When the Houston Texans wrapped up their preseason victory, the coaching staff showed that they are understanding what their personnel is able to do. Look no further than what the offense did with WR Keshawn Martin.
Martin was a player who lacked confidence since he arrived in 2012 when he was drafted. He was plagued by dropped passes and a staff who tried to use him
in an offense that did not use a slot wide receiver like other teams in the NFL do. Enter Bill O’Brien who has brought an offense that uses receivers
specifically for the slot position.
On Saturday night, Martin was given a chance to use his skill set that made him successful at Michigan State. A player who is able to create in space and
make players miss, Martin was able to continue building upon being the team’s best punt and kick returner on the roster. Totaling 114 all purpose yards
against the Falcons, Martin showed how much he has matured over a summer.
Head Coach Bill O’Brien is taking notice of Martin, “He’s one of the most improved players on our team from the time we arrived here until now.”
Martin did his best work on Saturday night during a broken play where he got behind the cornerback to give Ryan Fitzpatrick room to work as he broke
outside the pocket. 31 yards later, Martin’s awareness allowed the Texans to get a key first down, extending an impressive drive capped off with a 8 yard
touchdown pass to DeVier Posey.
His value for the team is growing every week during training camp as the Texans staff is taking notice. Martin was used in three consecutive plays in which
he ran the ball and made defenders miss to show how he can be used in this offense.
Martin is also growing into an asset due to his ability to play both the outside and slot wide receiver positions in the offense. He has lined up in all
over the field for the offense and has been developing a good on-field relationship with Fitzpatrick.
O’Brien expanded on the value of Martin for the Texans:
“Obviously he’s a special teams kick returner, punt returner, and then we’ve played him at all the spots offensively in the receiver position. We’ve played
him on the outside, we’ve played him on the inside, and he’s improved a great deal and last night I thought he played a good football game and he just
needs to keep getting better and better because he can help us.”
Keshawn Martin came into the season as a possible bubble player for the Texans, but his early production and value have appeared to lock him into a roster
spot for the season.