General manager Brian Gaine addressed the national media from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Gaine did not get into any contractual details, but did offer insight on players still on the roster as well as those entering free agency. Now in his second year as general manager, Gaine also addressed draft evaluation with questions involving offensive tackles and cornerbacks from the media.
Here are the big headlines from Gaine's Thursday press conference.
- Now entering free agency, Jadeveon Clowney, Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu are all key contributors on the Texans defense. The goal is to keep core players intact, according to Gaine, but those contract conversations are underway and will continue into free agency. As for his thoughts on franchise tags, Gaine said they are certainly an option, but not a priority.
- Gaine was optimistic about cornerback Aaron Colvin entering his second season as a Texans. Signed last year as a free agent, Colvin missed six games with an injury. Gaine is hoping Year 2 provides "more dividends" for the veteran.
- The Texans like the composition of their current running backs group. Lamar Miller is still the starter, according to Gaine, especially after putting up 973 yards rushing and five rushing touchdowns last year. Second-year back D'Onta Forman has impressed in the passing game and should be more productive now that he has returned from the Achilles injury.
- This year's NFL Draft will be deep when it comes to offensive tackles, both left and right as well as starters and backups. Free agency will be less so. Gaine also addressed current offensive lineman on the roster: Julién Davenport, Seantrel Henderson and Martinas Rankin. Gaine is hoping for more growth from Davenport in his third season and optimistic that Henderson will be the Texans starting right tackle in 2019. Henderson suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the Week 1 opener at New England, but was re-signed this offseason. Rankin has "long-term upside" and versatility as well as a great opportunity to compete for a starting job in his second season.
- As long as he is with the Texans, Gaine vows to continue to build a team that supports Deshaun Watson and helps him be successful on the field, whether it's offensive line or even on defense.
"He (Watson) certainly is a centerpiece in terms of how we want to build our team and it's a focal point of we want to build the roster," Gaine said.
The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine continues at Lucas Oil Stadium through Monday, March 4.