One training camp and preseason positional battle that Houston fans had their eyes on happened to be at right guard. The clash for starters rights existed between fourth year guard from Colorado State Mike Brisiel and third year guard Antoine Caldwell from Alabama.
Both Caldwell and Brisiel competed for the Texans’ starting right guard position last year in training camp. So this years competition was going to be nothing new to the pair of guards. Brisiel eventually won out last year but was placed on injured reserve late in the season.
Antoine Caldwell suffered a high ankle sprain during Monday nights match-up so you can stick a fork into the fray at right guard because it is probably done before it really got started. For arguments sake we will still supply the numbers from preseason game one.
Caldwell was in on only nine snaps. Six of those snaps were passing situations and on the other three snaps, Caldwell served as a run blocker.
Of the three run plays Antoine Caldwell participated in, two of the plays yielded positive yardage and Caldwell’s opponent had no affect on the play.
Of the six passing plays Caldwell engaged in, the third year guard gave way to nothing his opponent offered up. Caldwell did not allow any sacks, QB hits, or pressure on the quarterback. The Texans came away with a field goal on Caldwell’s only drive of the game.
Due to the severity of a high ankle sprain Caldwell will not play in tonight’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Mike Brisiel looks like the starter at right guard for week one of the 2011 NFL season barring an unforeseen injury. Brisiel was in on four of the Texans five offensive possessions. Of those four possessions, one touchdown and one field goal were obtained by Houston.
Brisiel played a total of 23 snaps. Eleven were on run plays and the othe twelve were during pass blocking situations. Of Brisiel’s run blocking results, seven yielded positive results. The other four the running back gained either no yards, lost yards or Brisiel’s opponent made the tackle at or near the line of scrimmage.
As far as Mike Brisiel’s passing blocking is concerned. Brisiel fared the same as Caldwell performed. Only Brisiel was in on more passing snaps. Twelve passing snaps to be exact. On those twelve snaps Brisiel yielded no sacks, QB hits, or pressure on the quarterback.
Both players played well but due to Caldwell’s injury his total snaps were not comaprative to that of Brisiels. Therefore an accurate comparison is unavailable at this time. We only hope that Antoine Caldwell is healthy come September the 11th and can play durign the season opener if needed.
Regardless of whether Caldwell gets a fair shot at the starting job or not it will be to the Texans advantage to have two competent players at right guard that can play well against top NFL interior line talent which seems to be the current situation.