Protecting Deshaun Watson has been at the top of the Texans to-do list this offseason. Within 24 hours of the start of the new league year, the team fortified its offensive line with a trio of free agent signings.
“We have a young quarterback that we feel has a promising future,” general manager Brian Gaine said Thursday. “We had to make a good, strong commitment to the offensive line. That was certainly something we worked on here through the winter.”
Three of Houston’s first four free agents signed have been offensive lineman: C/G Zach Fulton, T Seantrel Henderson and G Senio Kelemete. With Watson returning as the full-fledged starting quarterback, the Texans are looking to add not only depth, but to sign players who bring versatility and can play multiple positions. During his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, Fulton lined up at all three interior spots on the offensive line. Henderson played both right and left tackle with the Bills, while former Saint Kelemete not only started at center and both guard positions, but also lined up as a jumbo tight end.
“We feel like we’ve been able to upgrade the offensive line with the players that we added here today, but we’re not done just yet,” Gaine said. “It’s not just the offensive line. We’re going to continue to work to put weapons around Deshaun (Watson) – not just on the offensive line, but if it’s perimeter players, if it’s tight ends, if it’s backs, if it’s more offensive linemen. We’re going to continue to do that to try to put everything in place to help Deshaun be successful on Sundays.”
Last year, the Texan offensive line had seven different starting combinations. Injuries played a major factor in the o-line shuffling as Xavier Su’a-Filo and Breno Giacomini were the only two players who started every game at their respective positions, left guard and right tackle.