Most years, the starters on the offensive line are a known quantity. There might be one, perhaps two, spots up for grabs heading into training camp.
But that's not the case for the Texans in 2021, if you listen to offensive line coach James Campen.
"The competition is really more widespread than just two players, and I do believe that," Campen said. "We have eight tackles on our roster right now, and I think seven or eight guys that can play. We have some flexibility with our linemen, which I think there is a lineman that can play more than one position and can be trained as such."
Campen was addressing a question about the possibility of a competition at right tackle between last year's starter Tytus Howard, and 10-year veteran Marcus Cannon, but Campen expects battles for all of the spots up front.
"The competition is what's going to be really exciting," Campen said. "It's going to help these players to get the best out of them, to motivate them, and it's going to be a heck of a camp until this thing kicks off. I'm excited to see how it shakes out. I really am."
Campen, who spoke with the media via Zoom on Tuesday, also values flexibility between positions on the line.
"There's a job requirement for five linemen to play the positions that they're going to play," Campen said. "That job requirement could easily, as you well know – your right guard could be your starting center for a couple of series until his shoelaces is fixed. So, you don't know, but you have to assume those responsibilities and there's a criteria for each one of those positions."
The Texans announced Wednesday they won't hold a mini camp next week. The next time Campen and company will be on the field will be during training camp, which begins in late July at the Houston Methodist Training Center.