By Jeremy Branham

Houston (CBS Houston) – To have the respect of the teammates in your locker room means a lot. Duane Brown, who practiced Monday for the first time since tearing his quad in week 17 of the 2015 regular season, has that respect ten times over.

Why wouldn’t he? He’s been the brick wall on the left side of the Texans’ offensive line since he was drafted by the Texans with the 26th overall pick of the 2008 draft. He’s been to three Pro Bowls, and was a 2012 First Team All-Pro.

Along with the accolades, Brown has accepted a leadership role with the team, even though he’s being rehabilitating in order to join his teammates on the field.

“He’s a fierce leader. Since I’ve been here, he’s been leading by his speech, motivating us, getting us going,” right guard Jeff Allen said.

Being a leader is something Brown is comfortable with, but the ninth year pro now wants to add the element of leading by example. Even the defensive players are glad to see Brown back on the field.

“When I saw him out there, I had to call him out and make sure he broke the team down because I’m just happy and excited to have him back,” corner back Johnathan Joseph said.

Joseph’s opinion isn’t one to take lightly, like Brown, he has been a steady pro in the NFL and has made two Pro Bowl teams in his 11 years in the league so his voice resonates.

The Texans offensive line hasn’t been playing up to the standard that they would like. Brown hasn’t played in a game this season, rookie second round pick Nick Martin is out for the season and the addition of a healthy Brown should help improve the offensive line.

“He’s a heck of a player, he’s proven that over his years in the league,” Allen said. “It can’t do anything but make us better.”


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