HOUSTON -- Small factors can play big roles in a free agent determining where they play. For Houston Texans' tight end Pharaoh Brown, the promotion of quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton to offensive coordinator was a selling point for his return.
“History shows that this has been a very tight end-friendly offense everywhere Pep has been: Stanford, Colts, at Michigan,” Brown said earlier this month. “I don’t think the trend will change. It’s a great opportunity for me and Brevin (Jordan).”
Brown is back in Houston for a second stint as the Texans' potential top tight end. Last season, he served as the team's most consistent option. Playing more of the traditional position under then-coordinator Tim Kelly, Brown tallied 23 receptions for 176 yards in 12 starts and 15 total games.
"I'm going into my fifth, sixth year, and every year I had a new coach, new quarterback. I don't take it for granted," Brown said. "Being able to have the same guy, knowing that guy, knowing the coaches to be able to bond with. Knowing what we want, and just being able to get a whole year in, a full offseason in with these guys and being around them, I think is going to be huge."
The offseason was essential for Brown as he looked into "clearing his mind of the clutter." He took several trips to Mexico. He meditated daily and also tried hot yoga, an exercise he believes everyone should try once.
When returning free of mind, Brown said he felt right both mentally and physically while also feeling "slimmer" and in better shape.
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"I’ve finally got my dad bod gone, got some abs now, so I’m going to be like (the Browns’) David Njoku with my shirt off in pregame," Brown joked.
Houston's offense is expected to be tight-end friendly under Hamilton's play design. Texans tight end coach Tim Berbenich worked with Hamilton in Indianapolis and can remember the formations catering to the tight ends in the short-to-intermediate level of the field.
In recent memory, the NFL has also been “a tight end kind of league right now” according to Berbenich. He brings up a valid point as teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens feature an offense that often caters to its tight end in the passing attack.
The Texans are hopeful that Jordan can take the next steps as the team's new No. 1 tight end. In terms of blocking, Houston used a fifth-round pick on Oregon State's Teagan Quitoriano, who described his game as similar to that of George Kittle coming out of Iowa in 2017.
For now, Brown still remains the most complete tight end on the roster. Under Hamilton's play-calling, the veteran could be in for immense production as a focal point in the team's offensive success.
"The game has just slowed down understanding all the fine-line details," Brown said. "That's going to help me be an all-pro this year.”