Pendergast: Getting To Know The Texans O-Line

There are no perfect “pop culture” analogies for what’s going on with the Texans’ offensive line. Given the fact that they’ve got their two starting tackles hopefully returning from leg injuries of varying severity sometime around the start of the season [EDITOR’S NOTE: Duane Brown Not Expected To Be Ready For Week 1], there’s probably a “Walking Dead” analogy I can make, but I don’t watch shows about zombies. They frighten me.

So at the risk of showing off which end of our 25-54 year old male demographic I skew toward, here goes — remember the show Happy Days? (Everyone over the age of 37 nods.) Well, remember in like the first five seasons, when the show was actually good…. and the main characters were Richie, Potsie, Ralph, Arnold, and The Fonz? That show was pretty funny!

Then before you knew it, within like three seasons, the whole thing unraveled, cast members moved onto greener pastures, and the main cast was a total *BLEEP* show with Joanie, Chachi, Jenny Picolo, Ted McGinley, and The Fonz. Yes, the Fonz was the only constant. (Everyone over the age of 37 gives two thumbs up and says “AAAYYYYYYEEEE…”)

Now, how does this tie into the Texans’ offensive line? Well, last season, when they went 7-2 down the stretch, a big part of that was a solidified, consistent quintet on the o-line for the second half of the season. That was a good thing. Now, here’s the problem — the offensive line they will trot out on Sunday against Arizona (and possibly to start the regular season) only contains ONE of those five starters from last season. Even worse, that one starter is arguably the least effective player of those five, left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo!

Indeed, Xavier Su’a-Filo is the Texans’ Fonz right now…. how’s that taste?

For grins, let’s get to know the five that will blubber-jog their way onto the field this weekend…. (NOTE: “Blubber-jog” is my own made up word for fat people when they run… something I’ve been personally familiar with from when I was much heavier.)….

CHRIS CLARK, LT

Acquired from the Denver Broncos before last season for a seventh-round pick, and re-signed this past offseason to do exactly what he’s doing — fill in when Duane Brown and Derek Newton are hurt. Unfortunately, over the last year or so, we’ve gotten to know Chris Clark way better than I would have liked to know him. No offense, Clarky. (FUN CHRIS CLARK FACT: He is the second most famous player in University of Southern Miss history, tied with “everyone not named Brett Favre.”)

XAVIER SU’A-FILO, LG

The only holdover from last season’s cast, Su’a-Filo was once a street tough who befriended the Cunningham family and moved into the apartment above their garage before becoming a shop teacher….. oh wait, crap, that actually IS the Fonz. Su’a-Filo was the 33rd pick in the 2014 draft, a pick which the Texans could have used to solve their quarterback issues two seasons ago and saved us from the natural disaster known as the Fitzhoyllett Era.

GREG MANCZ, C

Mancz, or as Texan fans like to refer to him “Crap, Nick Martin is done for the year?!?!”, was an undrafted free agent out of Toledo who made the 53-man roster last season before succumbing to injury. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus rated Mancz as their top center in college his senior year. I find that if I drink just enough whiskey, that little factoid makes me feel better. (FUN GREG MANCZ FACT: Mancz doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. If your center doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, you best be calling some plays that get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands QUICKLY.)

JEFF ALLEN, RG

The Texans’ response to losing Brandon Brooks in free agency was to sign Allen, which I actually like. Allen has a reputation of being mean and nasty, so I am making sure not to say anything here that pisses him off. I love you, Jeff Allen!

KENDALL LAMM, RT

Like Mancz, Lamm was an undrafted free agent who made the 53-man roster last season (TWO undrafted guys making the squad…. gotta love that o-line depth!). My favorite thing about Lamm is this video clip….

Blubber-catch and blubber-run-after-the-catch!!! YES!!!

So how should that offensive line make you feel, Texan Fan/SportsRadio 610 Website Visitor?

If your answer was “extremely worried,” I have one word for you — CORRECTAMUNDO.

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