Houston (CBS Houston) – Cecil Shorts’ leadership amongst the wide receivers is something that comes naturally for him.
Nevermind that Shorts is just 28-years-old and is entering just his sixth season in the NFL, he has two years more experience than DeAndre Hopkins and at least four years more experience than any other receiver on the roster.
“I just try to lead by example, try to be consistent each and every day and then try to bring them along. Just try to teach them how to be a pro. They are here for a reason, they all have talent. I just try to teach them how to be a pro,” Shorts said.
While Hopkins is past the point of learning how to be a pro, the other receivers in the locker room still have a lot of growing up to do.
Will Fuller was the Texans’ 2016 first round draft pick at the age of 22. With the club’s stock in the young player, Shorts provides the leadership of someone that has seen some things in his playing days.
In the third round the Texans drafted 24-year-old quarterback turned receiver Braxton Miller who can also learn from Shorts. Miller spent his first three seasons as one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football at Ohio State before he suffered a season ending injury in his senior season. He was granted a medical redshirt and spent his final year with the Buckeyes as a receiver.
Then there’s Jaelen Strong who may need Shorts more than anyone. Strong was a third round draft pick in 2015 and the club had high expectations for him. Strong came to camp out of shape as a rookie, caught just 14 passes in his first professional season and then was arrested in February for marijuana possession. 2016 could be a make or break season for the second year pro.
With the young receivers trying to find their way in the NFL, Shorts’ leadership off the field could be more important than his production on the field.
“I think it’s my role to lead by example, speak up when I need to speak up. The guys are doing a great job right now,” Shorts said. “They’re ahead of the learning curve. They’re learning the offense pretty well. I’m excited for them.”