Eric Winston

Eric Winston Update

The way we hear it, the Texans are pleased with what they have seen of rookie ORT Eric Winston, but they believe his future is inside because of his relatively short arms.


Winston set for first NFL start

HOUSTON - The first time Houston Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston started in college it was at tight end. So his first NFL start will likely be quite a bit different.

Winston is set to start at right tackle in place of Zach Wiegert, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The rookie played tight end throughout high school and in his first year at Miami, but soon outgrew the position and was moved to tackle the next season.

The 6-foot-7, 310-pound player was chosen in the third round of the draft and has appeared in five games this season. Winston and coaches agree that he's improved a lot since arriving in Houston.

"I've grown by leaps and bounds," Winston said. "It's amazing. Looking back on four games ago and then the start of the season and the start of training camp, I think I've come a long way and I think I've really progressed well. I've really put myself in a good position to go out there and play well."

A little jab does trick with game on the line - Weary, Winston lead way for Gado on 4th-and-inches

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. - It's a simple play with a simple goal and a simple name: 12 jab.

After the Texans ran the ball to pick up a crucial first down on fourth-and-less-than-a-foot from their 41 with 1:40 left in the game Sunday, offensive tackle Zach Weigert took to calling it the "Fred Weary Special." It was special indeed after a 13-10 victory.

"As an offensive lineman, you want the game on your shoulders in a situation like that," said Weary, the Texans' right guard, who led the way on Samkon Gado's plunge. "It hasn't been that way for the offensive line for the past four years, so we're starting to get a little walk about us.

Eric Winston Update

WINSTON'S WORK: Kubiak said he's been impressed with rookie Eric Winston's work ethic this season.

He hasn't played much so far while adjusting to the NFL, but could be pushed into service because of injuries.

"It's game day every day for Eric out here," Kubiak said. "He takes every snap of offense and he takes scout team. He plays left, he plays right. He's going through about three seasons, so it's going to be very beneficial for him."

Rookie left tackle Charles Spencer was the starter before breaking his leg in Week 2 and Ephraim Salaam has filled in since. But Salaam is struggling with minor nagging injuries.

"Before this year is out he's going to play a lot of football at some point," Kubiak said of Winston. "Ephraim is basically, barely could walk during the week, and is playing for us. If he's playing well and can hold up he's going to play, but there's going to be a point where Eric is going to go out there and get a lot of snaps."


Can Eric Winston break the Texans left tackle jinx?

All the talk radio this week has been about David Carr's poor showing against the Titans. He's starting against the Giants despite Sage Rosenfels poised performance in relief.

Coaches either have revolving door quarterback philosophies or they don't, and Gary Kubiak seems to have a great deal of respect for how difficult it is to be consistent week to week at the that position. (Already talked about that, we'll see how that works out).

Though the quarterback position is the one that gets the most focus, I am particularly interested in what is happening on the offensive line. The 2006 Texans draft class has played a lot of minutes for the team, with the exception of Eric Winston, who has mostly come in during injury situations.

Questions once rose about tackle Winston's wingspan

Coach Gary Kubiak said one of the criticisms of offensive tackle Eric Winston going into the draft was the length of his arms. Typically, left tackles in the NFL have longer arms than Winston. Because of that, Kubiak said the team has considered moving Winston inside to guard.

"If you're looking for the prototypical tackle, his arms don't have that type of length," Kubiak said. "But he has played well out there. We've talked about moving him inside, but we've got to give him a chance to be a tackle first."

Winston said he never heard any complaints about his arms until he joined the Texans. The 6-7, 310 pound rookie said he's trying not to dwell on it. As his playing time increases, he wants to show he can play tackle.

Winston's time to shine - Injuries at tackle create window of opportunity for Texans rookie

Offensive tackle Eric Winston was in street clothes when five of the rookies he was drafted with in April started in the Texans' season opener.

In the first two months of the season, rookies Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Owen Daniels, Wali Lundy and Charles Spencer emerged as future faces of the franchise. Winston was a side note, placed on the inactive list in three of the first four weeks.

Winston's importance to the Texans likely will change this month as he starts to figure into a regular rotation with ailing veteran tackles Ephraim Salaam (ankle, knee, ribs) and Zach Wiegert (knee). Spencer, the opening-day starter at left tackle, suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2.


Eric Winston Update

(on T Eric Winston’s progress) “He’s making a lot of progress, and one of the things that’s helping is we’ve kind of changed our routine with Zach (Wiegert) a little bit. Zach doesn’t really practice on Wednesday. We make (T) Eric (Winston) and (G Brad) Bedell take all the reps. The only way those guys get better is if they get the reps, and we feel confident in Zach being ready to play on game day. So we chose to go that way, and it looks like it’s helped Eric get better.”


Eric Winston Update

The ugly brawl during the Miami-Florida International game on Saturday bothered Texans rookie offensive tackle Eric Winston more than most. Winston, a native of Midland, played for the Hurricanes the past four years.

"I'm sure FIU was trying to make some kind of statement," said Winston, who made his pro debut last Sunday against the Cowboys, playing right tackle in the fourth quarter. "Emotions are going to run high. The big thing is when something like that happens, you have to do everything you can to not let it spread.

"There is a fine line. You have to protect your guys out there. That doesn't mean swinging helmets."

Winston defended embattled Hurricanes coach Larry Coker.

"I think he's a great guy," Winston said. "You don't run across many coaches who genuinely care about you, care about your grades, care about your family. He doesn't get a lot of recognition for how hard he is on guys, suspending players for the Florida State game for not getting all their hours in at study hall. They've been off the police blotter.

"People forget they were yelling for Butch Davis' job in '98. Now everybody's mad he left. They've got a lot of short term memory down there."


Eric Winston Update

The Houston Texans may have lost defensive tackle Seth Payne for the season after he tore a ligament in his right knee early in the fourth quarter of a 34-6 loss at Dallas. Two other Houston starters, safety Glenn Earl and offensive tackle Zach Wiegert, also left after being hurt.
Earl left with a strained neck, while Wiegert sprained his left knee. Neither injury was considered serious, coach Gary Kubiak said. Wiegert's replacement, Eric Winston, dislocated his finger but played through the injury.

Winston to be active

For the first time this season, rookie offensive tackle Eric Winston will be activated for a game.

When rookie left tackle
Charles Spencer was lost for the season because of a broken leg, backup Ephraim Salaam was elevated to replace him. Now Winston, who was picked second in the third round behind Spencer, will back up both tackle positions.

"He's the swing tackle," coach
Gary Kubiak said. "We made that decision during the bye. It's a lot for him to handle, but for the future of the team, we've got to find out where he is and how far he can come."

At some point, possibly next season, the coaches expect Spencer and Winston to be the starting tackles.


Eric Winston Update

(on who will fill the spot on the line with T Spencer out):

“You know, we have to talk through that, but right now the best thing for the team is to get (T Eric) Winston going.  It’s a tough role to ask a young player like that to be a swing guy on game day and know two spots.  But for the future of the football tea, we need to do that with that young man.  So we’ll put him in a tough situation, but I’m sure he’ll respond to it.  Hell, he’s a good kid.  He’s been working hard.  But for the future of the team, and to get better, we need to bring him a long, so I think he’s the guy to do that.  We also have to look around and decide, do we bring in a young tackle here or do we go find another veteran guy.  We have to go make that decision, but we definitely have to go get another player here pretty quick.”

Winston Update

The Texans will also figure out how best to use rookie Eric Winston, who was chosen one pick behind Spencer in the draft. He'll likely be the backup to both tackle positions.

"The best thing for the team right now is to get Winston going," Kubiak said. "It's a tough role to ask a young player like that to be a swing guy on game day and know two spots. But for the future of this football team we need to do that. We'll put him in a tough situation, but I'm sure he'll respond to it."

Kubiak said he will add another tackle to the team in the next couple of days to fill Spencer's roster spot when he is placed on the injured reserve.


Eric Winston Update

Rookie Eric Winston, who was the second pick in the third round behind Spencer, will replace Salaam as the swing tackle who backs up both positions.

Winston Update

Rookie Eric Winston, chosen one spot behind Spencer in the third round, was never in danger of being cut because he has too much potential. Kubiak also said he thinks Winston can play either tackle or even move inside to guard.

Eric Winston's Journalln camp with the Texans and ready for the next step

To say the last couple months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement.
From the day I was drafted by the Houston Texans to now has been nothing but a fast paced ride that doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon.

During May and June, over about a six week period, I participated in Organized Team Activities or what all the players call OTA's. It's essentially 19 practices in helmets that lead into camp. Our OTA's were combined with our mini camps, which are the exact same things, it's just some teams structure their schedule different than others.