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BWTB: Texans must be Swiss Army knives

Posted May 28, 2014

Versatility is a must, and with a few exceptions, every Texan must be able to play multiple positions.

Unless you're a quarterback, kicker, punter or long snapper, Bill O'Brien said you must have a blade, a bottle opener, a corkscrew, fish scaler and set of tweezers.

Not in those particular words, but the Texans head coach essentially wants his squad to be a drawer full of Swiss Army knives. For more than a century, the Swiss Army knife has featured at minimum a blade, along with a few to many more tools that pivot inside to the handle.

For the foreseeable future, the Texans must perform at a few different spots on the field, and be able to help out in a pinch if need be.

“They have to be able to play multiple roles," O'Brien said after the Texans' first OTA. "This is way in the future here, but when you can only have 46 guys on a game day roster, the phrase ‘The more you can do,’ is a really important phrase."

It fits in nicely with the word "versatile", which he and general manager Rick Smith repeatedly said during the Draft. Being able to do more than just one task is a must, according to the new head coach.

"A lot of these guys, no matter what position they play, they’re going to do multiple things," O'Brien said. "They’re going to be maybe the third corner and they’re going to be on all four special teams. Maybe they’re going to play outside linebacker to start but they’re backup inside linebacker also and then they’re going to be on all special teams."

With the exception of fourth rounder Tom Savage, every other Texans' draft pick might be called upon to contribute in two different spots on his side of the ball, and/or on special teams as well.

"Everybody’s a part of a fluid situation at the position because we’re asking guys to learn multiple roles," O'Brien said.

While you might not see Jadeveon Clowney on special teams, the outside linebacker might have to transition to defensive end at times. Second rounder Xavier Su'a-Filo can play any of the guard or tackle positions. Third rounder C.J. Fiedorowicz might line up as a fullback in addition to playing tight end. The list goes on through the rest of the draftees, and also now applies to the veterans as well.

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