Houston (CBS Houston)-After a less than impressive season in 2013, tackle Derek Newton is looking to solidify his place on the team, namely his place on the starting unit at right tackle.
“Competition,” Newton said, “it motivates me to get better. You can’t take that for granted and you know jut got to keep working.”
Most of the competition Newton alludes to is new faces who played in Miami last year. There is the recently signed Tyson Clabo. The 9 year veteran coming to Houston to help bolster the depth at the tackle spot.
Despite being competitors, Newton said he talked to Clabo and picked the veteran’s brain about playing in the league.
Newton will also be pushed by fellow fourth year player Will Yeatman. Then there are the undrafted free agents Bryan Witzmann and Matt Feiler. There are plenty of bodies behind Newton should he slip.
Newton knows he needs to make the most of his opportunities.
“It’s always a competition,” Newton said. “I just come out every day and compete and when the coach tells me it’s my time to go, I’m going to be ready to go.”
Newton saw plenty of action last year. He started all 16 games, but he split time towards the end of the year. It will be up to him to prove his worth in the new system and cement his spot at right tackle.
“You can’t make excuses,” Newton said. “I’m doing good. I’m working hard. Providing for my team.”
Newton said running back Andre Brown was “great” and added every running back was good and whichever running back was in the the game they would give it their all.
Newton said Arian Foster not practicing today was a “big miss” but was confident in the other backs. He then placed the emphasis on he and his fellow lineman.
“All we got to do upfront is give them the hole,” Newton, “give them the chance to make a play. He’s going to make it.”