Houston Texans top o-line draft picks ‘playing well’ in 2019

Houston Texans, Tytus Howard (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Texans, Tytus Howard (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Two of the top three Houston Texans draft picks from 2019 went to the offensive line, and as rookies they are now in the starting lineup.

During Monday’s Houston Texans press conference, head coach Bill O’Brien was asked about how well rookies Tytus Howard and Max Scharping played in the Week 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Those two were a part of an offensive line that didn’t allow a sack to quarterback Deshaun Watson for the first time this season, leading to a big 21-point win by the Texans at NRG Stadium.

With Howard being the first-round pick, and Scharping being one of the two second-round picks the Texans made in late April, the pressure on both players has to be great, especially since they are being relied upon to help the offensive line improve each week. They did so this past Sunday.

O’Brien was asked a two-part question about the rookie offensive line, and in transcripts provided Texans Media Department O’Brien had the following comments on how well the rookies are playing:

"“They’re playing pretty well, relative to being rookies. They’ve got to keep it going. That’s the thing. Whatever they did in yesterday’s game really – it applies in some ways to this next week’s game because it’s another building block in their career, but you’re only as good as the next game.”"

O’Brien was also asked how much the two rookies in Howard and Scharping rely on the veterans of the offensive line, in particular tackle Laremy Tunsil and guard Zach Fulton:

"“I think that, relative to how much they rely, I’ll tell you what, those two guys are very smart. Tytus and Max are very smart players. I think they all rely on each other. I think that’s just an area that we played well in yesterday. Offensive line played a good football game and we’ve got to have a great week of practice and try to play well again.”"

Is it too early to be excited about how well the offensive line played this past Sunday? Is it too much to think and hope that this unit has it in them to have another type of performance like they had last Sunday against the Falcons this week as well against the Kansas City Chiefs?

When Howard and Scharping were drafted this past April by former general manager Brian Gaine the reaction to the picks were “lukewarm” at best by many, and though it has taken some time, the two rookies are in the early stages of building up their careers on the Texans offensive line.

Related Story. Texans finally have a run game with Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson. light

As for O’Brien praising the play of the offensive line, in his postgame quotes (provided by the Texans Media Dept.) on Sunday he did just that, saying the following about the entire unit:

"“They did a good job. They had a good week. They worked hard. They put in extra time and everybody did. I mean, again the sacks are, everybody’s involved. Like I’ve said a million times, everybody’s involved in sacks, and everybody on offense did a good job of trying to do — against a very athletic, good front — trying to do as good a job as they can of not allowing sacks to happen.”"

Like O’Brien said, there is still a lot of work ahead for both rookies and even the entire offensive line. The Texans have the foundation to have consistent solid play from the offensive line and offense in general each and every week. Now it is just a matter of rookies like Howard and Scharping meshing with veterans and seeing where that takes them.

Next. Texans: 5 Takeaways from Week 5 win over Falcons. dark

Though the Texans aren’t scoring 53 points each week, they do have the players on their roster to be competitive and win more than they lose. It all starts with the offensive line, and rookies Howard and Scharping are beginning to play better than they have at any point of their rookie season.