TE Billy Miller caught a season-high four passes for 42 yards and his
first touchdown in more than a year during the Texans' come-from-behind
31-21 victory over the Titans. To say Miller had been frustrated
grabbing just seven receptions this season before Sunday would be an
understatement. "To be honest, early on (in the season) I might have
said something," Miller said. "But it got to the point where whatever
they asked me to do, I did. It kept going on and on and nothing was
changing. I figured if the ball eventually comes to me, I'll make the
plays." Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said the Texans never forgot
about Miller, who led the team in receptions with 51 in 2002. Palmer's
approach regarding his tight end had more to do with Derick Armstrong's
development as a threat than a slip in Miller's abilities. The game
plan: Using four wide receivers gives the Texans a better matchup with
Armstrong's speed and catching ability. "What we've done is tried to
identify a role for each and every player," Palmer said. "As our team
gets better, the role of each and every guy kind of changes."
TE Alge Crumpler has caught 19 passes in the past four games. In the
first of those, on Oct. 31 at Denver, he caught a career-high seven
passes. On Nov. 14 against the Bucs, he had a career-high 118 receiving
yards. On Nov. 21, he caught two touchdowns, a career first, in a win
over the Giants. And against the Saints, he caught the game-winning
pass, a 20-yarder with 1:22 left. Crumpler caught four passes for 103 yards.
San Francisco 49ers
TE Eric Johnson returned to his role as the team's main offensive threat
with seven receptions for 57 yards. He has caught 65 passes for 684
yards this season.
TE Brett Pierce was inactive in favor of fifth-round pick Sean Ryan, who
was called up from the practice squad on Wednesday.
TE Erron Kinney caught two early touchdown passes from Steve McNair, the
first two-touchdown day of his career.
TE Brian Jones, a rookie, caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Byron Leftwich in the second quarter against Minnesota. He has caught five
passes this year.
H-back Chris Cooley caught seven passes for 31 yards, his best game of
the season. His 2-yard scoring reception in the third quarter meant that
he has scored Washington's only touchdowns in the past three games.
Tight Ends Making Impact
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