Charles Omenihu can do a lot of things. In 2021, the Texans expect him to do big things.
The defensive lineman enters his third NFL season, and doesn't shy away from the expectations. He and the club wrapped up Organized Team Activities (OTAs) recently. Sandwiched around OTAs, the former University of Texas Longhorn has worked out in Austin. The 6-foot-5 inch, 280-pounder can play multiple positions along the defensive front, and his position coach Bobby King explained why.
"Charles is a guy that has versatility just because of his size and length," King said. "You can play him at a lot of positions and he can affect the quarterback in a lot of different ways. That's the thing with Chuck. We're telling him don't be a square peg in a round hole. If we ask you to play three-technique, six-technique, five-technique, whatever, he's up for it and we expect big things from Chuck this year."
Omenihu has embraced those expectations.
"Now going into my third year, being a guy that the staff, I think believes to be a guy that's going to really make an impact or have to make plays for the team," Omenihu said on the 'Stories Inside the Man Cave' podcast. "I can see that for sure."
Omenihu finished his rookie campaign with three sacks and five quarterback hits in 14 games. In 2020, he played in 15 contests and started five times. He had one more sack than in 2019, but hit the quarterback 16 times and notched five tackles for loss. Former defensive coordinator and interim head coach Romeo Crennel is now a Senior Advisor for Football Performance, and he saw a lot of progress in Omenihu's second season. But Crennel expects a lot more, too, in year three.
"One of the things that Charles did this year was he found out how he needed to play at the line of scrimmage, particularly when he was on the inside position," Crennel said. "He was able to use his length because he's got long arms and able to get his hands on guys and hold them off. I think that that helped make him more productive and make him better. He's one of those I think next year will be a much better year for him."
Omenihu and the Texans will gather together again in late July, when training camp begins at the Houston Methodist Training Center.