The argument could be made that the Houston Texans tight end group was nothing more than second-tier offensive lineman in 2014. But the fact is, they were all but invisible offensively.
The Texans current tight end group consisted of Garrett Graham, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Anthony Denham. Combined, this group recorded 32 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns total in 2014.
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Houston desperately needs an injection of talent at the position, but have opted not to address it in the first two weeks of free agency. And that’s a bit unusual considering Houston head coach Bill O’Brien saw firsthand the benefits of having a talented offensive tight end at your disposal as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots in 2011.
During that year, Pat’s tight end Rob Gronkowski had his best season as a professional recording 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. It’s clear that a tight end can thrive under O’Brien’s offensive scheme.
Now, after the first wave of free agency has washed away some of the bigger names, one free agent tight end stands alone. And that’s former Cincinnati Bengal Jermaine Gresham.
A first round selection out of Oklahoma back in 2010, Gresham recorded 62 receptions for 460 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games last season. That output alone is more than all the Texans’ tight end put together in 2014.
And the only reason the 26-year old hasn’t been signed yet is because Gresham had back surgery for a herniated disc last week and there’s a chance he will not be ready before training camp. Still, the sixth-year veteran is the top-rated tight end available and the Texans certainly have the need.