I don't feel like talking about Free Agency, as the prospect of Andre Johnson signing elsewhere (particularly the Colts) has me feeling like I just on purpose ate at an Applebees.
Instead I'd like to reminisce a bit about how great the Texans' offensive line was in 2011, featuring the four muscled beasts you see above. From the left we see: RT Eric Winston, C Chris Myers, LG Wade Smith and LT Duane Brown. Not pictured is RG Mike Brisiel, of course.
That year they paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers (almost; Ben Tate was just short) and helped keep the jerseys of four different quarterbacks fairly clean. They were the perfect blend of drafted talent (Brown and Winston), free agents (Smith and Brisiel), and trade acquisitions (Myers).
I'm not saying they were on par with Dallas' Great Wall from back in the 90s, but they made the Texans' offense extremely fun to watch and were integral in preventing the Matt Leinart/T.J. Yates experience from becoming a complete disaster.
While Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, DeMeco Ryans and others went down with injury at various points of the season, the OL kept hammering away, carrying the team just enough to its first-ever division title, playoff berth and playoff victory.
You can watch them in action in this video I found down below.
Brisiel turned his 2011 performance into a nice contract with Oakland. He was released after 2013 and missed all of 2014 and might be done with footbal. Winston was released before the 2012 season and was picked up by the Kansas City and later Arizona before becoming the NFLPA's president. Wade Smith's quality of play plummeted in 2012 and 2013 and the Texans declined to re-up his expiring contract. And of course we learned last week that Myers was released for cap purposes.
The recent signing of Derek Newton, added with Brandon Brooks' development at guard, is definitely a step towards the OL becoming great again. Only time will tell if Ben Jones and Xavier Su'a-Filo will be worth anything, however.
Brown's picture on Twitter got me thinking and I thought I'd share. You may now resume your regularly scheduled FA speculation, already in progress.