After Houston Texans center Nick Martin got injured, the team turned to Greg Mancz to fill the void left by Martin, which is something that can be overwhelming for a lot of young players. After winning the AFC South last season, the Texans are trying to do better this year and advance past the Wild Card round. However, with a healthy Andrew Luck returning for the Indianapolis Colts, and a much improved Tennessee and Jacksonville, the AFC South is very much up for grabs according to NFL expert picks.
While Mancz wasn’t expecting to start this year, he is ready to whatever he can to help the team win games. To avoid being overwhelmed by the pressure and responsibility that comes with his new job, Mancz said he is listening to the best piece of advice he has gotten so far, which is to take a deep breath.
Mancz wasn’t expecting to start at center for the Texans this year, but he will be ready to when the season begins because he got many reps at the position during preseason because of injuries to players on the offensive line.
In Houston’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Mancz played in 41 percent of the offensive snaps and did very well.
According to sources, Martin is going to be out for at least four months, which means Mancz will have an opportunity to audition for the role of starting center if he plays well in Martin’s absence. Despite the reports about Martin being out for the season, head coach Bill O’Brien said he wouldn’t discuss the player’s status until he speaks with his doctor.
Last season, the offensive line was a problem for the Texans, which is why the team tried to address the problem through the draft. With Martin likely out for the season, the team will have to sign a backup just in case Mancz gets injured as well.
Last season, Mancz played in only three games for the Texans before suffering an injury that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season. With Martin out, Mancz is the only center with experience they have, and with the injury issues he had last year, it makes sense for the team to have some type of insurance in case he suffers another season ending injury.
Mancz told reporters that he is more comfortable with the team’s playbook and credited the veteran linemen on the team for making it easier for him to adjust. Mancz said Chris Clark, who has been in the league for a while, knows what he is doing and has offered him some good advice. He also credited Clark for getting the other offensive linemen in the right frame of mind before games.
Kendall Lamm, who is roommates with Mancz, credits Mancz or being a quick study that is always willing to learn and try new things. Lamm said he tries to make sure that he and Mancz are on the same page on the field, which helps them play better.
Despite the confidence shown to him by his coaches and peers, Mancz said he knows he still has a lot to learn, and he is working hard every day to prove his supporters right.
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