Duane Brown (Getty Images)
Duane Brown’s first weekend in the NFL was a busy one, as Houston’s first-round pick became a multi-millionaire on Friday morning, then immediately got to work as the Texans training camp began.
Brown commented on his newfound wealth—
“It’s a blessing man. It is more money than I’ve ever seen in my life so I’m just trying to take care of it.”
When asked what his initial purchase would be, Brown responded, “I got a house. Had to get a house, but I don’t know what is next.”
The signing of his deal was almost certainly the highlight of Brown’s young career, and possibly his entire life, as his financial security for the foreseeable future was ensured. Texans owner Bob McNair spoke about the importance of having his first-round pick signed in time for training camp—
“It’s important for him to be out there. So, Rick (Smith) and Chris (Olsen) worked very hard and through the night. They recognize the importance of it and they weren’t going to let the agent walk away until they worked a deal done. That’s important and it will pay dividends for (Duane) Brown. These youngsters they can’t miss training camp. Once they get behind, it’s really tough to catch up.”
Brown, his agent, and the Texans procrastinated about as long as they could’ve before camp began, as Brown’s deal wasn’t officially done until early Friday morning.
“We got it done early this morning but it took some time for him to sign and stuff,” said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. “He’s the only guy I’ve ever seen sign a contract with his ankles taped. But we got him out here and we had a portion of the practice with him. It was a great job by GM Rick Smith and (Director of Football Administration) Chris (Olsen), you know they got all those guys signed.”
Following Brown’s deal was the first training camp practice of his career, and the rookie from Virginia Tech was given immediate respect by his new head coach, as he worked with the starters on the offensive line.
“Yeah, he’ll work with the first group, said Gary Kubiak. “We have a long way to go before we play Pittsburgh and who’s out there opening day. But he’ll continue to work with that group and (T) Ephraim Salaam and (T) Rashad Butler will push the heck out of those two tackles that we have. So, we’ll see what happens.”
When asked if being a starter was his goal, Brown answered judiciously—
“No, I am not worried about that. I am just here to work hard and soak up as much as I can and to see where it puts me.”
Brown seemed to be flattered by the reception he’s received from everyone in the Texans organization—
“It makes me feel real good to have the older guys on my side. And that they are here to help me out and comfort me throughout things. I appreciate them a lot.”
The beginning of Duane Brown’s tenure in Houston has been a near dream sequence, as he signed his deal just in time for the start of camp, and was immediately propelled to the top of Houston’s depth chart. Hopefully for the Texans, it’s a sign of things to come.