Houston Texans HC Lovie Smith discusses offensive line at training camp

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans’ offensive line will need to be better in 2022, and they are talented enough to do so.

Here is the thing about the offensive line of the Houston Texans, and that is they have a lot of work ahead of them, they need to build depth, and their overall health is of key importance for the 2022 NFL season.

The players on the offensive line are talented, but heath issues have been the downfall of the unit as of late. At times the depth at all positions has needed an upgrade, so in this past draft, in the first round, the Texans added to their o-line depth with the selection of Kenyon Green at No. 15 overall.

When the Texans added Green to the fold, he was added to an offensive line that had two very good tackles with Laremy Tunsil on the left side and Tytus Howard on the right side. Green should be inserted at one of the two guard positions (most likely the left side), and those three can make for quite some trio for an offensive line in the NFL.

Saturday (July 30) saw Houston head coach Lovie Smith talk about his offensive line and what he expects from them. In a press conference with the Houston media — with comments provided by HoustonTexans.com — this is what Smith said about some of the offensive linemen on Day 2 of training camp:

"“Max [Scharping] has been around awhile, and he just started at tackle position. We feel like we have two of the best tackles in football. We just talked about Justin Britt, A.J. [Cann], we know eventually Kenyon Green will get into the mix. But you need more backups too, and Max has done that well. When we have asked him to step into the play, he’s done that. So, we feel like with Charlie Heck, we have some depth at that offensive line position.”"

In discussing the center of the Texans, Justin Britt, Smith said this about the veteran player:

"“We are different with Justin Britt out there. It all starts with our center. He does an awful lot for our team. He’s a good player, but again our offense will perform a lot better with Justin out there.”"

Looking at what Smith said about Scharping and the depth he brings to the roster is invaluable because he can play tackle if one of the two starters were to be injured, and that’s happened in the past. Scharping can also play guard if needed, so that makes him much needed on the Texans’ roster moving forward.

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Green is the player who has a lot of positivity ahead in Houston because as Smith stated he’ll “get into the mix more,” as he’s a rookie and going though his first training camp at the moment. Once he becomes accustomed to everything with Houston’s offensive line, the first round pick will do great things.

Another guard, A.J. Cann should have an important role at guard for Houston too. This will be Cann’s first season with the Texans because he’s joining the team after seven seasons with the Jaguars. In ’21, Cann played in four games before being placed on the I.R. last October with an injured MCL, but he’s played in 14 or more games in a season in six of his first seven years in the NFL.

Smith also mentioned Charlie Heck, as he can be a versatile linemen for Houston. Heck played in 15 games last season, making 13 starts as players were injured a year ago. He’s also able to play tackle, and with this being his third season in the NFL, the former fourth round pick should have a place on the roster in ’22.

When Smith talked about Britt, he basically said the Texans are a better offense when Britt is healthy and playing center for the team. That is a true statement, as last season was Britt’s first playing for the Texans, making starts in 11 games. This will be Britt’s eighth season in the NFL, and if he can stay healthy he’ll do great things like he has done in the past.

In all, the most important part of Houston’s offensive line is the starters staying healthy, followed by having backups capable of stepping in if injury happen.

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The main thing concerning the Texans’ offensive line starting five is their health, and being on the field for a majority of the season together. If that happens, everyone will see the difference in not only the play of quarterback Davis Mills, but also the overall play of the entire offense, and that will be maybe the most important aspect of the ’22 season in Houston.