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Texans Impressed With Rookie Starting Center Jimmy Morrissey

As the Texans continue to improve their roster, they are finding improvement in unlikely places

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans rookie center Jimmy Morrissey held his own during his NFL starting debut against the Miami Dolphins, a validation of him maintaining his starting status Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

The Texans acquired Morrissey off the Las Vegas Raiders' practice squad primarily because of veteran center Justin Britt's knee injury that forced him to be placed on injured reserve.

They also see potential in the Raiders' seventh-round draft pick from Pitt where he was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, a four-time all-academic selection, and a 47-game starter named the Burlsworth Trophy winner. That goes to the most outstanding college football player who began their career as a walk-on.

“I’ll tell you what, he’s jumped in there and done a heck of a job for us," Texans coach David Culley said of Morrissey. "He’s a very smart kid. He hasn’t had a bunch of playing time, but he went in there and upheld his end very, very well in the last game, making calls and doing all those types of things. We’re very comfortable with him in there.”

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Morrissey is a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder who was an All Catholic League and All-City selection in Philadelphia who chose to be a preferred walk-on at Pitt over scholarship offers from Lehigh, Bucknell, and Colgate.

“Jimmy's been great," quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. "I wouldn’t say outspoken, just a confident guy. He’s confident in his ability. He’s picked up the offense in the short time that he’s been here. He’s going out there and he’s competing, can’t ask for anything more. 

"A guy that’s competing and knowledge of the things we are putting in each week. Each week he gets the chance to gain experience and he’ll continue to step up to the challenge each week.”