As the Houston Texans roll on toward the end of OTA's, with minicamp and then training camp on the horizon, one of the more intriguing position groups on the team is along the offensive line.
Like several positions on the club (actually, an alarmingly high number for a team that many think could win ten games next season), where the Texans are solid, they're really solid, but where there's uncertainty, it's really uncertain Left tackle Duane Brown has been to multiple Pro Bowls, right tackle Derek Newton has a freshly signed $26 million contract and right guard Brandon Brooks may be the next Texan to ink a deal before the 2015 season starts. That's all good stuff.
However, the left guard and center spots are both crapshoots right now, at least from an experience standpoint. If the season started today, the starters at those positions would likely be 2014 second round pick Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard and last year's left guard starter Ben Jones at center, his natural position. Neither guy has started a game at their respective position for the Texans, and Su'a-Filo, on the rare occasion that he played last season, didn't come close to living up to his draft slot.
Guys can improve, especially young players going from Year 1 to Year 2, and the fact that the Texans didn't take a single offensive lineman in the draft a month or so ago likely speaks to some semblance of confidence in their depth chart. However, if you recall, the move that triggered the shifting of Jones and insertion of Su'a-Filo along the line was the March release of veteran center Chris Myers and his $8 million salary cap slot for the upcoming season.
Now, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are once again kicking tires on Myers in an effort to bring him back into the fold:
The Texans have reached out to former C Chris Myers about returning to the team. He's considering multiple options before deciding.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) June 9, 2015
If Chris Myers returns to the Texans it won't be until camp. OTAs end this week and the 3-day minicamp is next week.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) June 9, 2015
When Myers was released in March, it was widely assumed that Denver would be his prime landing spot, considering that a) Gary Kubiak is their head coach and b) the Broncos had a need at the position. Yet nothing materialized. Over the last several weeks, Myers, who has a promising career in broadcasting awaiting him when the time comes, has been doing guest spots on Sports Radio 610.
Meanwhile, another Texans offensive lineman's journey back into football continues with cautious optimism, third year lineman David Quessenberry continues his battle back from treatments for lymphoma over the past year. Since being diagnosed last June, Quessenberry spent last season battling the cancer and has returned to being around the team day-to-day this season, although he is still unable to take part in full practices.
When asked yesterday about the likelihood of Quessenberry's returning, head coach Bill O'Brien was effusive in his praise for the young player:
“Well, first of all, I think his story is something that we probably- I know you guys have done a great job of covering his story, but I think it’s something that should be talked about even more. I mean, think about what this guy has gone through just to even be here today. To even be here, playing on a pro football team, coming back from cancer, I think probably it’s a little bit better question for him. Not as a cop out, but just more he’s a very bright guy. He knows his body really well. He knows where he’s at in his treatments. I have an idea of where he is at. I would say that this season is a possibility. I would not rule it out. I would not rule it out, but we haven’t come to that determination yet. He’s here every day. He’s not allowed to be out there as far as in the practice, but he’s out there. You guys see him out there. He’s in all the meetings. He can lift weight. I just think it’s an unbelievable story. It says a lot about him. It says a lot about our organization, I think, that we’ve stuck by him.”
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For his part, Quessenberry is working hard to make his return a reality:
“It’s hard to put a percentage on it, but I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and that’s exciting. I can feel myself getting stronger. I can feel my body changing. It’s motivating for me to push that much harder….the timetable right now is just taking it day by day still, still taking it day by day. Coming in here, putting in the work, working hard, and eventually to be cleared. There’s no timetable right now.”
The Texans have three more days of OTA's this week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) before a three day mandatory minicamp next week from June 16 through 18.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.