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BRB Groupthink: Texans’ First Offensive Line of 2019

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BRB writers predict who will start on the o-line for the Texans’ first preseason game.

NFL: AUG 05 Packers and Texans Joint Practice Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s a different type of offseason when all eyes are on the offensive line. The big men up front who are supposed to be protecting Watson are the biggest pain point for this team heading into the 2019 season. Of course, head coach Bill O’Brien has something to say about that by creating another glaring hole in his latest roster move.

They have done their part to inject new players into the offensive line room, but it’s still unclear if those additions were actually subtractions are just a move horizontally. With all the mystery, confusion, versatility, and certain chaos on the offensive line, I posed these questions to the BRB crew:

With the Texans first preseason game in a few days, what do you think the first edition of the Texans starting offensive line looks like?

Follow up question: how long does this starting group last?

And of course, it was met with the vitriol that I was expecting...

BFD:

Why do you hate us so, Kenneth?

I hate this question so very much, because if what is coming out of camp is true, every coach affiliated with the offense should summarily be fired. As of now, I think it will be: Matt Kalil, Tytus Howard, Nick Martin, Zach Fulton, Seantrel Henderson, left to right. This line would be worse than the 2018 version, and that’s truly saying something. Additionally, wasting a year of Howard at LG, your alleged franchise LT of the future, is beyond stupid. Even the NY Jets think the Texans are poorly run.

Rivers McCown:

what do you think the first edition of the Texans starting offensive line looks like?

>>Bad.

Follow up question: how long does this starting group last?

>>Yes.

Mike Bullock:

So, expect Kalil to start at left tackle to begin the season, but end up on the IR or PUP list within the first four games. Then, the shuffle will begin with rookies Tytus Howard and Max Sharping. Since Houston has made no effort to do anything else to bolster the line, the chances of this unit being anything better than 25th in the NFL this year are really slim, no matter how much we want that to not be true. The fan base simply can’t will the offensive line to be good, no matter how much we all want that.

Offensive lines feed off continuity, something no one in the Texans organization seems to have strived for since Gary Kubiak left the building. And, guess what? Houston ranks 4th from the bottom in line continuity: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2019/2018-offensive-line-continuity-scores having run 8 starters, changed the lineup a staggering TEN TIMES and only kept the same faces on the line for 4 games. And, in 2017, they were ranked just as bad. So, as history teaches, expect more of the same in 2019.

To answer Kenneth’s question, here’s what I’m expecting week one:

First quarter:

LT - Matt Kalil, LG - Tytus Howard (baffling), C - Nick Martin (if he can get past his recent hamstring injury), RG - Zach Fulton, RT - Seantrel Henderson

Second quarter:

LT - Tytus Howard, LG - Zack Fulton, C - Max Sharping, RG - Senio Kelemete, RT - Seantrel Henderon

And so on and so forth until roughly week four or five when they finally figure out where to put the linemen, then starting losing them to injury.

The real tragedy of all this is how utterly explosive this offense could be with a solid line. Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller and the rest of the star players require the o-line to do their jobs at a high level so they can do theirs. With a patchwork, afterthought, “project rookie” laden line, that’s simply not something anyone should expect to see in 2019. Taking the worst unit in the NFL and adding an injury prone, past his prime left tackle, then two project rookies is hardly the work of a team striving to win the Super Bowl. But, as the old adage says, any given Sunday any team can win... even one with a highly dysfunctional offensive line.

Matt Weston:

I’ll have to go with what’s been going on lately.

LT: Matt Khalil

LG: Tytus Howard

C: Nick Martin

RG: Zach Fulton

RT: Seantrel Henderson

I hate it so much. I’d love to see Howard play right and Rankin get a chance at guard. Henderson is always injured and hasn’t been good. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Hopefully this gets changed by the time the season starts.

Capt Ron:

Matt Kalil just got destroyed by a rookie Packers’ edge rusher.

I just lined up this flight to bury my concerns:

As you can see, optimizing is high among your BRB team as we enter the first week of the preseason. It’s absurd with this much HOF-level talent on the roster that they cannot seem to find competency.

This is my offensive line to start the game against Green Bay:

LT: Matt Kalil

LG: Tytus Howard

C: Greg Mancz (Nick Martin won’t start due to injury)

RG: Zach Fulton

RT: Seantrel Henderson

I expect Tytus and Martinas Rankin to rotate series while Max Scharping comes in for Zach Fulton after two series.

So long for now. I’ll have a post about Texans Rosterology following their preseason opener on Thursday night.