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Texans still in need of left tackle to protect Deshaun Watson

For as good a quarterback as Deshaun Watson has been in his first two seasons, the Houston Texans have been unable to put a solid offensive line in front of their franchise player.

And while Watson’s ability to move around in the pocket has covered some of the mistakes made by his offensive linemen, he was still sacked an NFL-leading 62 times last season. Watson didn’t miss a game, but he had to play through injuries to his ribs and lungs, while continuing to take those hard hits.

So far this offseason, the Texans have done little to fix that issue. The Texans re-signed Seantrel Henderson, who broke his lower leg in the 2018 season opener, and expect him to be their starting right tackle. Houston also added tackle Matt Kalil in free agency on a one-year deal, but he is coming off a knee injury that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

General manager Brian Gaine didn’t think there was a deep tackle class in free agency, and the Texans didn’t want to overspend to sign tackle Trent Brown, who signed a four-year, $66 million contract with the Raiders last month. It’s easy to see why teams are hesitant to give out huge contracts to offensive linemen in free agency. Last offseason, Nate Solder signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants and underperformed the contract in his first season. According to Pro Football Focus, Solder ranked 16th out of 35 qualifying left tackles in 2018.6

Of course, there’s still time to address the need at tackle, and Houston is likely to use at least one of its three picks in the first two rounds on the position. And there will be pressure to perform right away for that player.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

O’Brien said while it is possible for an offensive lineman to develop and play in his first year, “it’s not easy.” The head coach pointed out that the closer they play to the ball, the more difficult the transition is from a strength and knowledge standpoint.

“Most of these guys, first of all, in college, they’re in these great offenses in college, but they’re in two-point stances,” O’Brien said. “They’re not in three-point stances there. They’re not run blocking a whole lot — some of these schools — I’m not saying every school, but they’re throwing the ball 60, 70 times a game. So, they’re backpedaling. Now you’ve really got to train the guy how to run block, because we have to be able to run the football. There’s a lot that goes into it.