March 21, 2018

Player Spotlight: Owen Daniels

This week in Player Spotlight we will focus on one of the many offensive weapons that Matt Schaub has at his disposal. This player is an integral part of the offense and does a lot of the dirty work over the middle of the field. The player in the spotlight this week is considered to be Schaub’s safety blanket, tight end Owen Daniels.


It’s not often you find tight ends in the league who have soft hands like a receiver, are quick enough to give linebackers fits, and give matchup issues for most defensive backs. Owen Daniels has a unique skill set for a tight end. He is a functional blocker, runs great routes and can catch anything thrown in his area. Since Daniels came into the league, he was a heavily utilized weapon. However, he didn’t start hitting his stride until his third season when he began having a Pro Bowl type of year. Unfortunately, while he was having his best year statistically he was lost for the season in a game against the Buffalo Bills with a torn ACL. The following season, Daniels returned but it was evident that he wasn’t all the way back to being himself. The seasons that followed, Daniels worked his way back to a Pro Bowl level but hasn’t been able to match the stats he put up in 2009 when he had his best year statistically through the first half of the season.


With Daniels being so consistent and being a virtual mismatch for most linebackers, he has become far and away Schaub’s number two option behind Andre Johnson. This has been a positive and a negative in Schaub’s progression as a quarterback. It has been a positive as Daniels has been a reliable safety net in the event he needs a quick bail out in tight situations. Unfortunately, on the flip side of the coin the negative is that Schaub has become predictable and his other weapons aren’t being utilized. Having a player like Daniels is a huge asset because it causes defenses to have to account for more than just Johnson, but when more attention is paid to Daniels it exploits Schaub’s lack of progression in his reads and other routes go unnoticed.  Daniels is a huge part of this offense and without him I don’t know what this offense would look like, but with age, injuries, and other contract responsibilities on the horizon, it’s possible that Daniels’ tenure with the Texans could be coming to a close.

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