The Houston Texans, despite their obvious weekly improvement from their offensive line, still have one more piece of that puzzle to solve. And that would be who will be the team’s starting center on Week One. The principals in this case would be incumbent Mike Flanagan and veteran Steve McKinney. According to Megan Manfull of the Houston Chronicle, the competition for the opening is too close to call even at this latter stage of the preseason.
Flanagan told the Post, “It would be tough. But I think I’m in a situation where â€” I hope it doesn’t go this way â€” but if it turns out that Steve is the guy, Steve can play. And so I don’t want to say it’s an easy pill to swallow, but I’m confident in what Steve can do.” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak says that he hopes to have a decision on who will be the starting center no later than Saturday, September 1 (after the first practice after the preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
This poses what seems (at least to me) to be a pleasant dilemna for the Texans. Between Flanagan and McKinney, you have 203 starts so you know they have been there and done that. They’re both relatively healthy as well which makes the decision that much more difficult. If the season were to start today, I would predict that McKinney would get the nod at center, all things being equal. But as close as the competition is, that can change on a weekly basis. Regardless, it is a “win-win” situation for the Texans.