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Texans Rookie Center Impresses Quarterback and Coaches

Nick Martin

The Houston Texans have had a fascinating offseason and are hoping the changes they made in the offseason will lead them back into the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Last year, the team finished 9-7 but was eliminated in the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs, thanks to Brian Hoyer’s numerous interceptions. This year, they are hoping to make a deeper playoff run, but the team’s fate rests in the hands of a few unproven players. With a healthy Andrew Luck returning to the Colts, NFL expert picks have the Colts winning the AFC South, but the Texans can prevent that from happening if things go their way this season.

After imploding during the playoffs last year, the Texans moved on from Brian Hoyer and signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler. The young quarterback has a lot of potential, but he has started only seven games in his career, so there are no guarantees that he is the quarterback of the future.

Osweiler won’t have to do it all by himself because he has Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins to throw the ball to. Last Season, Hopkins shined in the offense after the team got rid of future Hall of Famer Andre Johnson, and he will be trying to improve on what was a very impressive year considering the caliber of quarterbacks that were throwing to him last year.

Three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt will be counted on to lead the defense, but Watt recently underwent surgery, and it is unclear if he will be ready to go by the time the season starts. However, the Texans defense wasn’t their biggest concern last year, which is why head coach Bill O’Brien has spent a lot of time trying to fix the team’s offense.

One of the most significant differences Texans fans will notice this year is the absence of running back Arian Foster. The former Pro Bowler was released during the offseason to save the team some cap space. When Foster was healthy, he was one of the best-running backs in the NFL. However, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the past three seasons, which is why the team decided to part ways with him.

One of the players that the Texans are most impressed with so far is rookie center Nick Martin. The rookie, who was selected in the second round of the draft has been one of the team’s hardest workers during the offseason.

O’Brien believes that Martin is a smart, hardworking player, and thinks he will likely earn the starting job when the season begins. Martin took advantage of the fact that the team let starting center Ben Jones leave via free agency, and according to his coaches, the former Notre Dame center has been working hard to earn the starters job.

The Texans signed free agent Tony Bergstrom to replace Jones, but the rookie has looked better in practice that Bergstrom, who is a career backup player.

With his older brother Zach playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Martin knows what it takes to make it in the NFL, and seems poised to be the team’s long-term center if he maintains his current attitude and determination.

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