The Houston Texans are hoping to get more output from their tight ends from last year, and there are a handful of them looking to get the starting job at training camp.
Last year, three players – Ryan Griffin, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins – combined for only 745 receiving yards on 61 catches. Thomas was the only tight end to catch a touchdown, with four for the season.
But with Griffin gone, the starting position is going to be between Thomas and Akins, for at least the early part of camp. The Texans drafted Kahale Warring and signed veteran Darren Fells, who played for Cleveland last year.
Head coach Bill O’Brien has liked how Akins has worked hard in camp, especially on kickoff coverage.
“(Thomas) came back in really good shape,” O’Brien said. “These guys, you can tell in training camp they make a big jump from their first year to their second year and it seems like he has a good grasp of what we’re doing. It’s just all about consistency with Jordan, just each and every day trying to show up and try to get better.”
Akins continues to impress O’Brien, but Thomas and the veteran Fells are also looking to catch the coaches’ eyes with their play.
“That’s a very competitive position,” O’Brien said of his tight ends. “Very, very competitive. We have really good young guys there with J.T. and we’ll see when Warring can get back on the field. But those guys have made that a very competitive position.”
Meanwhile, second-year cornerback Justin Reid is happy to be back on the field after being involved in a car accident that kept him out the first four days of camp.
“We just wanted to be extremely cautious and make sure that everything was all right with my body and that I was fully ready and prepared to be back on the field,” Reid said. “We have a phenomenal training staff and medical staff. I got to see all the right people and they gave me the go-ahead to be back on the field, and I’m excited as ever to be here.”
Reid is looking for another strong season with the Texans.
“I’m expecting a huge jump from myself from year one to year two,” he said.
“I know the team is expecting a lot from me, and I plan on rising to that standard and playing to it.”