K.J. Malone received some advice from his father, Hall of Fame NBA player Karl Malone, on being a professional athlete.
“Just listen to the coaches and just know my role,” Malone said. “Don’t speak when I’m not supposed to, just respect the elders.”
The younger Malone signed with the Texans as an undrafted college free agent and is participating in the team’s three-day rookie minicamp this weekend. The 6-4, 320 offensive lineman was a two-year starter for LSU in 2016 and 2017. Now listed as a guard, Malone has an opportunity to make a Texans roster that will have four new starters on the o-line in 2018.
“Just met K.J. when he got here,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Saturday. “Good guy, pays attention in meetings which is important and I think the big thing for him is going to be health. Can he stay healthy? Can he do what is necessary? I tell these guys on the first night: availability equals dependability.”
Malone helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rushers Leonard Fournett and Derrius Guice during his career at LSU. In 2017, Malone saw action in seven games, starting six at left tackle for the Tigers before a knee injury sidelined him. In January, he began working out in Houston and participated in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine a month later.
Now healthy and six months removed from his knee injury, Malone was eager to hit the practice field with the rookies and looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself this offseason.
“It’s been everything I thought it was,” Malone said. “Just learning from the coaches here and can’t wait to see the vets on Monday and learn from them.”
Rookie minicamp continues on Saturday and concludes on Sunday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.