Svelte Brooks working with the first team
The Texans have a new right guard.
Well, actually, Brandon Brooks just looks like a new guy.
The second-year offensive lineman showed up to OTAs last week after losing 25 pounds this offseason. He now weighs 325 pounds and said it has made a difference.
“Physically, I feel a lot better, dropping all that weight,” Brooks said. “I can last a lot longer. The heat’s not a big factor as far as me playing.”
And so far, after one round of OTAs, Brooks has been working with the first team at right guard instead of Ben Jones. Jones began last season as the backup right guard behind Antoine Caldwell. Eventually, Jones won the starting job and Brooks became his backup.
There were plenty of times where Brooks out-played Jones and in the final playoff game, the two split reps 50/50.
“The biggest thing for me was, in the offseason when I got back, because I got back two weeks early, and met with (offensive line coach) Jon Benton every day for at least an hour, to go over every single play I had last year,” Brooks said. “And he would tell me what he would expect out of me, what he’s looking for and how to do it better.”
For now, Brooks has been working with the first team next to veteran Ryan Harris at right tackle. Harris was a rotational player behind Derek Newton last season and signed a one-year deal to return for 2013.
Newton and third-round pick Brennan Williams both couldn’t participate in the first round of OTAs. Both players are dealing with knee injuries.
“We have a lot of things going on right now, but if we have two solid starters that are consistent throughout the course of camp, then that’s the way we’ll go,” head coach Gary Kubiak said about the right side of the offensive line. “But I think with what we went through last year, I think those young guys did a hell of a job.”
Brooks said the biggest difference he’s noticed since shedding the extra weight has been his mobility and endurance. Both have become better.
“The biggest thing for me was just eating right consistently and other than that, just coming out here and working hard,” Brooks said.