Tight end Jordan Akins had a strong showing for the Houston Texans last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is looking to get him involved early and often against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. In his comments to the media on Thursday, Hamilton pointed out a few different ways that he likes to use players at the position and said that the flexibility to run or pass in sets that feature tight ends gives the offense more options on any given down.
“Ultimately, we like giving the presentation to the defense that we can run and or pass the ball. The biggest challenge for any offense and for the quarterback specifically is for the defense to really hunker down and defend one thing. When they put extra hats in the box to defend the run, we want to have the ability to attack them with the passing game. Be it the play action passing game, quarterback movements, whatever it is.
“It’s also the same concept when you talk about two safety coverages, middle open coverages as we call it, just having the ability in that situation to feel good about those guys who are pass receivers being able to play without the ball and win their matchup. Blocking really good defense ends that we face in this league play after play.”
It will take some nifty schemes to get Houston back above .500 before the season ends, and as the weeks pass by, it seems unlikely that the team is playing for anything except their pride. Still, in the early stages of a rebuild, the Texans can look to formulate different aspects of their game plan that might serve to help them in the coming seasons.
If they can start with some crafty usage of their tight ends, the reps they get in through the rest of their schedule may be the key to finding winning strategies next season after they’ve reloaded with more offensive talent.