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Daniels assesses offseason


Tight end Owen Daniels recorded a career-high 70 receptions for 862 receiving yards last season, helping him earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl. As the Texans get ready for OTAs, Daniels talked about his goals for next season and the team's new draft class.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Owen, the last time I talked to you, you were just getting going with offseason workouts. Now, OTAs are around the corner. Do you feel like you are ready to hit the field?

Owen Daniels: Absolutely, it's a fun time of year when we have all the guys back together and workouts have been going well. We like (head strength and conditioning coach) Ray's (Wright) program; it's been really competitive, so hopefully that carries over into OTAs. It's always good to get back onto the field and play some real football.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: OK, I am going to dive into some fan questions. The Texans, of course, also went through the draft. They have a new draft class. What do you think of that class?

Owen Daniels: I like it. I think we have some good picks in there. Hopefully, all the guys will be able to come in and help us out in some way on the field, whether it's offensively or defensively or special teams. Hopefully, all of those guys are hard workers. I know the coaching staff thinks they are, so it should be good for us.

Brooke Bentley: The Texans drafted a blocking tight end in Anthony Hill. Talk about how important it is for the offense to have a big blocking tight end.

Owen Daniels: I think it's good. You know, we lost Mark Bruener to retirement. He did an excellent job for us. He had a great career and his thing was blocking; that was his strong point. To have a guy come in here like Anthony – hopefully, he can step in and help us out in some goal-line situations and some two- or three-tight end sets to get at the point of attack. We need a guy like that who can be in there and clear some holes for us.

Brooke Bentley: Another tight end was drafted in James Casey. I know Mark Bruener was a mentor to you. Do you see yourself becoming a mentor to these younger players?

Owen Daniels: I'm going to do my best. I'm going to help those guys out as much as I can. I am still learning, so we can all learn together. Obviously, I've had some experience and know my way around a little bit, so I am going to do what I can to help those guys out.

Brooke Bentley: You had a career year last year. You went to the Pro Bowl and were one of the top receiving tight ends in the league. What are your goals for 2009?

Owen Daniels: I've never really set any personal goals, in terms of statistics or anything like that. I would like to get back to the Pro Bowl. Going there and playing with all those guys was an unbelievable experience. Just being there motivates you this offseason and then next season to play the game and get back there. Personally, to get back there would be awesome, but we just want to win more games. We are sick of being just a middle-of-the-road team. We want to take that next step and get to the playoffs.

Brooke Bentley: Another fan wants to know: You were a restricted free agent this year and went through some contract issues. DeMeco Ryans and Dunta Robinson have had their issues. There is the business and the football side in this game. How tough is it to separate the two?

Owen Daniels: It's tough, especially when you have never gone through them before. It's all of our first times in these situations. I don't know if the Texans have been in situations with players not showing up in the past. I think it's good that we have players who are of that caliber where business comes into it. I think it's a positive thing. It's hard because you want to be around the guys, you want to do the right thing and show up and show the coaches you want to be a part of the team and work hard, and then there's the business side and you don't want to be cut short or get taken advantage of. It's tough sometimes, but I think as long as everyone realizes that there are two sides to it and no one takes offense and no one gets his feelings hurt, I think it will move along like that.

Brooke Bentley: I have talked to both Dunta and DeMeco about this and they say they like being around the team and appreciate the support, but it's something they have to handle. It's part of the game.

Owen Daniels: It is part of it. It's good that it's part of it. Sometimes we wish that we could separate that from our teammates sometimes, but it's something we have to deal with and we'll all work through it.

Brooke Bentley: Another question comes from an interview I did with Kyle Shanahan where he said that you are the No. 1 tight end on the team, but that the team can get a little creative next year. What do you think about the offense getting more creative?

Owen Daniels: I think we have been pretty creative in the past and I think we will stick to the basics of what we know and what we are good at. I think we will tweak and come up with some twists and turns and some new things, but it's always good. You can never have too many playmakers, obviously with Andre (Johnson), Kevin (Walter), Steve (Slaton) and myself and Vonta (Leach). We have a lot of guys who are going to catch passes and get the ball in their hands. As long as we are unselfish about it and as long as we are getting yards and putting points on the board, I don't think any of us really care who is getting the ball. It's always a good thing to have as many weapons as you can.

Brooke Bentley: Final fan question: Do you think Brett Favre will come out of retirement and play for the Vikings?

Owen Daniels: I think that he will come back. I hope that he doesn't come back. Not because I don't want to see him play but because of what I have heard. I just don't think he is doing it for the right reasons. I know he loves playing football and when you have been playing that long, it's really hard to step away, even when you try to step formally a couple of times. I think he will come back, unfortunately for our old pal Sage (Rosenfels). I don't think he will try to come back to a backup role. We'll see what happens. Maybe he doesn't pass a physical with the Vikings because of his bicep. It's really weird to me. That whole situations is screwy, telling everybody two years in a row that you are going to retire and get out of it and then you come back. Just walk away, man. That's what I think.

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