HOUSTON—Texans’ Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown is arguably the best left tackle in the business. Brown isn’t one to rest on his laurels though, so this summer he’s working extra hard to get better and tougher.
It’s that drive to get better each day that made him a pro bowler and it’s why Big Duane is putting up his dukes in the gym.
“Something I really want to emphasize this year is my hand placement, just working my hands more in pass protection, and this is something that helps me out a lot,” said Brown. “Keeping your hands up and keeping them up and making you quicker. Just hitting what you see and not being so lazy. In boxing you can’t be lazy at all, or you’ll get knocked out.”
His trainer knows about knockouts - he’s Frank Tate, an Olympic gold medal winner. Tate said when Brown walked through the door of Hank’s Gym two months ago, he was already lean, Tate just wants to add some mean to his game.
“I can help him with his hand speed and his hand-eye coordination,” said Tate. “Getting off that line and blocking two guys at one time. It might sound impossible, but he can do it.”
At Hank’s boxing gym there is no air conditioning. Sweat is flying everywhere and the workouts can be exhausting.
”It’s very humbling, haha. You have three rounds of every exercise for three minutes and those three minutes seem like an eternity,” said the former first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech. “It’s great for your cardio too. It’s one of the most physically demanding sports that I’ve ever trained for.”
Training camp is less than three weeks away, so will he try some sparring before then?
“Not right now. I haven’t reached that level yet where I would feel comfortable enough to get in the ring and spar. Maybe one day,” he said.
Oh, so he has to protect his “pretty” face?
“Absolutely, gotta protect the money maker!” Brown said with a laugh.