HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Texans left tackle Duane Brown is now the longest tenured Texan on the roster. 2017 will be his 10th season in Houston and the anchor of an offensive line in need of tweaking and re-tooling.
Brown was representing the Texans at a community event on Tuesday evening.
The 10-year veteran is entrenched at the line’s most important position, but there are question marks down the line. Nick Martin should return from injury and play his first NFL season after being drafted in 2016 to be the team’s starting center. Greg Mancz, who played center is a candidate to move over to right guard.
Brown tore his quadriceps muscle in week 17 of the 2015 season that kept him out of the playoff game and forced him to spend the entire offseason focussed on re-hab and not on improving his technique and working with his fellow linemates. He didn’t return to the Texans line-up until a Week 5 match-up against the Vikings.
He’s pleased he will be able to work on just football this offseason and not on specifically getting healthy.
“Working on things that I want to work on just little nuances of my game,” Brown said when asked how he would be approaching the offseason. “I’m looking forward to coming back and being able to start in training camp and OTAs and just being able to work at my craft. I wasn’t able to do that much last offseason it was all about just re-habbing.”
Brown is expecting the return of Martin, who missed his entire rookie season with an ankle injury. Brown
“I think Nick’s going to be a great player. He showed some great flashes early on as a young player at (the center) position,” Brown said. “The game wasn’t too big for him, going against Vince (Wilfork) and those guys everyday in practice, he showed a lot of promise.”
Brown wouldn’t comment on the recent quarterback rumors regarding the future of Brock Osweiler and the potential acquisition of Tony Romo. The left tackle did acknowledge they needed to improve as an offensive line for whomever is taking snaps for the Texans in 2017.
“It’s just all about us being better up front,” Brown said. “I think getting a healthy five that starts to gel from day one will help us a lot in pass protection and that’s the main thing; Keeping the quarterback upright and giving him time to operate, I think anybody can be successful back there.”