Newton, drafted in the seventh round in 2011, appeared in 14 games last season but did not start. With the Texans cutting Eric Winston in the offseason, Newton was given the chance to battle veteran Rashad Butler for the starting job at right tackle. After three impressive preseason games, coach Gary Kubiak has decided the job is going to the young tackle.
The competition was close, however, according to Pro Football Talk.
"Looking at the body of work, I think it was very, very close, as I told y'all all along," Kubiak said in comments transcribed and distributed by the team. "I think the thing that has moved this toward Newton is watching his progress, watching where he was the end of last year going to the offseason, going through camp, watching him get better and better and better. Did a good job the other night. Young player that we think's ascending. We know that there's a lot of things he's got to clean up, but we think he's definitely committed to doing that, just like the way he's progressed. So we'll give him an opportunity to do it. Big responsibility but we think he's ready for it."
The Texans are excited about the potential for Newton to be a staple on the offensive line for years to come. The Texans featured one of the best offensive lines in the NFL last season, but have turned over two positions since 2011. Newton will have a lot of pressure to live up to lofty expectations.
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