Texans OL coach explains why Senio Kelemete is starting over Max Scharping

Mark Lane
·2 min read

The Houston Texans were returning the same five starters across the offensive line for the first time since 2011, but they ultimately have a different starting five.

The result isn’t due to injury that the Texans are starting Senio Kelemete at left guard in place of Max Scharping. Instead, the offensive coaches believe that Scharping didn’t take a step forward 2020 and have decided to go with the proven veteran at left guard.

“I think as we look at this crazy year, one of the things that occurred I think with a lot of second-year players, and first-year players, because you know how important it is from your first to your second year and that development, I think that time missed in the spring and training camp and everything else that we did, basically when he came back, I did not see the jump or the leap that you would expect from a guy that played 14 games,” offensive line coach Mike Devlin said.

According to Devlin, Kelemete was “more productive in all facets to date,” which is why the club stopped splitting time between the two, a work around that had been in place from Weeks 2-3, and decided to give Kelemete the starting job in Week 4.

“Senio has done a good job coming in and really working well with [left tackle Laremy Tunsil] in terms of the pass protection in some of the games, things along those lines,” offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said. “We’re going to look for those guys to get healed up, get rejuvenated over this week, come back and improve on the areas that we’re going to ask them to improve upon. They come in every week, they bust their tails, they play hard, try to play physical. In that area we’re pleased with that.”

Even though there doesn’t appear to be a place for Scharping along the starting five, Devlin wouldn’t rule out going back to the former 2019 second-round pick.

Said Devlin: “I think we’re going to need all of our linemen in this type of year. He’s working towards it. We talked about the goals to get back. He’s steadily been working towards that. I do anticipate him getting in. I do anticipate guys having to play this year. I’m hoping that he takes those goals and runs with it and shows that improvement from last year.”

Currently, Scharping is on COVID reserve as he tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Oct. 28. In any event, the Texans would have to rely on Kelemete.

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