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Shanahan: "You need a guy like Antoine"


With the 77th pick in the third round, the Texans drafted center Antoine Caldwell from Alabama. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan spoke about the importance of adding a versatlie player like Caldwell for depth along the offensive line. Caldwell played center, guard and tackle in college.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan

(opening statement) "We're real happy with our selection. We took Antoine Caldwell from Alabama. He fills a very good need for us. We've been very fortunate this year. We've got five offensive linemen who played in all 16 games, not something that happens a lot. But when you dress seven offensive linemen on game days, you need a guy like Antoine. He's a guy who has played every single position – he's played all five of them. He can play center. He can play both guards. His value as far as versatility we feel is a great get for us."

(on if they are looking for a running back in the fourth round) "We'd always like to add some depth, you know. We feel good about our 11 starters on offense, so right now our mindset is, 'Who can help us the most in these backup roles? Who can still contribute?' If there is a runner there, we would like to get a runner. The later you go, the odds of there being one slims down. We've got some holes on defense we need to fill, too. We've got a guy at every position that we think can help us, at least in a backup role. It all depends on the value compared to some holes on defense and some other positions."

{QUOTE}(on if Caldwell will start off as a center) "Yes, we'll start him out at center, but we expect him right now to be our swing guy on gameday."

(on if Caldwell will compete for a starting job) "We do not expect him to push (C Chris) Myers right now. We are very happy with Chris. He did a hell of a job this year. We think he is a great center, and we did not at all bring him here to replace him."

(on if Caldwell has used the zone blocking scheme) "They do use a zone. They do a lot of gap blocking, do a lot of power and stuff, but they do some zone. We think he can make the transition because he is a quick, agile guy and he can play all three of those spots. He's quick and agile and he does have some snap and some power that makes him very versatile."

(on if it was tough to bypass a running back as an offensive coordinator) "It was. It would've been tough at the beginning of the day for me personally, but those two guys (Shonne Greene and Glen Coffee) that went today were pretty good players, so that made it a little easier to go with this guy."

(on the importance of depth) "It is extremely important. This year, we didn't have one guy get hurt (on the OL), which has been my first time in my career where not one offensive lineman has missed a game. We need to have five offensive line positions, and you only dress seven on gamedays, that's an issue. You've got five guys, so you'd ideally want to dress 10 guys so each guy has a backup, and that's not possible with the roster spots. So you need a guy who is capable of playing all three spots. Now we got that guy, and it's as important as anything. Last year, we were keeping our fingers crossed that nobody gets hurt, and it obviously was not as important but that's because we're I'd like to say lucky that all five guys stayed healthy the whole year. The odds of that happening again are not very high. We need a guy like this."

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