March 21, 2018

Two is Better Than One for the Texans

Former Texans Fullback, James Casey

Former Texans Fullback, James Casey

Much was said when the Houston Texans let James Casey sign this off-season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Critics were quick to say the Texans did not use Casey right in the offense and he could have been used to create more mismatches for the offense to exploit. No matter the case that was made for Casey, the Texans will actually be a better offensive team without him this season. The reason why is simple and it was the addition of two players that will help make the difference for the Texans.

Casey was a “tweener” between not being big enough to play the fullback position and not stout enough for what the Texans looked for in a tight end. Unfortunately, heading into his second deal Casey also had the age factor (28 years old) playing against him after spending three seasons in the White Sox organization. This proved to be too rich for the Texans’ pocket books. Not to downplay what Casey was as a contributor for this team, he was a pass catching machine and a solid work hard guy on the field.


Cutting Corners

Casey was asked to play two different positions for the Texans in 2012, which ended up being a failed experiment by Gary Kubiak and the offensive staff. Two positions in fullback and tight end for Casey put the Texans in a bad position when tight end Garrett Graham was knocked out for a few games with a concussion issue. Back up fullback Tyler Clutts was still learning the offense and Casey was being shuffled to fill both spots which made the Texans’ playbook that much smaller in formations and plays.

Taking two fullbacks and only two tight ends was probably one of the worst decisions the Texans made prior to setting the roster before the 2012 season. To make matters worse, Casey and Clutts were limited in fullback experience in the offense.


Not Making the Same Mistake Twice

Entering the 2013 season despite learning the hard way, Kubiak and company will not make that mistake again. The front office replaced the production of Casey with two players in fullback Greg Jones and drafted tight end Ryan Griffin. The Texans have solved a big issue with the addition of the two.



Ryan Griffin, #84

Ryan Griffin, #84

The Ryan Griffin Factor

Griffin will be plugged into the “Trey” or third tight end position of this offense. The offense likes using the three tight end sets in the run and passing game but last season the Texans could not put three real tight ends on the field at once.  Griffin is a very underrated player for the Texans heading into 2013. Measuring in at 6-6 and 256 lbs., Griffin is bigger than any tight end that the Texans have on the current roster. If he can produce as a run blocker with the occasional pass catch, it could prove big for the offense.

Griffin is the rare blend of size and good speed and his progression through rookie mini-camp through OTAs has been impressive to watch.



Greg Jones fullback.

Greg Jones, Fullback.

The Greg Jones Factor

The addition of Jones at fullback is probably the best free agent acquisition for the Texans. This offense designed by Kubiak needs a hard-nosed fullback to clear the way for the running game. Vonta Leach and Lawrence Vickers cleared the way for the Texans running backs’ success and Jones fits that mold for this offense. The Texans short yardage offense was a disappointment and most of all inconsistent in delivering in clutch situations. Jones will help remedy what the run game was missing, another blocker to take the pressure off the offensive line.  

Jones is an underrated piece to this offense but he will quickly show his value when week one hits in San Diego.


The Texans’ roster will be in better shape for the long haul in 2013 and can help their production on the field. Two players for the price of one leaving is a smart move by the Texans’ front office. Jones and Griffin have already made this roster better than the 2012 version, a real fullback and tight end to concentrate on one position only.



You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


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