Houston Texans will have veteran Mike Flanagan or Steve McKinney at center Print
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Monday, 27 August 2007 13:19
NFL Headline News

 HOUSTON (AP) -The Houston Texans haven't decided if Mike Flanagan or Steve McKinney will start at center this year.
But new quarterback Matt Schaub isn't concerned. Either way he'll take snaps from a veteran of more than 100 games.
``They are both experienced guys that have played a long time in this league,'' he said. ``I'm comfortable with either one. They are both hard workers.''
Flanagan joined the Texans last season after 10 years in Green Bay. He started at center in nine games last season, missing two early games with a foot injury and sitting out the last five with cracked ribs.
McKinney, who has been with the Texans since their inception, appeared in all 16 games last season and started six, four at guard and two at center.
He started at center on Saturday against the Cowboys and coach Gary Kubiak was pleased with his work. One advantage for McKinney is he can play both guard and center, while Flanagan is strictly a center.
Kubiak has been encouraged by McKinney's progress this season after struggling with minor injuries in training camp for the last few years.
``He's had a heck of a camp and he's played extremely well both at guard and at center,'' Kubiak said. ``He's come a long way and his body is probably in the best shape since I've been here. So I think that equates to him getting ready to have a good year.''
McKinney agreed.
``I think this is the healthiest I've been in a few years,'' McKinney said. ``I feel good now. I'm ready.''
Flanagan, who has played in 107 games with 73 starts in his 12-year NFL career, said the competition has been difficult at times.
``I proved that I can play in this league. So has Steve,'' Flanagan said. ``For us, obviously, it's a tough deal to go through, but it's a positive thing. For the Texans, it's a win-win either way.''
No matter who eventually wins the starting job, Kubiak expects he'll need both Flanagan, 33, and the 31-year-old McKinney this season.
``History has shown us over the last couple of years with both of those kids that it will be difficult for them to hold up for 16 weeks and play every down,'' he said. ``I hope it happens, but history says it's not. I think we're going to need them both.''
 

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