Blake - San Antonio, TX, US: Duane, What are the Texans planning to do to run the ball better this season? Draft better guards/center, a bigger running back, what?
Duane Brown (2:56:59PM):
Hey fans, thanks for joining me. I look forward to answering your questions.
I think a lot of what we have to do to run the ball better comes from us up front. I think we have the guys we need. We've already added one guy extra, but I think it's more of a mentality for us than anything else that's going to help us improve. We just have to know in our minds that we can run the ball and then go out and do it.
Craig Peterson - Los Angeles, CA, US: As a fan of the Texans from day 1, I have been disappointed with the team's inability to consistently run the ball. What might give the fans hope this will change in 2010?
Duane Brown (1:01:05PM): As an offensive lineman, I definitely take pride in being able to run the ball as well. As an offense - up front and in the backfield - we all look forward to being able to pick up the running game for this year. Execution and chemistry have a lot to do with it. In our scheme, everyone works off each other. We all have to be in sync for the running backs to find the lanes.
Shelton Wilson - Washington, DC, DC, US: How is your off - season going and are you mentally ready for the 2010-11 season?
Duane Brown (1:04:31PM): The offseason is going pretty good. I had successful surgery and I've been doing rehab to get better. I'm just trying to get in tip-top shape now. After seeing our opponents for this year, I know I have my work cut out for me -- Dwight Freeney twice, DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Calvin Pace. That just motivates me to work harder.
Sonya - Morgantown, WV, US: When did you realize that you had what it takes to be a successful NFL star? How did feel about the change from TE to Tackle? Did ever think about that change before it actually happen?
Duane Brown (1:11:44PM): My senior year in college I knew I had what it takes to be in the NFL. I realized the guys I was playing against were going to be taken high in the draft and were already pegged to be superstars, so I figured I was doing pretty well because I was competing against them.
As far as the position move, I didn't want to change because I was doing pretty well as a backup tight end. But once I found out I had the chance to get on the field quicker, I was alright with it. Once I started, the rest is history. When I reported to college my freshman year, I was 250 pounds. I knew I would put on weight once I ate four meals a day and lifted all the time. Once the weight came, it was inevitable. Even as a tackle, I was covering punts my senior year in knee braces. It was a chance to show my athleticism, but I was tired.
Kevin - Houston, TX, US: What Texans uniform color combo is your favorite, and why #76.
Duane Brown (1:13:03PM): I like the all blue - Deep Steel Sunday uniforms are my favorite. The all-white shows exactly how fat you are. The Battle Red is alright, but it's a little loud for a lineman, and mine usually turns burgundy after the first quarter because I sweat so much.
Ian77379 - Spring, TX, US: Honestly..doesn't it feel good to know that we aren't talking about Tackle as an area of need?
Duane Brown (1:14:07PM): That is great. It means I am doing something right. As much as I like the spotlight, I've been told that if you aren't being talked about as a lineman, you're doing a good job.
Wanda Peters - Houston, TX, US: Hi Duane, are you going to check out the Rodeo at all? Do you get free tickets there?
Duane Brown (1:15:58PM): I do want to check it out before the end of the week. I haven't done it yet. I don't know about free tickets.
Blake - San Antonio, TX, US: Can we get a prediction on W's this coming season?
Duane Brown (1:17:00PM):
That's tough. I don't want to put up any bulletin board material. In my two years here, I've learned that you can't predict anything. We have to take it one game at a time.
John Meyers - Newtown, CT, US: Who is the best dancer of the lineman on the team?
Duane Brown (1:19:33PM): I don't know. I'm not sure. We'll be taking an O-line trip in April to Vegas, so I'll know more then. But I'll say Mike Brisiel. I've seen him on the dance floor a couple times.
jay martinez - wallis, TX, US: im the texans #1 fan :) what is the hardest part of your job :)
Duane Brown (1:20:54PM): Blocking those freakish defensive ends in pass protection is tough. Since we pass the ball a lot, you have to be ready for anything. The guys that teams put at that spot are some of the best athletes on that side of the ball, so it's tough.
that guy - houston, TX, US: Do you think the texans are going to resign chester pitts?
Duane Brown (1:25:30PM): I hope so. I don't know what goes on on the business side of things, but I would definitely like to have him back out there.
Chester has a very strong lower body. There were some plays that he was out of position and he was able to recover because of his lower body and he just planted. He's a heck of an athlete. He's the only person I've seen who can block Albert Haynesworth on a consistent basis. Before we played the Titans my rookie year, Haynesworth told Pitts before the first play that he voted for him for the Pro Bowl. I was like, "You gotta respect that." And Haynesworth is the strongest player I've ever played against.
Will Fleessen - Ulan Bator, MG: Which guys from the team do you hang out with away from work?
Duane Brown (1:26:36PM): I hang out with Amobi Okoye, Mario Williams, Xavier Adibi and Rashad Butler - I don't have a set group of friends, but I usually hang out with those guys.
Nate P - Syracuse, NY, US: How long did it take you to really get a grasp on the Zone blocking scheme? And why did you chose number 76? Any special reason?
Duane Brown (1:29:30PM): It took me a while to realize how the zone blocking scheme really works and how everyone is linked together. I learned that my most important job as a left tackle is to protect the quarterback and then cut-off the backside b-gap on the zone play.
I chose No. 76 because I had that in college - I wanted No. 74 in college, but Brandon Frye had that. So I changed it to the next best thing. There's no real significance behind it.
T.W. - Kingwood, TX, US: What advantages about being a former TE has made the transition to the pro ranks easier?
Duane Brown (1:30:39PM): Overall, my athleticism helps me. I'm used to chasing linebackers or DBs to block, so I'm used to facing speed and quickness. That's the main thing you have to be ready for in the NFL. That's about it.
Wolfgang - Vienna, AU: Who's tougher to block: Dwight Freeney or DeMarcus Ware?
Duane Brown (1:32:41PM): That's tough. On an every-down basis, I'd say Ware is tougher. His size makes him a tougher block than Freeney. But they're both great players. Ware's arms are so long. He has to have a seven-foot wingspan. But Freeney has spin moves that are like nothing you'll ever see.
David - Austin, TX, US: You are the man D. i even got your jersey. not enough people have O-line jerseys. i just wanted to ask you how going up against Mario in practice helps make you better?
Duane Brown (1:33:58PM): That helped me out tremendously. When I first got here, facing him in training camp couldn't have been a better experience for me. He has a rare combination of size, speed and strength. He definitely has helped me out in my progression.
Daniel Sanchez - winston-salem, NC, US: what is your favorite team to face
Duane Brown (1:35:20PM): I'd say Tennessee just because you know exactly what you're getting when you play them. It's 60 minutes of everything you've got and everything they've got. It's always a battle.
Ian77379 - Spring, TX, US: Aren't you glad you don't have to go against Kyle Van Den Bosch? He's a punk *&%. I wanna fight him and Courtland Finnegan.
Duane Brown (1:37:59PM): I love playing Tennessee and a player like Vanden Bosch definitely brings out your best. I don't think he's as cheap as some players. He's relentless and plays through the whistle.
Julia - Houston, TX, US: I am a huge football fan and play for the women's team the Houston Energy as a defensive tackle, we have a young offensive line what are some helpful hints you could tell them to protect our quarterback? I don't play on that side of the ball so I am asking for feedback.
Duane Brown (1:39:52PM): My advice is to never give up on your block, even when you get beat. Always finish the play. Always work with your hands and mirror the player in front of you.
Thomas - Richmond, VA, US: Duane, you are working hard to be the best that you can be....And you have always worked hard. How good would it make you feel, if Coach ran a tackle eligible play down in the red zone for you go get a jump ball for you first career NFL touchdown? Keep up the good work!
Duane Brown (1:41:19PM): I've been trying to campaign for that since I got here. I haven't scored a touchdown since my freshman year of college, so that opportunity would be a dream and the celebration would be the main event.
Matthew Morales - Houston, TX, US: Brown, do we need more running backs?
Duane Brown (1:41:57PM): No, I think the guys we have are definitely capable of getting the job done.
Rick - Conroe, TX, US: What are your thoughts on the Texans not re-signing DR?
Duane Brown (1:43:14PM):
I don't really know too much about the business side of it. I knew it was a possibility. I think Atlanta is a great situation for him. He's at home near his family. I'm sure he'll do well. We have a lot of young corners who are up-and-coming, so I think we'll do fine, too.
Keeth U. - Waco, TX, US: What are your thoughts on the new staff hires, and what, if any, changes do you see with a new Offensive coordinator? Lastly, who has become your favorite person to line up against?
Duane Brown (1:47:19PM): I'm excited to get to work with the new coaches. I think they'll bring a lot of good things to the table. I'm not sure how much our offense will change, if at all. From what I've heard, it's pretty similar, so we'll see. Coach Kubiak and Coach Dennison went over some of my pass sets, so I have to love a coach who pays attention to the O-line.
My favorite player to line up against is Dwight Freeney just because we play against each other so much and in my eyes he's one of the best to play the position right now. He brings out the best in me. When you wake up Sunday morning, you know what's ahead of you. It's a nervous, great feeling, and the competitor in me rises to the challenge.
Mike - portland, ME, US: Everyone says Coach Kub is a players coach. What makes a coach a players coach exactly. And how is Coach to play for?
Duane Brown (1:50:48PM): A player's coach is somebody that can relate to players - any problem they have on or off the field - and is willing to help them in any way posssible. Also, it's someone who takes care of the players physically and doesn't try to kill them with long practices or full-pads practices all the time. Coach Kubiak is great to play for and he's very passionate about the game of football. He wants to win so badly, and he takes care of us, so as a player you want to return the favor by going out on Sunday and winning for him.
Thomas - Richmond, VA, US: We back home will love to see you score that touchdown and the celebration. That probably be the biggest celebration in BSG since you got drafted. Do you fans need to send in a petition to get the play drawn up?
Duane Brown (1:52:24PM): No petition is needed. I'll just keep preparing for it myself. Hopefully, one day it will happen. When it does, I won't let you down. Thanks for writing from Broad Street Gardens.
Jamal - Houston, TX, US: How is the departure of Alex Gibbs going to affect you? Have you met Dennison yet?
Duane Brown (1:53:18PM): It won't affect me. He's taught me a lot of things that I will take with me for the rest of my career. I'll be fine, though. We have great coaches here to help polish my skills.
Bill Labby - Montgomery, TX, US: The Texans drafted you because you were a "perfect fit" for their offensive strategy. What qualities do you think you have that make you a perfect fit for the Texans offensive line?
Duane Brown (1:55:06PM): I have time for one more question.
I think my athleticism is the biggest thing that attracted the Texans to me. For both pass protection and the zone blocking scheme, you have to run a lot. So me being mobile helps. Also, my attitude helps, because they wanted someone who is intense, and I play with a lot of intensity.
Cedric Wilson - Missouri City, TX, US: Hey Duane! Knowing that the Texans are getting more experienced year after year. We lost alot of games in the end after having a lead. Or we came out on fire in the first half and died out in the second half. Do you feel the answer to this problem is the lack of winning experience on the team? What do you see being done to get that killer mindset to put teams away next year?
Duane Brown (1:57:19PM):
I think that comes from getting complacent thinking we could coast out. If we can keep in our minds that we're not in a good position to win - no matter how much we're winning by - then I think we'll be fine this year.
Thanks for all of your questions and I'll see you at Reliant Stadium this year.