There has been plenty of discussion regarding the new Houston Texans center Greg Mancz and that he had been tasked with replacing draft pick Nick Martin. Martin has been ruled out although Bill O’Brien has not yet ruled him out for the season, contrary to other reports around the NFL.
Who exactly is Greg Mancz?
For starters, he was considered a mid- to late-round prospect coming out of the University of Toledo, playing both guard and moving to center his final season in school. He started all four seasons, 51 consecutive games on the offensive line, garnering Freshman All-American Honors, All-MAC honors, and 2nd Team All-American honors during his Senior season. He also was the recipient of the 2014 Vern Smith Leadership Award, given annually to the MAC’s top player.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/texans/story/1699453-houston-texans-end-camp-10...After finishing up at Toledo, Mancz entered the draft and was set to participate in the East West Shrine game. However, on the second day of practice, he tore the labrum in his shoulder. His injury caused him to slide out of the draft and into the hands of the Texans. Mancz was offered contracts by many other NFL teams to sign as a rookie free agent, but he signed with the Texans based on their depth chart at the time as, in 2015, the team did not draft an offensive lineman.
When Mancz arrived to Houston, he did not participate in mini-camps and OTAs because he was still recovering from the surgery to repair his torn labrum. He did not officially suit up for the Texans until training camp of his rookie season. During that time, he played both guard and center, which was a big plus given the versatility Bill O’Brien seeks from his players.
Making the initial 53-man roster when training camp broke, Mancz was active three games before injuring his knee in practice in late October.
Much like last season, Mancz arrived to mini-camps and OTAs rehabbing an injury, this time his knee. He arrived to camp as the Texans primary back up at center and, when Nick Martin missed time with a back and now ankle injury, Mancz has been inserted into the starting center spot.
Mancz is pretty clear on the work he has to do now penciled in as the team’s starting center.
“I still need to improve everything, and really a lot of it was sort of getting back into the mix of things,” explained Mancz. “I’ve got to improve everything, and every day, I just try to improve a few things.”
Focused on what is ahead of him, he is depending on the offensive linemen around him and, most importantly, Brock Osweiler. Mancz has started the past two preseason games and worked primarily with the first offensive group, which looks to continue this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals.
“The nice part is we’ve had a lot of time to practice together,” said Mancz on his time with the offense. “We’ve had a lot of practices so we’re building it and we have some great guys who are out there and have played a lot of football. So, I trust them. I’m just trying to earn their trust back.”
There will be some bumps along the road but it will fall on Mancz to take charge of a position that needs to be one of the most plugged in on the field, calling out protections and understanding what the defense wants to do. His resume is impressive entering the league but all of that is out the window as he enters his second season with the Texans.
Mancz continues to soak in advice and he is taking it all in to get ready for the season.