Right tackle Eric Winston answered fan questions about how the offensive line will try to contain Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): How much cut blocking do you do in games and how do you practice it since it can injure your teammates? (Jose Hasapes)
Eric Winston: First of all, cut blocking is not a dirty technique or it's not a technique that's used to hurt people. People see it coming, and it's just either they've got to get out of the way or they have to try to play off of the cut. Either way, to us, it's beneficial. So, that's first. But I probably cut, I would say, 40 percent of the plays - anything away from me and anything that's an outside zone, so anything that's wide and outside and away from me that I've got free reign to cut on. So, anything that's tight I don't cut on and we practice it by basically holding up two dummies with a pad underneath and we just practice getting out of our stance from either a depth or from right on the line and cutting it and falling into the pad.
Brooke Bentley: Since your record does not reflect the team's improvement, how do you motivate yourself to continue to perform at a high level? Is it harder than when you had a good record, like in college? (Jose Hasapes)
Eric Winston: Well, losing's always tough I think. If you're a competitor, whether you're coming from a winning program or a losing program, it's always tough to swallow. We put a lot of effort in during the week. So, it's tough to come up short on Sundays. But, we go out there and we just keep fighting. That's what it's all about. We know what kind of talent this team has and even though our record doesn't show it, we know where we're going. No one's lost sight of our goals through the long term, and I think that's what's important.
Brooke Bentley: How would you grade the how offensive line has performed so far this season? (Anonymous fan)
Eric Winston: Throughout the whole season? I'd give us a B. I'd say we've done pretty well. I think we struggled a little early on in some pass pro. Duane (Brown), starting off as a rookie, left tackle is the hardest position. I think it might be the hardest position for any rookie, other than quarterback, the left tackle is the hardest position to play as a rookie. First of all, you're going against the best rusher every game and, as a rookie, you have nothing to base it off of. So, you're learning on the go against the best of the best. So, that's tough. I think we've steadily improved and that's what we're looking for. I think early in the season, the run blocking and the zone scheme, we were still in the learning phase. I think once we hit about Week 3 or 4, you really saw it start moving up and I think the pass blocking has come along with it."
Brooke Bentley: Eric, I admired your work at Miami. At least one of the draft gurus had you rated as the second left tackle in the draft. Only D'Brickshaw Ferguson was ranked ahead of you. I was excited when the Texans drafted you; however, I was surprised when you ended up at right tackle. Your footwork has always looked good. Do you think that you would be a good fit at left tackle? (Wally, West Columbia)
Eric Winston: Well, I'd do whatever the team needed me to do. It looks like I'm probably going to be destined to be a right tackle. It was tough for me early on. I had only played left after moving from tight end and I felt really discoordinated playing right tackle from left. You have to use the totally different side of your body. You're posting with your opposite foot, you're kicking with your opposite foot and you're punching with your opposite hand from left to right. So, it's tough and the guys that do it a lot, guys like Ephraim (Salaam) and guys around the league that are swing tackles and have to do that, are very talented. It is a tough skill to be as good on each side and you don't find too many guys that are like that. I'm probably destined to stay as a right tackle for the rest of my career. But who knows, if some injuries came up and their needed to be some reshuffling, I'm sure they would probably look at me for a second.
Brooke Bentley: The Brown's tackle Shaun Rogers looks nasty. How are you guys going to neutralize him? (Anonymous fan)
Eric Winston: Yeah, Chris (Myers) has got his hands full. Everyone just has to help a little bit. Everyone has got to be aware of where he is. I think everyone needs to know where 92 is going to be on the field and just give that little extra help. Chris is a good player. He'll be able to hold his own, but we're just going to mix it up. Try to give him a bunch of different looks; try to get after him - just play hard and play the way we play. I think our scheme lends to a lot of success for us and gives us a lot of leeway to make plays. So, we're going to go out there and just give them everything we have. But he's a good player and we have to control him.