It was a discussion that occurred throughout the offseason on what exactly the Texans would do at the tight end position. The Houston Texans ended speculation by confirming that they will continue to lean on familiar faces for their tight end position into the 2016 season. Entering the off season, many felt the Texans were headed to remake the tight end position after another year of uneventful production for the position.
Bill O’Brien and the Texans front office went into this off season with the confidence that Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fieodorwicz were going to make a good enough jump heading into this year. The Texans did not sign a free agent or draft a rookie to ensure an immediate change on the horizon; instead the team is backing two veterans who need to make a significant jump.
Griffin is currently rehabbing his achillies and is expected to be ready for training camp, leaving plenty of reps on the field during OTAs for C.J. Fiedorowicz, Eric Tomlinson, Anthony Denham and rookie Stephen Anderson. The group is broken down into three types of tight ends and O’Brien explained each.
Tight Ends Descriptions per Bill O’Brien
- Y tight end - (Fiedorowicz, Tomlinson) Good blocker against the edge of the defense and can help in the passing game in certain spots.
- U Tight End - (Griffin) Serviceable as a blocker but good in the passing game.
- F Tight End - (Denham, Anderson) Pass catching threat, a willing blocker.
O’Brien remains high on Griffin. “The key for Ryan Griffin is going to be health,” explained O’Brien. “It’s going to be having the ability to be out there all the time once the season starts because he can really help us.”
As for Fiedorowicz, O’Brien likes what he has done over the past two seasons by improving in his blocking skills, but most importantly, he has been making gains in the passing game.
“I think one of the things that you’ve seen him (Fiedorowicz) do during this offseason program is get better in the passing game,” said O’Brien. “He’s more instinctive. He knows the plays better.”
Denham or Anderson appear to be in line to replace the departed Garrett Graham and they will be the focus of training camp. Both are above average pass catchers and the competition could come down who can be the best fit for the offense and special teams contributor.
A position that many thought would be addressed will be counted on to make a jump from players who have been in the system in Griffin and Fiedorowicz plus who will be the best during camp in Denham and Anderson. The tight end position will be worth monitoring heading into training camp.
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