Houston Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith and players meet with the media after Texans Training Camp.


Where do you feel like you’ve improved from year one to year two?

“I would say my knowledge of the game, just being able to read coverages. My whole goal this offseason was to get bigger, faster, stronger, just being a complete tight end. That’s what I’ve been working on the whole off- season.”

“I didn’t gain any weight, but I definitely feel like I’ve lost body fat. We do scans and stuff all the time, just leaning out. I’ve got abs now. I’m doing something. I’ve got abs, but last time I had abs I want to say I was in seventh grade when I played basketball. Now I’ve got them a little bit. I can go to the pool and flex them a little bit.”

How much has TE Pharaoh Brown helped your development?

“Big time. The dude is a pro. The way he approaches the game, I mean, he’s very knowledgeable. He helps me out on the field like if I have a question, I can ask him and he knows exactly what I got, what he has to do. The dude is spectacular honestly.”

Did you see the work TE Pharaoh Brown has put into the offseason?

“The dude, he’s taking strides in all aspects of knowing the game and taking better care of his body and doing everything. I’m excited for what we can do this year.”

How are you enjoying Pep Hamilton’s offense?

“I love it. I’m excited. Everywhere Pep (Hamilton) has been, it shows that the tight ends are very valuable in his offense. So just tune in. Week one, tune in. I’m excited.”

How exciting is it to be moving around in this offense?

“It’s awesome. It’s a big challenge, obviously, because I have to be able to move all over the field being in the backfield, being out wide, being the slot. I’m excited. So, when the time comes to show us on game days, you guys are going to see I’m going to be all over the field.”

Where do you feel like you’re adding to pass protection and run protection?

“I’ve got a long way to go. The game we play is constant improvements and constantly trying to get better, so that’s the main thing for me. There’s no stagnation with run blocking or pass blocking. You have to continue to get better and make strides in it.”

What’s it like to watch your running backs burst down the field?

“It’s awesome. Those boys be moving, be sliding. For me that’s as good as me catching a 15-yard pass and it’s just as good for me seeing them run down the field. It’s awesome. I think them boys got wheels, so I think them boys are hitting their stride.”

What did you take away from the trip to Oregon?

“We had a lot of camaraderie, just being able to go out there because we’re always in the building and seeing guys focused on what they have to do football-wise. For us to go to Oregon, we were playing hours of spicy Uno. I was out there fishing and hiking. I loved Oregon, I loved it. A couple fish got away from me, I don’t know what was going on. I don’t know if the hook was too small or what it was, but I was out there casting them, bro. It was crazy.”

When did you start fishing?

“I started fishing when I was four years old. It’s been a part of my life since I was a youngin. My grandfather used to take me all the time. We used to go to Utah, Arizona just to be out there cranking them.”

What areas have you seen QB Davis Mills grow in and how have you two built chemistry?

“In all aspects. Davis (Mills), his body has changed, his IQ of being able to recognize coverages. Our whole growth I feel like, as a year two group, just the development all of us, our bodies have changed, we ‘re understanding the game is slowing down for all of us. I’m excited for all of us.”

Can you talk about going up against rookie DB Jalen Pitre?

“That boy is a dog. I’m excited for him. He’s instinctual, he plays fast and he’s already out there making plays. I think the dude has probably had three interceptions from OTAs until now. He’s balling.”

How has LB Garret Wallow been so far in training camp?

“What LT (Laremy Tunsil) said, dog. He’s out there flying around. I’m excited four our whole year two group. We’ve all taken the challenge to step up and be contributors to this team, so I think that’s just a chip on all of our shoulders that we have to come with.”

Would you rather be on a lake or deep-sea fishing?

“So when I was in Miami, I used to do a lot of deep-sea fishing, but truthfully I’m scared of sharks and jellyfish. I’m not cool with any of that. Personally, throw me in a lake, but I like both.”

What’s the biggest fish you caught?

“I caught, I want to say 120-pound tuna. And that tuna has got a fight to him. I love deep-sea fishing.”

“What did we do with it? Rest in peace that tuna.”

What was the biggest sacrifice you had to make to get in shape?

“Definitely the way I eat. I’m a fat kid, honestly. I’m a fat kid so give me some Cane’s, In-N-Out Burger, McDonald’s, all of it. I just had to cut it all out. I was 21 years old eating like a child. So just being at a pro level, you can’t eat like that because you come out here and feel it.”

Does practice seem more intense than last season?

“I would say it’s more so the level of competition that I have with myself. Last year I was a rookie and kind of a deer in the headlights, still trying to figure things out. This year, I know I have to come out here and make plays, that’s my job. That’s just more so the level of competition that I have on myself.”

How does it feel to be part of the ‘year two’ class that really started to shape this franchise?

“That’s awesome. Like you said, I’m excited. I mean, I’m excited. Just the opportunity that all five of us have to come in and contribute, the other four they contribute right away, so for all of us to develop and have that chip on our shoulders, we know that. This team, they are counting on us to make plays. I’m excited for all of us.”

Where have you seen WR Nico Collins change for this season?

“Same with Davis (Mills). Just being able to recognize coverage, play faster, his body, he’s getting stocky. Just all of it, man. All of us are taking that step to change our bodies to understand coverages, to know the playbook and just be pros at the end of the day.”

How do you feel about Miami getting rid of the turnover chain?

“Honestly I’m happy about it. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I loved it. I loved the idea of ​​it but, we got to win games. That’s the main thing, we got to win games.”

Have you always been into fishing?

“My whole life. I’ve got pictures of me like four years old catching bluegill, swordfish. I haven’t been down here fishing yet because my life has revolved around football when I’m down here. I don’t have no friends either. Can y’all get back to the team and tell them I need somebody to go fishing with.”

OL AJ Cann said that you have a vibrant personality both on the field and in the locker room. Would you agree that that helps in your camaraderie?

“How I am was just handed down by me from my mom, so I think just how I am is how I am. My teammates definitely allow me to be myself, because without my teammates and stuff I wouldn’t be able to be funny , because I would be all serious and tensed up. That’s a big up to my guys.”

Do you have a picture of the 120-pound tuna?

“I do, I’ll send it to you.”

Can you talk about the consistency with HC Lovie Smith going into his second year with the team?

“It was awesome. When he got the job, I was back home in Vegas and you can ask my mom, on my own grave, I was so hyped. I started sweating. I was like, let’s get it, baby, because Lovie Smith, you have the utmost respect by the way he carries himself. He’s so soft-toned, you can sit there and talk with him. I was so excited to get him as our head coach.”

Growing up in Las Vegas, did you have to have that type of personality to survive out there?

“Not necessarily, you can meet a couple of my Las Vegas friends, they are quiet. It’s just the way I am.”

Does that make it easier for you to have that personality?

“Maybe, like I said, just my mom. She blessed me with her personality, my mom and dad.”

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