|National Football League|
Rookie Brooks a big presence on Houston o-line
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON (AP) Listed at 346 pounds, Houston rookie guard Brandon Brooks outweighs anyone else on the team and is the heaviest player to ever suit up for the Texans.
Houston normally favors offensive linemen who are a bit smaller than the third-round pick, though they have said they don't see his size as a hindrance and insist he can do everything they want him to do.
Still, coach Gary Kubiak was unhappy with the player after he showed up to Tuesday's minicamp heavier than he was in their last workout.
"I did not like what I saw today," Kubiak said. "He's overweight and he's got to get down. But he's got a chance to be a good player."
Some outsiders questioned Houston's decision to draft the Miami, Ohio, star because most of the Texans' linemen weigh closer to 300 pounds than 350.
"With his size and stuff, there's been talk about that he's not our type of guy," Kubiak said. "That's bull ... he may not look like some of the guys we've played with before, but he's just as athletic, so he's done a good job."
Brooks knows he has to think about his waistline and said he's trying to eat more salads instead of "eating junk food all the time."
"I've got to make sure I stay under control with my weight," he said. "I don't want it to get too high."
He believes that if he plays the right way, pretty soon people will stop worrying about his weight.
"I just make sure that the angles I take to make my blocks are proper and I think by focusing on my technique that will eliminate how heavy I am," he said. "I can still get (to my blocks)."
The Texans are counting on Brooks to develop quickly with the loss of veteran offensive linemen Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel in free agency. Antoine Caldwell is penciled in as the starting right guard to replace Brisiel, who started 13 games for the Texans in 2011 before signing with the Raiders this offseason. But Brooks has already worked with the first team some and will certainly push Caldwell, who appeared in just five games last season.
"I see flashes that he's capable of being a starter in this League," Kubiak said of Brooks. "He's got a great opportunity. He's out there going head-to-head with (Caldwell) every day. It will be interesting to see how he does once we put the pads on."
Though Brooks weighs a lot, he carries it better than some players of his size because of his muscular 6-foot-5 frame. He's always been interested in weight lifting and staying in shape in part because his father Robert Brooks was a bodybuilder when the younger Brooks was a child.
"Growing up every boy wants to be just like their dad and I started lifting weights from an early age and it continues to help me to this day," he said, adding that he began lifting weights at age seven or eight.
When he was younger, his father's fitness level seemed normal to him, but looking back the things he was doing probably shaped his approach to fitness.
"(He was) just like any other father except that he's curling close to 225," Brooks said with a smile. "That's what I was used to seeing."
The transition to the NFL has been easier for Brooks because he played in a zone blocking scheme similar to the one Houston uses in college. But his head has still been swimming as he's tried to learn his new playbook.
"My playbook in college was like a magazine compared to the playbook here," he said. "So I've just been spending extra time and getting here an hour or two early to watch film and go over the playbook and that has really helped me out so far."
Updated June 12, 2012