CBS Houston – The Houston Texans offensive line, took another hit last week when they lost 2016 second round draft pick center Nick Martin to a high ankle sprain.
The team had to quickly revamp for Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Next man up Greg Mancz stepped into Martin’s spot and the first team offensive was able to have a very good game.
Rushing the ball was a little tough, but the offensive line was able to pass block and give Brock Osweiler enough time in the pocket to look downfield and make some plays in the passing game.
Despite the team working with a patchwork offensive line, the unit only allowed one sack.
“Whatever five is in there we try to work as a unit and all do our jobs,” Xavier Su’a-Filo said, “as long as we’re communicating and we’re all on the same page, we’re usually all right.”
The center is considered the heartbeat of the offensive line. The left tackle may protect the quarterback’s blindside and the right tackle is normally the run blocker, but it’s the man in the middle who is responsible for all the calls and assignments.
While Mancz may be new to starting, he’s not new to the system, last year he played in three games before being placed on injured reserved.
“He’s been showing us nothing but great things,” Chris Clark said of Mancz’s progress, “to see him step up in the next man up role has been great, that’s what we believe in on the Texans, the next man up approach, he’s doing an excellent job.”
Right now only Xavier Su’a-Filo and Jeff Allen are the only starters who are projected to be part of the team’s normal gameday offensive line. There is still no update on when Duane Brown, Derek Newton and Martin will be able to return.
“Everyone is new,” Clark said, “but that’s the part of the system, offensive line has the most guys on the field, being able to have five guys on the field we help each other, it’s a brotherhood within a brotherhood, so we got it.”
The offensive line right now is doing it’s best to get everyone up to speed and get on the same page, in games so far, the line has sometimes gone unnoticed. With so many other questions on the team, while the line might not be a 100% healthy, it’s also not the biggest worry on the team.