NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.
Offensive tackle, Houston Texans
Born: Aug. 30, 1985
Experience: Nine NFL seasons
I don't want to put a number on it. But [I want to play] at least three to five more years.
As a line, there are a few factors that come into play [when you constantly change quarterbacks]. Every quarterback has a different cadence, and they are distinct in their own ways. For me, I always try to know the depth of their drops. Some quarterbacks are 5-foot-11 to 6-feet tall, so their depth isn't as deep as say Brock Osweiler, who's 6-8. I try to get a feel for that and where they are in the pocket. ... Just having a feel for someone and their game and even in the leadership aspect. Having rotating pieces there, it affects you a little bit.
Yeah, I was surprised [by the Osweiler trade]. But you stay in this league long enough and you know anything can happen. I wasn't expecting it.
I was intrigued by [the possibility of playing with Tony Romo]. I've been in the league a while, and I have a lot of respect for him and what he's accomplished. He's a great quarterback. Hearing the rumors of what could have been, you're intrigued by playing with that kind of talent. But again, I'm still confident in the guys we have.
Tom [Savage] may not have a ton of experience, but he's been in the system learning a lot. He has the tools. He has a big-time arm, he's a tall guy who can move and has the right demeanor. I think time will only tell with experience, but I have a lot of confidence in him. I like him as a person. He works hard, so I'm looking forward to blocking for him.
The motto that we always have is, "Every year is different." You can't rest on what you did the year before. Other teams might look at us as, Those are the guys we gotta knock down. But people who have played, you never carry the AFC South title with you the next season. Teams are always improving and always trying to get better.
Every week is a dogfight in the AFC South. You just come to expect that year in and year out.
Our defense did everything they could do to win for us [last year]. I think offensively we have to continue to be more consistent. We have a lot of talent on that side of the ball. We need to play more consistent, finish games and play four all quarters. I think in a lot games where we got in trouble we had one great half and a half that wasn't so good.
We've been knocking on the door for a while now, and I'm looking forward to taking the next step.
We're very thin at the [offensive tackle] position.Derek Newton took a big, big hit last year and it's going to take a while for him to recover from that. Chris Clark stepped in and did a good job, but even with us two, we still have a lot of young guys. Kendall Lamm is a young guy who's been playing, but there's still some inexperience there and we're very thin. Drafting a guy there would be good. They can come in and contribute, and I'll do my best as a veteran to groom him and bring him along.
It's hell but it's very beneficial. Going against the Defensive Player of the Year like J.J. [Watt] and [Jadeveon] Clowney and Whitney [Mercilus], who are [second-team] All-Pro now, they all bring very unique challenges. J.J. is somebody who is 290 pounds, strong but really fast and quick. Clowney runs like a deer and can get up on you in a hurry. He's young, so he's going all the time. Whitney is someone with a ton of moves. There's just so much talent over there that you never have a play off [in practice]. At the same time, I have confidence in my abilities, so we battle a lot. It sharpens you and I don't know too many people in the league who have the luxury of seeing those kind of guys in practice every day.
We've got some of the best athletes in the world, and they get paid a lot of money to get after the quarterback. You're on an island and you get guys like J.J., Clowney, Von Miller, Khalil Mack and even guys who aren't as well-known still have a lot of talent. It's a passing league now, so you're assigned to those guys every week. The hardest part about [being a tackle] is you can go 40 plays without him sniffing the quarterback. Then you give up one, and that's the one everybody remembers. You want to keep those blemishes off your record as much as possible.
The best place to eat in Houston is Killen's Barbecue. That's my go-to. It's amazing.
I have a pretty healthy diet. My breakfasts are pretty big. I cook about eight to 10 hard-boiled eggs, potatoes and sausage every morning. I eat a lot of lean burgers, like buffalo and bison burgers, and a lot of fish -- salmon or tuna -- and a steak every now and then. It's a lot of calories.
That's a tough question, man. Obviously, being in Houston, I'm a huge fan of James Harden and the Rockets. I think Harden has had an insane season, and the Rockets are more talented than the Thunder as a whole. If Harden was on a less talented team, he could average or put up the numbers that Russell Westbrook put up. But Westbrook put up the numbers and averages a triple-double. Some people say he padded his stats, but I'm like no one stopped him from doing it. People still had to stop him every night and couldn't do it. I can't go against Harden, though. I just can't, so I'm going to say Harden [should be the NBA's MVP]. But if Westbrook wins it, he's more than deserving of it.
I think from a marketing standpoint, [the NFL] is so different because of social media. It's not as hard core as it used to be. With the rules and everything in place now, it made it a little bit different. Other than that, it's the same [as it was when I came into the league].
I'd tell my rookie self to watch more film and be more proactive about injuries and recovery. I never got massages, never got in a cold tub, barely stretched.