Center Chris Myers re-signed on Saturday morning, but the Texans will have two new starting offensive linemen in 2012. Right guard Mike Brisiel signed with the Oakland Raiders on Friday, and right tackle Eric Winston was released on Tuesday.
Waiting to step in are Antoine Caldwell at right guard and Rashad Butler at right tackle. Caldwell, a third-round draft pick in 2009, has started 13 games at right guard in three seasons. Butler, who has been with the Texans since 2007, started four games for suspended left tackle Duane Brown in 2010.
“I think they’ve both played tremendous when they get in, and I think that they’re ready for the challenge,” Myers said on Saturday. “I’m anxious to see how it’s going to pan out. I’ve got the utmost faith and confidence in ‘em.”
Myers thinks Caldwell and Butler could make a smooth transition into the starting lineup, although, as he pointed out, “you’ll never know until it gets down into the season time, when they’re playing week in and week out.” How quickly they establish chemistry with the rest of the line will be critical — Brisiel started 47 games with the Texans, Winston 87.
“Obviously, they’ve got big shoes to fill, and I think Antoine and Rashad know that,” Myers said. “They have plenty of playing experience, so it’s going to be something they’re un-familiar to. They’re very familiar with the system and they’re very familiar with the offense and the guys around them. So it’s going to be kind of an easy stepping-stone.
“I don’t think it’s [like] a situation when we have someone brand new coming in here. It’s going to be a lot easier for them to get the transition going to be the starters week in and week out than it would be to have a free agent coming in here or a rookie coming in here and learning everything.”
Tags: Antoine Caldwell, Chris Myers, Eric Winston, Free agency, Mike Brisiel, Rashad Butler
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