Brooks Reed lined up at inside linebacker on Monday as the Texans started OTAs.
Reed's move might be permanent. It might be temporary. It might full-time. It might be part-time. For now, the Texans are giving him as many reps as possible at the new position while they look at Bryan Braman and rookies Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams in Reed's usual outside linebacker position on the strong side.
"I think the most important thing right now is that we get these young guys in position to rep," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Brooks is repping inside right now, so that lets Sam and Trevardo rep with the first and second groups and Braman rep with the first group, so I think right now the key is that we just get them all going. We can settle them down. Brooks can always move, but we wanted to make sure these young guys stayed in one spot so we could really evaluate them."
With Brian Cushing sitting out of OTAs because of a knee injury, Darryl Sharpton lined up at inside linebacker next to Reed on Monday. Whitney Mercilus, the Texans' 2012 first-round pick out of Illinois, lined up as the starting outside linebacker on the weak side. Braman got a lot of first-team reps on the strong side. Williams, a fourth-round pick from Connecticut, and Montgomery, a third-round pick from LSU, also worked into the defensive rotation.
"It's going to change from day to day, but we know that Brooks can line up outside and play tomorrow if we opened the season, so we're very concerned about getting him his reps inside from that standpoint," Kubiak said.
Reed played some inside linebacker late last season as the Texans dealt with the loss of Cushing and several other injuries at the position. Kubiak said Reed also got "a bunch of" ILB reps during Phase Two of the Texans' offseason program over the last three weeks.
"I'm not 100 percent switching positions, but I'm trying to learn another position," Reed said. "It's coming along. I've been in the playbook a lot, picking up little things.
"I like it, and I hope they keep me there, but it doesn't really matter where they put me – at SAM or middle. I'll do both to the best of my ability."
A second-round pick out of Arizona in 2011, Reed said Texans coaches have told him to "be prepared for either way" as far as whether he'll play inside or outside.
"It all kind of depends on what these new draftees do, so we'll see," Reed said. "It's just a matter of time."