One thing the previous Houston Texans regime just couldn’t seem to do was assemble a quality offensive line. No matter how many free agents, draft picks and trades they pulled off, the line just declined year after year. As the shadows of Duane Brown and Chris Myers grew shorter and shorter, the quality of line play grew thinner and thinner.
Thanks to the additions of general manager Nick Caserio and head coach Demeco Ryans, that back slide seems to have stopped. And, the O-Line is rebounding.
Pro Football Focus recently released their list of top offensive lines going into training camp. While the Texans’ linemen don’t rate top 10 honors just yet, they are no longer basement dwellers either.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS (UP 1)
Projected Starting Lineup
LG Kenyon Green
C Juice Scruggs – Rookie
RG Shaq Mason
RT Tytus Howard
Adding Shaq Mason, even though he was coming off a relatively poor year, was a shrewd piece of business by the Texans this offseason.
Houston finished as the worst team in the league at generating yards before contact in the run game, averaging just 0.8 yards all year, and Mason is one of the best run blockers in football.
Best Player: Laremy Tunsil
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil was as good as any pass blocker last season at any position. He finished with the best PFF pass-blocking grade (91.7) of any lineman and allowed 17 pressures in 17 games.
Trading for Shaq Mason and drafting Juice Scruggs certainly seem like great moves on paper. While we’re still waiting to see what they add to the line, both sure bring promise. With Laremy Tunsil on one end, Tytus Howard on the other and Kenyon Green stepping up, surely vast improvement isn’t far behind. Now, most o-lines take a LOT of reps to fully gel, and it might not happen in week one, but once they hit midseason form, the rest of the offense should benefit greatly.
Now just sit back and imagine what it will look like when the new line hits their stride. Particularly when they open holes for Mr. Yards-After-Contact himself, Dameon Pierce.