Texans' Griffin makes most of opportunities

Texans' Griffin makes most of opportunities
June 13, 2013, 4:00 pm
Share This Post

For the most part, this year’s draft class for the Texans has been impressive during rookie camp, OTAs and minicamp.

And one of those rookies who has impressed from Day 1 is tight end Ryan Griffin, who was drafted in the sixth round out of Connecticut. 

“He has a chance to be a really good player and I think he can get bigger, too, so we’re excited,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “He fits the mold with what we do at tight end with the guys we have, and he’s very smart.”

With Kubiak preferring to rest veterans and with second-year tight end Phillip Supernaw out with an injury he suffered early during OTAs, Griffin has been on the field for plenty of snaps and has soaked it all in. The 6-6 tight end is competing to be the third tight end on the roster after Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham.

“I’m just trying to learn every day from the older guys – they’ve been here awhile,” Griffin said. “I’m just trying to take advantage of every rep I get and every opportunity I get.

“I know when I messed up, that’s for sure," a laughing Griffin said when asked about feedback he's received from the coaching staff. "…but other than that, they’re just coaching, they’re trying to correct my mistakes and I’m trying to be the best tight end I can be.”

Griffin also appreciated the coaching and tips from Daniels, a veteran and Pro Bowler and Graham, who's entering his fourth season.

“Just learning how to be a professional,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t even have to be on the field – it can be in the locker room, to be a team guy, put in the work in the classroom. I can only imagine getting to where OD [Owen Daniels] is right now. That’s my goal.”

But growing up in Londonderry, N.H., Griffin was a fan of the New England Patriots, so he has also learned by watching others he admired as a kid.

“I was a huge Drew Bledsoe fan and Ben Coates was their tight end way back, so I’ve seen some good ones in New England,” Griffin said. “But other than that, coming up through college, Anthony Fasano – I watched a lot of his tapes. So, I’m just trying to get some techniques down and watch these older guys.”

Some of the techniques Griffin has learned so far with the Texans have already helped him improve. And at 6-6, 256 pounds, he has the physical tools that excite the team.  

“I’m a taller guy than they are,” Griffin said of the other Texans’ tight ends. “Coach (Brian) Pariani is used to working with 6-4 guys – he’s been great with them – and I’m a little bit taller, so that has its advantages, but at the same time, I have to keep my pad level low, my pads down and have quicker feet – things like that may come easier to them, but I just have to learn about that.”

Griffin’s basketball background has also helped his football technique. Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, the Chargers’ Antonio Gates and the Saints’ Jimmy Graham come to mind when thinking about former basketball stars who have transferred their hoops skills to the gridiron.

“A lot of it just translates to football – getting by people and boxing out,” Griffins said. “So, a lot like blocking, you have to keep your hips low and getting around 'backers and tight spaces.”

And Griffin knows blocking is always an area where he can improve.

“As a tight end you have to be able to catch the ball in today’s NFL, but at the same time the zone blocking here is huge,” Griffin said. “I’ve done a little bit at Connecticut – obviously, we’re a huge running team.”

When the Texans open training camp on July 26, Griffin will continue to get his chances to try to make the team. And if he does, it will mean a lot to him to be only the second player on an NFL roster from New Hampshire. Defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, who was a teammate of Griffin’s at Connecticut, was drafted by the Chargers in 2012.

“It’s a huge deal, especially because I’m really good friends with the other kid, Kendall Reyes in San Diego,” Griffin said. “We both went to school together and we were talking about these days when we were younger, when we were driving to school, so it’s pretty surreal to have the opportunity to join him, and I’ll see him the first game of the year hopefully.”

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More

More Team Talk