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Dear Drew: Extended written version
June 22, 2017 05:07 PM | Drew Dougherty


*EDITOR'S NOTE: Drew Dougherty answered a few fan questions in the video above. But he didn't stop there. In the article below he answered some more. Enjoy, and please look both ways before you cross a busy street.

Yung Merchant: Dear Drew, How healthy is J.J. Watt?
DD: Healthy as a horse. He said last week, multiple times, that his back felt "great". He put a lot of time into rehabbing it correctly, and was able to participate in OTAs and training camp with his teamamtes.

Ralph Colesio
: Dear Drew, Who do you think will be our starting center this season?
DD: Nick Martin. And that speaks very highly of the second-year lineman, because Greg Mancz started 16 games last year and missed a grand total of one offensive snap in that time. Martin injured his leg last year during training camp and spent the season on injured reserve. But he was back for OTAs and minicamp and able to go. If he indeed is the starter at center, the Texans have mightily upgraded their depth on the interior of the line, because Mancz played pretty well in 2016.



Antonio Perez Junior: Dear Drew, What are your thoughts on Duane Brown? Do you think he'll ever leave us anytime soon?
DD: Brown's the best offensive lineman in franchise history, the best lineman currently on the 90-man roster, and no, I don't think he'll leave anytime soon. What matters most of all is whether or not he suits up with the squad in Week 1 at home against the Jaguars, and I'm pretty sure you'll see him holding down the left side that day. He's always been great at staying in shape and I think this will all work itself out.

Phillip Cerrillo
: Dear Drew, Have you been to Matagorda? We will show you how to fish.
DD: Thanks Phillip, but I've never been. I'd love to. I know how to fish. Just had a little trouble getting the hook in a couple, few, seven Croaker we used as bait.

Matt Brawley
: Dear Drew, Have you had any contact with the Russian Ambassador?
DD: Nyet. Only Ambassadors I deal with are Texans Ambassadors. The Chester Pitts, Wade Smiths and J.J. Moseses of the world, if you will.

Doug Emison
: Dear Drew when will the Texans going to have open practices at camp for the fans and when will they have the tickets available.
DD: I apologize for not having a lot of concrete info, but I know this: the team will be back in Houston in late August for a few practices, and the free tickets will be made available a few days before that. The organization is still working out the final details.



Kyle Parker: Dear Drew, What happened to RB Jonathan Grimes? Was he signed by any team this offseason?
DD: He's still an unsigned free agent. Grimes isn't with any team right now, but I think that will likely change in August, if not sooner. He was a productive back when called upon last season, and very reliable and smart.

Joseph Tinney
: Dear Drew, What are some of the benefits that the Texans will have with training camp in West Virginia?
DD: Head coach Bill O'Brien and the players have repeatedly cited a pair of benefits from going to The Greenbrier in West Virginia: the time away will strengthen the camaraderie of the squad, and they won't get battered physically by the oppressive heat and humidity of Houston. O'Brien said he noticed a lot of positive things from the Texans' summer trips to Denver in 2014, Richmond in 2015 and Santa Clara last year. Those trips were each just a few days long. The Texans will be in White Sulphur Springs for about three weeks, where the average daily high temperature is 82 degrees.



Kevin Stone: Dear Drew, what impact do you think the veteran presence of Eric Decker will have on the Titans offense this year since they tied us at 9-7 last year? Is he a matchup issue for Kareem or Kevin?
DD: If he's healthy and not hindered by the shoulder injury that kept out of 13 games last year, Decker is a nice addition to any team. As far as the Texans secondary, I think they'll be fine. The more intriguing matchup will be the Titans offensive line against Houston's front 7. That'll affect the Tennessee passing game more than any WR/DB matchup, in my opinion.

John Martinez
: Dear Drew, with Watt coming back and Clowney getting into his prime and Whitney being underrated, how disruptive do you see the three headed monsters being, sack-wise?
DD: Between the three of them, I think a combined 30 to 35 sacks isn't unreasonable.

Patrick Deadend Green
: Dear Drew: Do you think D'Onta Foreman will be the number 2 running back this year?
DD: It wouldn't surprise me, but it might not be as soon as this year. There's a chance Alfred Blue, who's been the second back since 2014, could remain in that role as Foreman adjusts from college to the NFL.



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