Assistant Offensive Line Coach Scott Peters (1.11.24)

I know a lot of the focus when they talk about Texans defensive line is the two edge rushers who may or may not play. I mean, I know they didn’t practice, but what about the others? What makes the rest of that? Because it seems like they get a decent, do a decent job of also getting interior pass rush, at least when you look at the numbers.

“Yeah, they’re a great rush unit, I think, across the board. And not only (Maliek) Collins and (Sheldon) Rankins, and their excellent interior rushers, so they create a lot of pressure themselves. The edge rushers are excellent, too, but their depth is all good, too. So the issue there is whether no one knows who’s playing, but we expect all of them to play. But if they don’t, it doesn’t alleviate any stress on our end because they’re backup players who they play all year and they’ve produced. They’re good players across the board, very good rushers.”


I know we talked about Geron (Christian) and James (Hudson) last time you were in here, but have you seen them make strides since they’ve really settled into the starting roles? 

“Yeah, definitely. I think they’ve had a chance to reflect each week and make adjustments and improvements, and they’re both good pros, and I think they’re definitely addressing things that they maybe were doing incorrectly early on, and they still know that it’s a perpetual process. But I think that we’re happy with the way that they at least approach the process.”


How different is it for James (Hudson)? Early in his career, he didn’t know if he was going to play, when he was going to play. How different is it for him that he kind of gets to prepare every single week knowing he’s going to be out there? 

“It’s good. I mean, if you’re a swing tackle, you’re a backup tackle, and you’re young, you don’t realize how quickly you could find yourself in the starting lineup or at least coming into play. So, the mental piece of that is definitely challenging for guys coming off the bench, but with time and his maturity, he understands that’s the case. So, he was doing a good job prior to taking on the starting role of prepping each week for every opponent, understanding the game plan, really understanding his assignments, also his technique on both sides and as well as other roles he had at the muscle tight end position. But now he’s able to lock in and focus one spot, which is always helpful because you can kind of narrow your focus a little bit.”


This next bit of mentality that the guys have talked about all season really started with the core group in week one and everything. How have you just seen them as a unit, really embody that mentality and really kind of take it from a cliche in football to something that truly is like who they are as a group? 

“I think with coach (Bill) Callahan, he’s always said there are no backups in the league. There are no backups because everybody’s going to know, everybody is going to play. That was something that he said to the group from day one. And so even if you’re a guy that’s maybe on the practice squad or you’re in a role that you’re not getting the reps, you have to lock in mentally. So, I think that’s always been emphasized. They’re talked to the same. They’re treated the same in every way in terms of what they have to do from a skill set perspective. So, I think that mindset going into the season has been beneficial because now it’s like, hey, we weren’t just talking. This is how it goes sometimes. And that’s true across the league, obviously, with injuries, but it’s even more true now that the guys experience it. But the good thing is, I think with that adversity at least, there’s always been a level of preparation going on with the guys that weren’t in the starting role.”


Joel (Bitonio) mentioned yesterday how he feels like he’s still hurting because of the bumps and bruises of the during the season, but he said he feels as good as he’s felt in a while. How big was just that week last week of kind of resting and not having to go through the grind of a Sunday game. How beneficial, really beneficial is that for especially a guy like him? 

“I couldn’t tell you exactly how he’s feeling. I know he said he’s feeling better, which is great. I think you get a chance. It’s a long season, obviously, and for Joel, it’s been a long career. You have, obviously, to be able to get up for each game, but then you have a chance to take a breather. I think it’s just your body. ‘Whoa. Like, this is good. I can get a little more recovery.’ So I think for him, it’s been excellent. ”


Going back to the next man up thing, when you’re in the middle of it, can you even tell that it’s kind of amazing that you’re down to whatever your fourth and fifth tackle, yet you’re still pass protecting well, you’re still winning games. You’re going for 300-plus yards. You make the playoffs. Can you appreciate that? That’s an unusual accomplishment. 

“No one here is feeling like we’re doing a good enough job. And I think that the standard has not changed. So regardless of who’s in there, the standard is the standard and the guys understand what we expect. So, I think plugging a new guy in there, these are all the same techniques, these are the expectations. And here’s where you were wrong – I don’t know if anybody gets an opportunity to reflect and feel pretty good about anything because you’re actually just looking at the things that we need to improve on and maybe that’s a good way to do it. But I think in the end it’s the NFL and so even the guys on the other side that they’re backups, the margin of difference in players is small. I think it’s experience exposure. So how fast can you ramp those guys up to get them the experience that they need so they can operate in your system.”





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