Jamison, McClain offer depth on D-line

Jamison, McClain offer depth on D-line
August 19, 2013, 8:45 am
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(USA Today Images)

The Texans’ starting defensive line of J.J. Watt, Earl Mitchell and Antonio Smith might end up being pretty darn good for the Texans in 2013.

But the first two preseason games have offered a peek at the guys who will rotate in after them and some of those guys are looking impressive.

Tim Jamison, who tore his Achilles in a loss to Green Bay last season, reported to training camp ready to play and has been good in the first two games. In the win over the Dolphins on Saturday, he actually started in place of J.J. Watt, who only got two snaps. Jamison played 30 snaps (48 percent), the third-most of any Texan and four more than fellow backup end Jared Crick.

“It’s helped us a great deal because Crick and Timmy are a lot alike,” head coach Gary Kubiak said when asked about the depth Jamison provides. “They can play the nose, they can play the end, they’re both effort players.

“Tim, coming off of an Achilles, the same thing Posey’s coming off of, the thing about Tim, is that from the first day of training camp to right now, it’s been improvement all the time. And Tim’s an effort player so I think he’s getting really close to being 100 percent back to himself. But we’ve been pleased with his progress.”

In the battle for the backup nose tackle behind Mitchell, Terrell McClain has become the frontrunner. In two games, McClain has eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hits.

McClain was the first pick in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Carolina Panthers but was cut on Sept. 2, 2012. At the time he was cut by the Panthers, McClain was the highest drafted player from the 2011 draft class to be cut by his respective team.

But now, he’s making a strong push to make the Texans’ 53-man roster.

“When you talk about some of the guys battling for spots, Terrell McClain for the second week in a row has been a very, very bright spot, not just playing in at nose but showing us some pass rush ability in what he’s doing,” Kubiak said. “It’s your job to go make the football team and boy is he doing his job right now. He’s doing a heckuva job.”

Kubiak said the backup nose tackle battle between McClain, Daniel Muir and David Hunter might be the best battle the Texans have this year.