It took a single practice and one preseason game for outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett to make his presence felt for the Houston Texans. Although unable to hit the field for the first two weeks of camp, when Scarlett finally made it onto the turf he made an instant impact, putting himself in the discussion to make the final 53-man roster. Despite his limited participation, he has made the most of his early time on the field at outside linebacker.
“I’m just doing what I can, you know?” said Scarlett. “When my number is called I perform the best I can.”
Slowed by a hamstring issue, Scarlett watched and waited but Bill O’Brien liked the work he put in against the New Orleans Saints.
“He got out there and ran around. It was good. He did some decent things. Good to be out there on the field. He has a long way to go, though. We think he has a chance to be a decent player, but he missed a bunch of time with a hamstring. He has a long way to go,” explained O’Brien.
With the top three outside linebackers already known, Scarlett is now in the forefront to round out the roster moving forward. The impact he made in his short amount of time plus his ability to be both a run stopper and pass rusher off the edge have quickly elevated his stature. At one of the more valuable positions on the roster, Scarlett has a chance to make a solid transition to outside linebacker. He has taken to watching the trio in front of him every day and learned the position with mental reps.
“I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be able to look up to those guys,” said Scarlett. “They have a lot of experience and make a lot of good plays. Just to be able to take their technique and use it for myself is a blessing.”
Also, depending on linebacker coach Mike Vrabel and trusting his coaching on the field has paid off and now with the clock ticking, Scarlett knows he can’t waste any time.
“Injury or no injury, I want to make plays whenever I get the opportunity,” he continued. “But it’s just taking the mental reps and really paying attention in meetings so when my time does come I can be prepared and be ready to go.”
His next task is to put together another solid week of practice and put it to work against the Arizona Cardinals in week 3 of the preseason. Staying active off the edge is his primary goal and, with a position for the taking on the depth chart, Scarlett is now the defender to watch for the group moving forward.
“It’s important,” said Scarlett of the Cardinals. “The next game is always the most important game.”