The key player in maintaining the success and health of their franchise quarterback, Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil is aiming to improve.
“My main goal is to fix the penalties I had last year,” Tunsil said, via the team website. “That was one of the main things I wanted to work on and work with Deshaun (Watson) this offseason.”
Tunsil solidified a Texans offensive line that made life easier for QB Deshaun Watson, allowing 44 sacks in 2019 compared to the 62 sustained the year prior. Only three of those sacks last year were allowed by Tunsil, who posted the fifth-best pass blocking grade of any O-lineman last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Tunsil went on to make his first Pro Bowl after one season in Houston.
Yet, Tunsil’s glaring issue was his league-leading 14 false start penalties in 2019.
“He’s been in the system now for a year,” General manager/Head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Last year when the trade took place, he really didn’t have a whole lot of time to get ready for – whether it’s everything from the cadence to obviously his own assignment and then working with the other guys up front.”
The Texans spent two first-round picks in order to acquire Tunsil from the Dolphins last offseason, and spent even more to keep him after signing the 26-year-old to a three-year, $66 million extension this past April. Tunsil’s arrival in Houston came just eight days before the start of their regular season, which may explain some of the communication issues on the field.
“To know the whole package to know the whole offense and see him work and see him get healthy – it’s been incredible,” Watson said. “We’ve built that chemistry off the field as more than just being a teammate, as a brother. I know he’s going to have another, even better season this year.”
A closer bond between the two will only help the Texans, who enter 2020 as the defending AFC South champions. Now with a full offseason under his belt in Houston, Tunsil’s motivation to improve on his penalties will tie up loose ends and clear up unforced errors that marred what was a rather successful debut for the Texans.
“Moral of the story is just I want to improve,” Tunsil said. “I want to keep improving every year that I have. I’m going into my fifth year. I want it to be just one of the best seasons I ever had. Like, when I go into my sixth year, I want it to be one of the best seasons I’ve ever had. It’s just keep improving and keep doing things to help the team.”
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