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Houston Texans

Slimmed-down Brandon Brooks working as starter in OTAs


Second-year guard Brandon Brooks has slimmed down and moved up this offseason.

Brooks reported for OTAs at 325 pounds, down from 355 when he was drafted in the third round out of Miami (Ohio) last April. And after coming off the bench behind 2012 fourth-round pick Ben Jones as a rookie, Brooks is working as the Texans' starting right guard during OTAs.

"He looks really good," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Tuesday. "I talk about young players getting better; he's obviously a guy who stands out right now. He's been very good throughout these OTAs. The thing you hope for as a coach when you've all the sudden got a young guy and you say, 'OK. You're the starter,' which is basically what we've done with Brandon, he starts acting like it. And he's done that. He's had a good four days."

Brooks (6-5, 325) was the heaviest player in Texans history after he was drafted. He made a concerted effort to slim down this offseason through healthy eating and a rigorous workout plan. Brooks said in April that he wanted to be able to move better in the Texans' zone blocking scheme, and that he felt "just as strong but a lot quicker" at his svelte new weight.

The second-year guard is teeming with power and athletic ability. Brooks did 36 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and ran a 4.98 40-yard dash at his college pro day last spring.

"The potential is unlimited, it really is," Kubiak said. "He's got so much. The thing is, he's getting comfortable with what we're doing. That's the biggest thing right now. He acts like one of the guys now. He doesn't stand out as a young guy now; he acts like one of the guys. So I'm excited for him."

Brooks played in six games last season, working his way into approximately a 50-50 split at right guard with Jones, a college center at Georgia, by the playoffs.

"I've got to make the most of the opportunity," Brooks said Tuesday. "Keep my weight down, eating right, getting with the coaches, watching film, make sure I know what I'm doing with every play, make sure my technique is right every play. The biggest thing is just being consistent.

"It's very exciting. I'm going to make the most of the opportunity."

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