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Bill O'Brien on OL: 'We're getting closer to what we believe it'll be"

Kalil, Howard draw praise from O'Brien

August 14, 2019 - 3:25 pm

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – With less than a month until the regular season opener, the Texans are closer to finding their starting offensive line.

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“We're getting more towards where we believe it'll be. Nick (Martin) hasn't been in there, obviously, so that's a big part of it. Greg (Mancz), injured last week in the game, so those guys are big parts of it. It's good that we have Zach Fulton who can play in there in center, but I'd say that is still a work in progress, but we're getting closer to what we believe it'll be,” Texans’ Head Coach Bill O’Brien told the media following Wednesday’s practice.

O’Brien has new options to choose from when deciding who the starting five will be.  One of the newcomers is the veteran Matt Kalil, who missed the entire 2018 season because of injury.  Kalil, a first-round pick in 2012, has drawn praise from his new head coach.

"He's had a really good camp. It's hard to judge in a practice setting. You can't hit the quarterback. The quarterback may be holding the ball sometimes to try to get the guys open,” O’Brien said about Kalil.  “I think he's had a very consistent camp. He's a really good guy to coach, very smart player, good guy in the room. He's got everything you're looking for."

In addition to spending money in free agency to sign Kalil, the Texans spent the 23rd overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Tytus Howard.  Like any rookie, Howard is still learning and developing, but like Kalil, has impressed O’Brien.

“He's done a good job. He works hard, really good kid, really smart, good teammate, everything that you're looking for. He does a good job. He gets better every day,” O’Brien added.

One hold over from last year’s team that has had a solid camp according to O’Brien is Senio Kelemete.  Kelemete played in 15 games for the Texans in 2018 after signing as a free agent out of New Orleans.

“Kelemete has had a good training camp. He's played guard, he's played center some, he's a versatile guy, he's a really good teammate, really good veteran player, tough guy, shows up every day, very consistent guy, kind of a lunch pail type of guy,” O’Brien said.  “So, he's filled in a various spots for us all training camp, done a good job.”