Derek Newton is the new right tackle in Houston


After the Texans surprisingly cut right tackle Eric Winston in the offseason, it was assumed that veteran Rashad Butler, acquired in 2007 on waivers from the Panthers, would get the job.

Assume again.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Monday that Derek Newton, a seventh-round pick in 2011, has won the spot at the top of the depth chart.

“Looking at the body of work, I think it was very, very close, as I told y’all all along,” Kubiak said in comments transcribed and distributed by the team.  “I think the thing that has moved this toward Newton is watching his progress, watching where he was the end of last year going to the offseason, going through camp, watching him get better and better and better.  Did a good job the other night.  Young player that we think’s ascending.  We know that there’s a lot of things he’s got to clean up, but we think he’s definitely committed to doing that, just like the way he’s progressed.  So we’ll give him an opportunity to do it.  Big responsibility but we think he’s ready for it.”

Kubiak credited offensive line coach John Benton for developing the team’s linemen.  “He’s taken, you go back to [Mike)]Brisiel, free agent, we go get Chris [Myers], [Benton] comes in here and Chris becomes a Pro Bowl center.  Wade [Smith] coming in here as a free agent.  Some of the work that John has done since his stay here in Houston has been exceptional.”

“This is a big opportunity for me,” a smiling Newton said.  “Coming from a small school, two years of high school [football].  Coming from a small town, not many people make it, but the grind, it was tough.  I had a lot of friends [and] a lot of family support back home and they helped me get through it.”

The Texans have extra-high hopes for Newton, who appeared in 14 regular-season games as a rookie, with no starts.

“We watch him play each week and we just see things that give him a chance to be a great player, not just a good player,” Kubiak said.

The Texans had one of the best offensive lines in football last season, blowing open running lanes with a zone-blocking scheme and protecting the quarterback in a West Coast passing attack that often rolls the quarterback out.  This year, 40 percent of that line is being replaced.

6 responses to “Derek Newton is the new right tackle in Houston

  1. Great. Twelve days away from our season opener and the right side of the line is still unsettled. Kubiak and his coach speak appears to be in mid-season form, however.

    The Houston media is glossing over some major concerns, the least of which is our OL. Keeping Schaub healthy is atop the Texans’ priority list. Will he survive to play 16? Let’s just say there’s a reason Newton was picked in round seven.

  2. Yes a 7th round pick in 2011.

    Oilman, the reason Newton won the starting job is because he is the better at pass protection. I’m not worried about the O line, they just need to jell a little.

  3. Oilman989: You’re concerned because Newton was a 7th round pick? What round was Foster taken in? Newton has been better, and the O-line will be fine. It took a lot of guts to make the moves that the Texans made in the offseason. Let’s give our boys the benefit of the doubt. The biggest concern should be the 2nd receiver spot. We all saw what happened when Andre went down. The season will come down to Andre staying healthy, and Martin and Jean living up to the expectations. If Andre goes 16 games, watch out. I haven’t been this excited about a season since the Oilers in ’92. Gonna be fun!

  4. texanssince2002: Of course there are exceptions; Foster, Priest Holmes (UDFA as well) and yes, the NFL draft IS an inexact science. But making a change this close to the start of the season speaks volumes about management’s confidence – or lack thereof – in the right side of the OL. Something tell’s me R. Smith will be watching the waiver wire very closely.

    And while I agree that the WR position is the primary area of concern (Dre’s health and no legit #2, as you mentioned) my “fear factor” number is equally elevated with respect to special teams. I hope the best for the Texans, but youth and inexperience will trump a strong postseason run.

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