Cody White was lost for the season and Brandon Brooks has yet to step on the field for training camp with an undisclosed injury which has thinned out the Houston Texans offense line. The Texans are looking to find stability within the interior of their offensive line and may have found some depth with second year offensive guard Alex Kupper.
Kupper arrived in Houston in 2013 as a free agent rookie out of Louisville and spent time on the 53 man roster but was inactive for the last five weeks of
Fast forward to 2014 where Kupper has been pushed into a bigger role due to the injuries and the inexperience of rookie Xavier Su’a-Filo. Ben Jones is the
only veteran healthy at the moment for the guard position, the Texans are moving quickly to get Kupper ready for a bigger role.
Kupper has the opportunity to solidify his spot on this team and it has come to light with his recent work with the first team since training camp opened.
“Everybody has to take a step forward. Nothing is different with me and I have to take a step forward.” Kupper continued, “I have been put in a position
where I can get a lot of reps with ones and everything. I just have to take advantage of it.”
The second year player in Kupper has taken advantage of his reps and has been a pleasant surprise for the offensive line. Kupper can provide some key depth
until Brooks is ready for a return, but he has leaned on two veterans that play next to him in Derek Newton and Chris Myers to become better at his
“Their (Newton and Myers) veteran leadership is definitely key with a new guy coming in.” Kupper explained. “I just have to mold to them because they have
been doing it a lot longer than I have. Just fill in wherever they need me so I can be a part of the five.”
His addition to the starting offensive line has not been too big of step for him and he has stood out when the pads were put on. He has moved defensive
lineman when needed with his run blocking and held his own in pass blocking. He has attributed his early success to Bill O’Brien’s preparation that he
expects from his players and Kupper has bought in.
“Coach (Bill) O’Brien is big on situational football. Just being alert on certain down and distances and looking for certain things.”
Kupper has taken advantage of the his increased playing time and looks like he is becoming a key depth piece for the 2014 season.