- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
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HOUSTON -- This could become a series of its own: second-year players who feel much more comfortable in the Texans' scheme.
Count tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz among those.
"There was so much learning last year," Fiedorowicz said. "You come up the huddle and there’s three or four things. You got to know the protection, you got to know where to line up, read the safeties, see what kind of coverage it is. There was just so much going through my head where I wasn’t able to play fast. I noticed already this OTA session, I’m going out there and when I see it I’m going fast. The quarterbacks are really seeing us right now, so we’re all excited."
This is an offense that's typically very tight end friendly, but the Texans were not last season. They targeted tight ends only 51 times, the lowest total of any team in the league. It was a combination of the quarterbacks not finding them and their own struggles to get open.
Twenty-eight of those 53 targets went to starting tight end Garrett Graham, who caught 18 passes, including one touchdown. Fiedorowicz caught four of his seven targets and one touchdown pass thrown by running back Arian Foster.
"I would like to see very consistent play," coach Bill O'Brien said. "I’d like to see him really do a good job blocking. I think he’s a very good blocker. When he really puts his mind to it, he’s able to go out there and know his assignment and know what to do. He’s a very good blocking tight end and I think he can help us in the passing game. I think he can run the different routes that we need the tight ends to run. I know that these quarterbacks really like throwing to tight ends, so they’re working hard with him and the other tight ends in the passing game."
Fiedorowicz returned healthy to this offseason program, having had a knee scoped in January. And he's also refreshed.
"Every rookie will say it’s a grind; it’s not an excuse, but I kind of started feeling it last year," Fiedorowicz said. "I came back ready to work. [Brian] Hoyer is doing a great job quarterbacking and he’s really seeing the tight ends. We’ve been making big strides as a group, that’s given us confidence," he said. "You want to go out there and keep working hard when we’re seeing the ball."