Yesterday, the Houston Texans released two-time Pro Bowl center Chris Myers. He was scheduled to make $6M in 2015. With Myers’ ties to Gary Kubiak and his history with the Denver Broncos, the team who drafted him in 2005, it makes Dove Valley a very likely landing place for the 33 year old center.
At 6-foot-4, Myers weighs in well under 300 pounds. He doesn’t have the prototypical size for an NFL center, and yet, he’s earned two trips to the league’s all-star game. Myers is the most experienced and accomplished center in the zone blocking scheme in the NFL.
With the Broncos moving from the power system they employed last season to a zone scheme in 2015, Myers is the perfect fit. But last year, he struggled some. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with State of the Texans Publisher, P.D. Starr, to get the Insider’s take on Chris Myers and to ascertain whether the former Pro Bowler still has anything left in the tank.
MHH: Last year, Myers struggled in pass protection, earning a negative grade via Pro Football Focus. What would you attribute to that slip in production? Was it playing in a new system under Bill O'Brien? Or age maybe?
Starr: Myers has always had issues with bigger bodied defensive tackles, and this year seemed to have really caught up to him. Myers is light for a center in the NFL weighing only 286 lbs. and he has been a high functioning center. I would like to say it was O’Brien’s offense, but the majority of the running play were zone plays. I don’t know if the message to the offensive line changed as far as technique, or he had a steep decline. I actually thought he was fine in pass protection. His run blocking was the issue when he could not use his speed and quickness to get to the defender across from him.
MHH: You’ve covered the Texans for a long time. At 33 years old, does Myers still have gas in the tank?
Starr: I think Myers has plenty left. He is in great shape and still moves well for his age. He is a technician and no doubt he could help a team that will base their offense in a zone scheme
MHH: For a 33 year old center, $6M is a steep price to pay. Was money the only reason the Texans released him?
Starr: It was the majority of the reason but I think offensively they were limited in what they could do because the offensive line was best as a zone blocking group, starting with Myers. He is not built for the power game and O’Brien wants that type of offense in his pocket when he wants to use it. Myers will be fine and whomever ends up with him will get a football player that can still produce and even better quality of a person. He will be missed by the organization in Houston and most importantly in the locker room.
After spending some time watching him on film last night, I must concur with P.D. Starr that Chris Myers still has plenty to offer a team, especially a team (like the Broncos) who runs the zone blocking scheme. Myers is smart, quick and has a high motor. His character and locker room persona would also be a welcomed asset in Denver.