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Bill O'Brien's Message To Skill Players: Play Special Teams

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It may seem obvious, but chances are you didn't know exactly how big a deal it was for a large number of players who made the Texans' roster last year.

CJII knows the path to a roster is often through special teams play.
CJII knows the path to a roster is often through special teams play.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Undrafted rookie free agents, players drafted in the later rounds, and even some well regarded veterans often face an uphill battle to make a roster in the NFL. Your Houston Texans are no different in that regard, but Bill O'Brien has made it clear what those less heralded players can do to improve their chances of making Houston's 53-man roster this year.

"I would say that special teams is the main way that most of the skill players, young skill players, can make the team," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "That’s probably the main way."

That's not just mindless coach-speak, either. The proof is in the pudding.

"Last year if you look at our 53-man roster, at the end of the year we had 18 guys on that roster that were undrafted in their careers, and a number of those guys I would tell you made our team based on special teams," O'Brien said.

Additionally, remember what happened with D.J. Swearinger, a second round pick who sure seems to be the player Bill O'Brien was referring to in this speech at a coach's seminar.

When final cuts are being made in early September, keep that maxim in mind. The edge should go to the guy who's producing on special teams.