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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Newton's the choice at RT for Texans

By Paul Kuharsky

When the Houston Texans set up a scenario with two-man competitions for right guard and right tackle on their offensive line, I suspected one of the two veteran favorites would lose out.

But I picked the wrong spot.

It’s not rookie Brandon Brooks who’s taken right guard away from Antoine Caldwell. Rather it’s Derek Newton who’s beaten Rashad Butler at right tackle.

“Looking at the body of work, I think it was very, very close, as I told y’all all along,” Gary Kubiak told the Houston press. “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.”

Newton is listed as 2 inches and 11 pounds bigger than Butler, and I think he’s got a chance to fill out even more. I think he’ will wind up more physical than Butler, who told me during OTAs that while he’s comfortable on the right side, he felt more natural at left tackle.

He will be ready should Newton slip, but will otherwise serve to back up left tackle Duane Brown and Newton.

Caldwell is in line to be right guard, but that could be Brooks’ job in a year.