Xavier Su'a-Filo will face challenges as a rookie offensive lineman, but he's making progress, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"I think he's getting better," O'Brien said. "I think it is very difficult for a rookie to play on the inside. I think you see some rookies being able to do that. Other guys, it's kind of some good, some not so good. I think Xavier falls into that category. He is a great kid. He's a hard worker. He's got a really good future in this league. He just needs to learn a little bit more about the tricks of the trade. We'll continue to play him, give him a shot in there, but hopefully he learns from some of his mistakes, and he will."
In Sunday's 30-16 win over Tennessee, Su'a-Filo took 13 percent of the snaps at left guard, stepping in for Ben Jones. The offensive line allowed five sacks on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but also helped pave the way for a fourth-consecutive 100-yard rushing performance by Arian Foster.
"I thought those guys they did a good job run blocking yesterday," O'Brien said Monday. "They seem to be in sync with the different fronts that they had to block. I thought they did a good job communicating in the run game. I think where those guys need to be better along with the tight ends, the backs and the quarterback is in pass protection. We've got to do a better job picking up the blitz. I think when people rush four we've been pretty good there. When people rush five and six at times that is when we have to be better. We're going to work hard on that this week."
Su'a-Filo has taken snaps in each game this season. He made his first NFL start in against Indianapolis in Week 6 at right guard.
The (4-4) Texans host the (5-2) Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. on FOX KRIV-26 and SportsRadio 610.