It's been a productive offseason but the true test of the tight ends, and all players for that matter, will come in training camp.
"As a group, they need to know that at the end of the day, our paychecks are coming through because we're going to be able to put the pads on and really hit somebody," tight ends coach John Perry said on Texans TV. "So, I think from a mentality standpoint, we've got to know that we want to make this a great run game. So then the play-action game gets better and then we're in these manageable third downs, and things like that, if we take that approach when the pads go on."
During OTAs and minicamp, returning veteran Ryan Griffin focused on rehabbing his Achilles. Head coach Bill O'Brien believes Griffin will be ready to return in time for training camp. C.J. Fiedorowicz, entering his third season, is primarily used for blocking but also contributes in other ways.
"Whether its run game or in the pass game, he's really getting a better approach that way, and that's helped him now execute his assignment because he has some anticipation and there's a better awareness," Perry said of Fiedorowicz's progress.
The tight end group currently consists of four tight ends on the Texans roster: Griffin, Fiedorowicz, Anthony Denham, and rookie Stephen Anderson. Denham, was added to the practice squad in May 2014, as some experience in the offense. Anderson, an All-PAC 12 honorable mention out of Cal, signed as an undrafted free agent. Denham focused on the playbook while Anderson worked to catch up as part of their progress this offseason, according to Perry. The position group has worked to improve, individually and collectively, throughout the nine-week offseason program. With less than three weeks until the start of training camp, the goals of the position group are clear.
"It starts with good first downs and executing in the run game and the play-action game, and then really getting things moving from there," Perry said. "If we continue that approach when fall camp comes, then I think it'll be something exciting to look forward to."
The Houston Texans 2016 training camp kicks off on Sunday, July 31 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Check out shots from the Texans' second day of veteran minicamp.