Su’a-Filo signs, gets back on practice field

Su’a-Filo signs, gets back on practice field
June 17, 2014, 12:30 pm
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When many people become millionaires, they stop working. For Xavier Su’a-Filo, it’s almost the exact opposite.

On Tuesday, the Texans’ second-round draft pick signed his rookie deal worth nearly $4 million in guaranteed money, according to reports. He also finally got back onto the practice field after missing all 10 days of the team’s Organized Team Activities.

Su’a-Filo, the guard from UCLA, was the final draft pick to sign with the Texans. All 10 are now signed.

“It felt good. It was great,” Su’a-Filo said about his contract. “I’ve never done it before so, first time. First contract they say is special but I’m glad it’s done and over with and I’m happy to be a part of the team.”

Su’a-Filo missed the 10 days of OTAs because of an NFL rule that prohibits players from schools who operate on a quarters system – like UCLA – to participate before the end of finals.

“That’s hard,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Through no fault of his own he’s had to miss some time because of the quarters system at UCLA. But he’s, like I said a few weeks ago, he’s a guy that in the draft, the preparation for the draft, we were impressed with his intelligence, his work ethic, his team-first attitude. I think just watching him today, you could tell that he had done some studying on his own while he was away. That was a good sign and he’s got to be able to continue to do it.”

While away, Su’a-Filo studied the playbook on his iPad and watched film. He spent the few weeks in California and Utah and if he had a question, he called offensive line coach Paul Dunn.  

“I was just anxious,” he said. “It’s different studying the iPad and watching the film than actually being here. I think that I was just anxious and excited and couldn’t wait to get back here.”

Su’a-Filo tried to work out on his own while he was away and thought he was in pretty good shape upon his return. He also doesn’t think his time away left him too far behind. He said he needs to stay diligent and rely on the veteran offensive linemen in the locker room.

O’Brien previously said the team had a plan in place to keep Su’a-Filo up to date with the playbook even while he wasn’t able to physically be with the team in Houston.

“I just think that before they drafted me,” Su’a-Filo said, “Coach O’Brien and Mr. (Rick) Smith knew that I was in the quarters system and they were confident that I would do my job well while I was away to be able to catch back up when I did come back.”