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Kubiak on Left Tackle: “They’re a Special Breed”

The Houston Texans and HC Gary Kubiak know a thing about left tackles: they’re hard to come by. From the Casserly-Capers era to the Smith-Kubiak era, the Texans have shot and missed on every starting left tackle. For the Texans’ inaugural season, they selected Tony Boselli in their 2002 Expansion Draft. Boselli was made out to be a savior left tackle to bring protection to the Texans’ future first round pick, David Carr. That plan failed as Boselli dealt with frequent knee and shoulder injuries. He never played a down for the Texans. In that inaugural season, the Texans allowed an NFL-record 76 sacks on ex-QB David Carr. In 2005, he was sacked 68 times.

The curse began and continued as the Texans have been searching for a LT to protect their QB. Since their first season the Texans have started Chester Pitts (2002-2003 and currently LG), Seth Wand (2004 and no longer part of the team), Victor Riley (2005 and no longer part of the team), and Charles Spencer (2006 and injured then to today), and current LT Ephraim Salaam (picked up to back up Spencer & now starter). What luck? Yeah right. Thus you understand the Texans’ have yet to find a starting left tackle to protect their quarterback against the likes of Colts’ DE Dwight Freeney, Titans’ DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and the Jaguars’ lineup of versatile defensive ends.

And that brings me to the Meagan Manfull of the Houston Chronicle’s words with Texans HC Gary Kubiak. Kubiak explained that finding a starting LT isn’t easy, “I think the thing about left tackle is that that is a ‘must’ position in this league. You’ve got to protect your quarterback; you’ve got to protect your franchise, so to speak. And those guys are hard — hard — to find. I mean, they don’t fall off of trees. You don’t make one. They’re a special breed.”

Kubiak knows left tackle is an important position, but that doesn’t mean he’ll reach for a player who might be a bust. “There are some very good tackles out there,” Kubiak said. “But at the same time, if you as an organization go and reach on a kid because you need that position, you can make a big mistake. So we’ve got to prepare for this draft for every position, just like we always have.”

And on protecting QB Matt Schaub against the likes of Freeney and VandenBosch, “You better be damn good at protecting the quarterback.” Kubiak knows what he wants, let’s just hope Spencer can heal or Smithiak find our future LT in this year’s draft.


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