Kubiak on interior O-line: "We have our starters"

The Texans' first-team offense featured different combinations on the interior offensive line during 11-on-11 drills on Tuesday, but Antoine Caldwell (right guard), Chris Myers (center) and Kasey Studdard (left guard) are penciled into the starting lineup as OTAs get underway.

"We have our starters," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Wednesday. "We have our guys that we're going to camp with as starters. You look at two young guys, Studdard and Caldwell, they've earned the right to say, 'Hey, I'm a starter right now.'"

Caldwell and Studdard both moved into the starting lineup last season after season-ending injuries to veterans.

Caldwell, a 2009 third-round draft pick out of Alabama, started eight games in place of Mike Brisiel. Studdard, who's entering his fourth season out of Texas, started 14 games in place of Chester Pitts.

"You're sitting there staring at Brisiel, who's trying to get a job back," Kubiak said. "You've got Wade (Smith), who's been a starter in this league. We bring in Shelley Smith (a sixth-round draft pick in April). We're as competitive in there as we ever have been as a team. It's going to be hard to hold a job, it's going to be very competitive to get one, so that makes the team better."

Before Brisiel suffered a foot injury in Week 5 last season, he had started 25 consecutive games at right guard. He took snaps at left guard during 11-on-11s drills on Tuesday.

Wade Smith signed with the Texans this offseason as a free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played the majority of his snaps at right guard and center. On Tuesday, he worked at center, where Myers has started 32 consecutive games for the Texans.

"Chris is healthy," Kubiak said. "Chris played coming off a high-ankle sprain, which is hard to do, all last year. Wade will push Chris. Catfish (Chris White) is still there. (Brett) Helms is a young player. It's the same thing (as the guard position): More competition there than there's been in the past."

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