HOUSTON (CBS Houston):  When asked about the offensive line, specifically Right Tackle, Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien gave a very matter of fact answer.

“Derek Newton is our starting Right Tackle.”

In reality, O’Brien is standing up for the only guy left standing with experience at the position.  Both tackles the team drafted last year aren’t on the field, as Brennan Williams is still recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee and David Quessenberry was diagnosed with lymphoma.

O’Brien, however, also is not concerned with how Newton played last year, only what he sees from him this year.  The clean slate can only help Newton’s confidence going foward.

“He’s had a good offseason,” O’Brien said of Newton. “He hasn’t missed a day.  He’s been healthy.  I think he’s practiced well and we’re looking forward to seeing how he does in training camp.”

O’Brien sneered at a question regarding Newton’s struggles last season, dismissively stating, “I wasn’t here last year…you know what I mean?”

For the time being, O’Brien is sticking by his man, not that he really has any other choice.

Newton’s hold on the job could be tenuous should the team sign a veteran tackle, but there’s no coals on that fire as of yet.  As far as whether the team could go that direction, the coach gave one of his trademark responses, “We’ll always do what’s best for the team.”


Patrick Creighton is the host of “Nate & Creight” with Nate Griffin, Sundays 2-5p on Sportsradio 610 Houston.  Follow him on Twitter: @PCreighton1