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6 reasons C Nick Martin is ready for 2017

The Texans took Nick Martin in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In training camp last year, he was slated to start, but an August leg injury derailed his rookie campaign. He spent last season on the injured reserve, but soaked up the offense.

This spring in organized training activities (OTAs) and minicamp, he was the starting center, even though Greg Mancz started all 16 games last year. Martin's remained the first-team center through the first week of camp, and head coach Bill O'Brien pinpointed six specific reasons why.

  1. "He's a tough guy."
  1. "He's strong"...
  1. "smart"
  1. "good leader"
  1. "He's got all the intangibles you're looking for."
  1. "He's a good communicator. He does a good job communicating with the guys left and right of him because he's smart. I think he spends a lot of time with the quarterbacks so he knows what they're thinking. With different calls that they're making, he's able to relay it and like I said, I think he's a strong player."

Martin and the Texans face the Carolina Panthers next Wednesday in Charlotte, and it will be the first NFL game action for the Notre Dame product.

"Looking forward to watching him play in games," O'Brien said. "He hasn't been able to play in a game yet, so I'm really looking forward to watching him play against Carolina. Keeping him healthy, that's going to be a big key for him because he's a very, very good player."

O'Brien also said he thinks Martin makes the players around him better.

Check out some of the top shots from Day 8 of training camp at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

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