As the 2022 NFL preseason heats up, we can expect to see teams making big trades to try to finalize their rosters. The Texans joined that fray yesterday, acquiring TE Adam Shaheen and a 7th-round 2023 draft pick from the Miami Dolphins. In exchange, the Dolphins received a 6th-round 2023 draft pick.
Shaheen will likely replace Antony Auclair on the Texans’ roster. Auclair’s knee was injured in practice late July, and he has not been able to participate in workouts and drills. The three other tight ends currently on the Texans’ roster are still healthy.
For now, it seems the Texans are still willing to give Pharoah Brown the starter position. He admitted to being overweight last season, when he started training camp weighing 277 pounds. That factor contributed to him only receiving 23 catches for 171 yards and 0 TDs. After picking up hot yoga and dropping Sweet Baby Ray’s in the offseason, Brown lost 15 pounds and looks much faster. Although the loss of weight may affect his ability to block, the threat he adds with his increased agility shouldn’t be underestimated.
Brevin Jordan, Houston’s No. 2 TE, is a bit smaller than the average blocking back. At 6’3 and 245 pounds, Jordan provides more value when creating short passing options for the QB. Although Jordan was inactive for the first 8 games of the 2021 season, his performance in the final 9 games was still impressive for a rookie. He managed to haul in 178 yards and 3 TDs on 20 receptions in that just-over-half-season.
Assuming the Texans drop Antony Auclair to make room for Adam Shaheen, their final TE would be Teagan Quitoriano. Drafted in the 5th round, Quitoriano showed good route-running and catching skills at Oregon State. In 2021 he had 19 receptions for 214 yards and 3 TDs across 13 starts. Although his blocking skills need some work, he could contribute significant yards and first downs in his rookie year.
Tight Ends Bolstered By New Offensive Coordinator
Pep Hamilton begins his first season as the Texans’ Offensive Coordinator, after spending last season as their passing game coordinator. Across his career, Hamilton’s offensive schemes have typically given TEs a wide degree of responsibilities and opportunities. We can expect to see many plays utilize 2 TEs, in any combination of blocking or route-running.
Hamilton’s work with TEs was even a factor in Pharoah Brown’s decision to stay with the Texans this year. Brown signed a 1-year contract in the offseason. When asked his thoughts on Hamilton becoming the new OC, Brown said, “History shows that this has been a very tight end friendly offense everywhere Pep has been, Stanford, Colts, at Michigan. I don’t think the trend will change. It’s a great opportunity for me and Brevin.”
Where Does Adam Shaheen Fit In?
At 6’7 Adam Shaheen is a skilled blocker, but he’s also shown promise catching passes as well. In his rookie season with Chicago in 2017, Shaheen caught 12 passes for 127 yards and 3 TDs. His production dipped over the next two years with Chicago, but picked back up again after he was traded to the Dolphins.
Although Shaheen likely won’t get the same attention as other Texans TEs, he could use that to his advantage. With Pep Hamilton at the helm, we can expect to see a lot of plays stacking multiple TEs on the field.
Shaheen’s proven blocking skills will definitely help an offensive line that struggled greatly last season. But the biggest threat he’ll bring to the Texans’ offense will still be his receiving potential. Because he’s been seen as more of a blocker, defenders will be more likely to focus on Pharoah Brown and Brevin Jordan. After all, they’re on the 1st and 2nd string respectively and can run a bit faster than Shaheen. If he and Pep Hamilton can use this to their advantage, Shaheen could be a deadly secret weapon for short gains.
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