look at how he prepares for the season. There is no doubt that Watt will be one of the stars of Hard Knocks this year. Quarterback Competition: Brian Hoyer vs. Ryan Mallett Despite an unsettled quarterback position, the Texans were able to finish the 2014 season with a 9-7 record, just missing the playoffs. This year, there will be another battle for the quarterback spot, this time between Hoyer and Mallett. Hoyer joins Houston from Cleveland, where he had the Browns playing relevant football again. Mallett re-signed with the Texans after starting two games last season before tearing a pectoral muscle, sidelining him for the season. Will the veteran Hoyer or the strong-armed Mallett line up under center for Houston next season? The Return of Jadeveon Clowney The number one overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney was one of the best defensive prospects to enter in the NFL in recent years. However, his rookie year didn't go as planned. He suffered a knee injury in week one and then returned to play in weeks eight, 11 and 12 before being shut down for the year. In early December, he underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee. Microfracture surgery is known not only for long rehab times, but a lot of players never return to the same level. How will Clowney recover from this surgery? Hard Knocks should give us an inside look. Bill O'Brien Head coaches play an essential role in Hard Knocks for obvious reasons. O'Brien is entering his second season as the head coach of the Texans. Despite very little contribution from his rookies and playing four quarterbacks, O'Brien reversed the Texans' fortunes last season, turning them into a 9-7 squad, just a year removed from going 2-14. Coming from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, O'Brien probably isn't thrilled to be featured on Hard Knocks. In spite of this, he is going to be a key person in the television series. Arian Foster Known as one of the best NFL players to follow on Twitter, Foster is not only the Texans' star running back, but a character perfectly suited for the Hard Knocks environment. Houston will rely on the 28-year old running back for heavy offensive production again this season. In training camp, he is sure to provide a few memorable moments, just like he has done on Twitter. Replacing a Legend For just the second time in franchise history, the Houston Texans will take the field without wide receiver Andre Johnson. The only other time was the first season in franchise history, which was a year before the Texans drafted him. After 12 seasons in Houston, their legendary receiver is now playing with division rival Indianapolis. Replacing Johnson will mainly fall upon the shoulders of DeAndre Hopkins, who actually had more receiving yards and touchdowns than Johnson last season. Breakout Star: Mike Vrabel The former New England outside linebacker, best known for his exploits as a goal line tight end, is currently the linebackers coach for the Texans. A rising star in the coaching world, the 39-year old enters his second season with the Texans after three years as an assistant at Ohio State, his alma mater. Vrabel is already well known due to his playing career, but Hard Knocks has a chance to catapult his coaching career. Matt Pearce is a graduate of National Football Post's Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp and is a journalism student at the University of Nebraska. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_Pearce13

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