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Flexibility a key for Xavier Su'a-Filo

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Rookie lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo is getting a lot thrown at him, mentally and physically, during training camp.

Flexibility has been a buzzword since Bill O'Brien took over as head coach.

It's been Xavier Su'a-Filo's reality since he was drafted in May.

The UCLA offensive lineman has gotten a lot of work at a few different positions, but he said that's just part of the job.

"Whatever I’ve got to do to make the team I’m more than willing," Su'a-Filo said.

The first pick of the 2014 second round, Su'a-Filo missed OTAs and minicamp in May and June because of the quarters system at his alma mater. While O'Brien has maintained that Su'a-Filo has "been inconsistent like all of the rookies have", the head coach spoke highly of Su'a-Filo's mental makeup.

“He is a smart guy," O'Brien said. "He’s a bright guy. He’s an instinctive player. There is a lot being thrown at him right now, especially with our system and all the different run schemes, protections and cadences."

On top of that workload, Su'a-Filo's also gotten a steady dose of trying to block J.J. Watt. That tall task has accelerated his learning process.

"He’s got a repertoire of moves and he’s strong," Su'a-Filo said. "I enjoy competing against everybody and he’s a great defensive player. It’s very fortunate for me to get to go against him.”

Su'a-Filo's first nine days of camp have impressed left tackle Duane Brown as well.

"He’s competing and he’s going against some very, very good players," Brown said. "So it’s only going to make him better.”

The former Bruin played brilliantly at left tackle last season, and has practiced at multiple spots in Houston. Where he lines up on Saturday night at Arizona will be interesting to watch.



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