Houston Texans: Hope for the tight end position


The Houston Texans went into the offseason with one of the least productive tight end groups of any team in recent memory. Then the free agency rush passed, as did the draft and still no players were added to this position group.

More from Toro Times

In fact, the only additions were two undrafted players in Mike McFarland from USF and Khari Lee, a walk on at Bowie State.

It seemed the Texans brass was more comfortable with the three returning tight ends in Garrett Graham, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin than the fans were. So far in camp, it looks as though the coaching staff was right in their assessment.

Texans’ analyst John Harris shares his recaps of each practice and has often mentioned the tight end group in a positive light. In his Wednesday edition, there was yet again more praise heaped upon members of this unit;

"5. I’ve made this comment a number of times, but I’m still waiting for someone to adequately cover tight end Garrett Graham. He completely dominates LB and/or safeties when he’s running routes. The 1-on-1s are just ridiculous. It’s as if he’s playing pitch and catch with the quarterbacks with how open he gets himself downfield.6. The one thing that stands out watching Graham is that he understands that the route is the starting point to getting open. He understands how to make subtle adjustments in his patterns to remain open and run away from defenders. The young tight ends will learn that in due time but they’re not there yet. A couple of times I saw the younger TEs beat the defender off the line of scrimmage but they then ran themselves right back into the coverage. They started open and then covered themselves. You don’t see that from Graham, in particular. When he knows a guy is beat, he never puts himself back into harm’s way. It’s just the way it is for veterans; they get it, the rookies will.7. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the guy that’s really shone during training camp. Although TE C.J. Fiedorowicz missed some time up in Richmond versus the Redskins, he’s been outstanding in the passing game. Drew Dougherty, host of Texans TV, spied a one-handed grab and I saw a pair of catches later in practices in different spots. He also beat a linebacker to the back of the end zone for a touchdown during goal line 11-on-11."

The improvement of route running in Graham is a great sign and offers hope that last season’s struggles were simply due to a rough season. In 2013 Graham performed well enough for the texans to allow veteran Owen Daniels to head out the door.

That season he hauled in 49 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns. A far cry from his 18 catch, 197 yard and one score performance in 2014.

Also hearing news of how well second-year player Fiedorowicz is performing in the passing game is a great sign. The rookie had only seven receptions after being picked in the third round last season and having a young guy develop at the position will aid whoever lines up at quarterback to start this season.

Look for the team to continue to try and get the tight ends involved during the preseason as they try and develop a rapport with the new starting quarterback, once that quarterback is named of course.

Next: Houston Texans: First depth chart lists starting quarterback as...