From the Coach's Eyes: Charles Omenihu's Confidence and Versatility Is the Right Combination for the Houston Texans

Patrick D. Starr

Rookie defensive lineman Charles Omenihu is someone that the Houston Texans have high hopes for as a player. Omenihu has been a bright spot for a Texans defensive line looking for an interior presence to rush the passer but play the run. 

Omenihu's long frame allows the Texans to play him in the defensive front, and he has made big plays through seven games. His ability to push the pocket has helped others produce off the edges. Still, Omenihu has been able to make game-changing plays when needed. 

His biggest play came in the Texans win over the Kansas City Chiefs in week six when he sacked Patrick Mahomes, causing a fumble and setting up the offense for a key touchdown to flip the game. 

Defensive lineman during the O'Brien era has had to work to get on the field as rookies. Many times, it would take them a season or more to finally get into the rotations. Omenihu appears to be one of the few that have broken that cycle of getting on the field as a rookie. 

Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver has had a view of Omenihu since his arrival to Houston and discussed his growth as a player to this point. 

"The thing about Charles is he certainly doesn't lack confidence," Weaver explained. "So, we're always trying to rein him in a little bit, just getting them to understand that it's a team game. It's always a team concept, and you work within the scheme, your production will come. With him again, he's going to make plays, he has the utmost confidence in himself, and as he grows and matures as a player, he's only going to get even better."

Omenihu's length and power have let the Texans use him both inside and on the edges of the defensive line. Weaver likes Omenihu's versatility. 

"The versatility allows us to play him more than a guy that you say is just a one-trick pony," Weaver continued. "That guy doesn't find as many reps, particularly as a rookie. So his versatility definitely gives him more playing time."

Omeninhu is only nine weeks into his first season in the NFL, and Weaver knows how to push buttons with his player. Weaver knows the talent is there for Omeinhu, and he has to continue to work to reach his potential.  

"He's got a lot of growing up to do," Weaver said of Omenihu as a pro. "He's obviously helping us, but he is a rookie man. We can't. You can't love these rookies too much."

Weaver is hard on his rookies but knows Omenihu has put in the work to earn his playing time and expects more from his pupil. 

 "He deserves it," Weaver said of Omenihu on the field as a rookie. "You know he's smart tough dependable, he puts in the work, but he's a rookie, and that's the only love he's getting from me."

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