Thursday, September 12, 2013
What latest Freeney battle taught Brown
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- There is something to be said for a guy who recognizes he struggled in a game and wants to learn from it.
Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown faced the San Diego Chargers edition of Dwight Freeney, and the defensive end was every bit as good as Brown remembers. Perhaps even better.
"The thing about the left-tackle position is your technique is everything," Brown said. "You can be the most gifted athlete, you can be the strongest, you can be the fastest, but if your technique isn't good, a player like that can make you pay for it -- and that's what happened on a few plays Monday night. That will make me perfect my technique. Going against a guy like that, and there are other guys in the league where you have to be sound and disciplined in your technique. It's something I learned from going forward and will improve on."
In the official game book, Freeney was credited with half a sack and three quarterback hurries. Pro Football Focus gave Brown its lowest rating of any tackle in Week 1 . PFF also said Brown rated third-lowest on pass-blocking. He got better as the game went on, but also faced a high volume of passing situations, which put Freeney at an advantage. Brown is one of the best in the league at his position. And so is Freeney.
"I don't know if it's that he's rejuvenated being on a new team, but that's the best that I've seen him in a couple years," said Brown, plenty familiar with Freeney from Freeney's time with AFC South rival Indianapolis. "Also being the first game, he's fresh. There's a lot that plays into it. But he definitely looked pretty good out there."
I asked Brown if the fact that it was the first game of the season might have affected his own technique.
"Monday night on the road, your adrenaline's going, your nerves get going," Brown said. "I think that played a little bit into it. I think I was thinking too much. And I paid for it on some plays. The main thing is that I was able to settle down and did what I had to do in order for us to execute on those last few drives."