Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Brooks Reed (58) during pre-game warmups before the season opener against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Houston Texans Roster Battles to Watch

There are still major questions to sift through for the Houston Texans roster.  What are some pending battles to watch carefully in the coming months?

Quarterback:  Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Tom Savage

There is no question at all that the position holding the keys to the future of the Houston Texans in 2014 is quarterback, which is why many fans are concerned despite the hefty upgrades on defense.  At present veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is the favorite to start but all eyes are fixed on 4th round pick Tom Savage, a highly talented but raw prospect out of Pittsburgh.  Their pending battle for the starting job could decide the ceiling of the 2014 Texans.

Left Guard:  Ben Jones vs. Xavier Su’a-Filo

While not horrible last season the offensive line was not the dominant unit it’s been in the past for Houston.  That is why the brass chose to add top tier guard Xavier Su’a-Filo out of UCLA.  He is among the most polished, powerful and pro-ready players in his class and has the ability to start right away.  His only competition is Ben Jones who has played with the team for two years and started a game last season.  If Su’a-Filo can’t beat him out, that will certainly open some eyes.

Defensive Tackle:  Jerrell Powe vs. Louis Nix III

Nose tackle wasn’t a crucial position under Wade Phillips but it should be for Romeo Crennel.  That would explain why the Houston Texans traded up in the 3rd round to snatch Notre Dame standout Louis Nix.  He was rated as the best nose tackle in his class but some shaky issues with his knee dealt a blow to his draft stock.  He will have to prove he can withstand the rigors of the starting job by beating out Jerrell Powe, a free agent pickup from Kansas City with intriguing dimensions but limited experience.

Inside Linebacker:  Brooks Reed vs. Jeff Tarpinian

The arrival of Jadeveon Clowney has fortified the outside linebacker position for Houston and it has jumbled up the depth chart at the same time.  Brooks Reed, who played on the outside with decent but limited success is expected to shift to inside linebacker where it’s hoped his athletic ability will make a better fit.  He enters a wide open competition with fellow veteran Jeff Tarpinian who played well after coming over from New England.  Each will battle for the right to slide next to Brian Cushing.

Tags: Brooks Reed Houston Texans Louis Nix III Ryan Fitzpatrick Tom Savage Xavier Su'a-filo

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