A position-by-position look at the Texans' 2011 season
The tight end position was home to the Texans' leading receivers in catches, yards and touchdowns in 2011.
Owen Daniels had a team-high 54 receptions and 677 receiving yards in his fifth season out of Wisconsin, becoming the first player besides Andre Johnson to lead the Texans in receiving since 2002. The 2008 Pro Bowler caught three touchdown passes in his first healthy season since suffering a season-ending injury in 2009. He was sixth among AFC tight ends in yards and receptions and second with 75.9 percent of his catches going for first downs.
Sixth-year veteran Joel Dreessen led the Texans with a career-high six touchdown catches. He caught 28 passes for 353 yards. Dreessen also set career-highs with 112 receiving yards and a 56-yard touchdown catch in Week 5 against Oakland.
Fullback/tight end James Casey had 18 catches for 260 yard and a touchdown in a hybrid role. Second-year tight end Garrett Graham played sparingly in seven games and had one catch for 24 yards in Week 17 against Tennessee.
Tight Ends in Review
Starters: Owen Daniels (15 games 2 playoffs), Joel Dreessen (10), James Casey (1 1 playoff)
Injuries: Casey (chest, Weeks 5-7)
Notable number: 4.7 – Catches per touchdown for Dreessen in 2011. He finished with six touchdowns, one less than his previous career total through five seasons.
Season highlight: Week 14 at Cincinnati – Daniels had seven catches for 100 yards in the Texans' AFC South-clinching 20-19 victory. He accounted for the first 26 yards of the game-winning 80-yard drive with three catches, including a spectacular one-handed eight-yard grab on third-and-three from the Houston 38. Dreessen had three catches for 22 yards and the Texans' first touchdown, which kick-started their comeback from a 13-point halftime deficit.
Quotable: "I guess it was set up pretty great because they brought pressure and they didn't cover me. The only guy that was in coverage was the ref on that play... I thought it was going to actually hit the ref." – Daniels on Oct. 30, in reference to a critical third-down catch on the final drive of the Texans' 24-14 victory over Jacksonville at Reliant Stadium
"He's not unheralded in this room. I can tell you that. He and O.D. (Daniels) were excellent in the football game. They continue to make big plays… Joel's one of those grinders, just a true pro. You get the same thing every week from him." – Kubiak on Oct. 31, on the unheralded play of Dreessen
"I don't know if it has really sunk in yet, but it feels good to put on that hat and say (division) champs. It's an unbelievable credit to everyone in the organization and to everyone that has fought through the hard times, and all the players that fought through today to make it happen." -- Daniels on Dec. 11, after the Texans clinched their first-ever AFC South title at Cincinnati
"This organization is going to be like a shark tasting blood. We're going to be hungry for more. Making the playoffs is going to happen over and over again for this ball club." --- Dreessen on Jan. 15, after the Texans' season-ending loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round of the playoffs