‘Has an opportunity in front of him, good kid, nobody is guaranteed anything,’ Nick Caserio on Texans’ Kenyon Green

Offensive lineman, former first-round draft pick has recovered from torn shoulder labrum, surgery

Kenyon Green (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Hard luck and injuries have defined the first two NFL seasons for Texans left offensive guard Kenyon Green.

The former first-round draft pick from Texas A&M missed the entire season last year with a torn labrum in his shoulder that required surgery after dealing with a lot of growing pains as a rookie.

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Green has been working diligently to get healthy and has been working out in the Texans’ offseason conditioning program. He has gotten into much better shape and will have an opportunity to compete for the Texans’ starting left guard job along with other interior linemen, including Kendrick Green and Jarrett Patterson and, possibly, Juice Scruggs if he isn’t lined up at center.

The Texans have noticed Green’s efforts and are encouraged by his progression.

“Yeah, working hard, made progress,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said. “Has an opportunity in front of him [Kenyon Green], so ultimately it’s going to come down to the player and how well they prompt. KG is a good kid. Certainly has an opportunity in front of him. Nobody is guaranteed anything. So, ultimately, it’s going to come down how you perform, you know, when you’re on the field.”

Drafted with the 15th overall pick out of Texas A&M, Green endured a difficult rookie season as he dealt with injuries and was overwhelmed by elite defensive linemen. The former blue-chip recruit from Atascosita underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and missed the entire offseason.

The Texans have invested heavily in the offensive line, including signing Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil to a three-year, $75 million extension to make him the highest paid offensive lineman in the league, signed right tackle Tytus Howard to a three-year, $56 million extension and right guard Shaq Mason to a three-year, $36 million extension

A former Aggies consensus All-American, Green is determined to improve.

“I’m having fun,” Green told KPRC 2 last season. “I’m out here laughing, listening to the music, singing the songs, just getting back to playing my brand of football.”

For Green, it’s a different personal sound track than the difficulties of his rookie season when he had his ups and downs. Green allowed 47 pressures and four sacks in 823 snaps. He had a 37.7 Pro Football Focus blocking grade, a 27.0 pass protection mark for the season, including a season-low 3.6 pass-blocking grade against the Washington Commanders when he struggled to slow down the charge of defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Green gave up two sacks and five pressures in that loss.

So, Green rededicated himself to his craft and set his ambitions on reaching his potential.

“Just rolling with the punches, just continue to push myself and block out the negativity and push for more positive things,” Green said. “Just cutting weight, making sure I’m in great shape. That’s what I’ve really been focused on.”

Of course, Green has heard the criticism. Most of the commentary, he simply blocks it out.

Does it anger or motivate him?

“Nah, I’m just a real nonchalant guy,” Green said. “I’m too laid-back for that.,”

Listed at 6-foot-4, 323 pounds, Green said he has dropped a “fair amount” of weight.

Signed to a four-year, fully guaranteed $15.9 million contract that includes a fifth-year club option, Green was a finalist for the Lombardi award for the Aggies before declaring early for the NFL draft.

“Just technique, technique and just finishing plays, really,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on right now. Technique and finishing plays, hands inside, just trying to be the best player I can be.”

Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.

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