Offensive playmakers aren't just quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. Just ask Pep Hamilton.
With offseason conditioning underway at NRG Stadium, the Texans offensive coordinator is getting a chance to teach and install his new offense. Getting better in the run game and also being able to attack with a vertical passing game won't happen unless the offensive line improves.
"It all starts up front for us," Hamilton said. "Saying that is not just cliché. We really feel like our offensive lineman are playmakers as well."
Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil returns. So does Tytus Howard, who filled in for Tunsil late in 2021 at left tackle, after playing the first half of last fall at left guard. Howard spent most of 2019 and 2020 at right tackle. Justin Britt started 11 games at center last season, and signed a new deal with the club last month. Charlie Heck enters his third year in the NFL after starting 13 times at right tackle. Max Scharping has started a combined 33 times since he was drafted in 2019. Add in A.J. Cann, who comes to town after starting 94 games at right guard in Jacksonville since 2015, and the Texans have a mix of experience and styles up front.
"It's always important to have guys that are somewhat proven commodities, guys that you know what you are going to get on gameday, and you know what you are going to expect and that's what we feel like those guys bring to the table," Hamilton said.
Offensive line coach in George Warhop, and his assistant, Hal Hunter have experience working with Hamilton. Warhop and Hamilton were together in San Francisco in 2006, while Hamilton and Hunter teamed up from 2013 through 2015 in Indianapolis, and in 2016 with the Browns.
"Coach Warhop brings a ton of experience to that room along with Hal Hunter," Hamilton said. "I had the chance to work with Coach Warhop some time ago and Coach Hal at some previous spots and we feel like when you look at the guys we have in that room, some of those guys have skins on the wall and we should be able to go out and work together to develop a consistent run game."
That'll be important, because Houston's looking to improve upon its NFL-worst 3.4 yards per carry.
Hamilton and the Texans continue their offseason conditioning work at the stadium, and across Kirby Drive at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
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