Browns HC Mike Pettine broke the tight end group down this way: “We really have two different types of tight ends. The ‘Y’ is more the on the ball, blocker type where that’s [Jim Dray] and [Gary Barnidge]. The F is more of a move type, off the ball, more of a wing. You can flex him out some. Gary is kind of a ‘tweener.’ He can do both. We just like the depth in the room. We have three guys that they’re not identical skillsets there. There’s some overlap. Gary, like I said, is kind of both. Jim is more towards the ideal ‘Y,’ and [Rob Housler] is more the ideal ‘F.’”
Housler could be fantasy relevant if he sees starter snaps as a move tight end. He wasn’t given much to do in Bruce Arians’ offense while in Arizona, but he has a good skill set for a "move" tight end.
Carlson, who was going into his eighth year, wasn’t in training camp, but he had been a daily attendee of the Cardinals’ strength and conditioning program and was on the field Monday when the team opened up Phase 2 on-field workouts. In a statement released by the team, Carlson did not indicate a specific reason for his decision.
"After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is the best decision for us," Carlson said.
Johnny Manziel is fresh out of a 10-week stay in a rehab facility. McCown is a stable veteran with a career completion percentage near 60. This wasn't difficult.
"We just look back to when he was in Chicago, when he had a pretty good supporting cast around him, and he was able to be more than functional. He had a very successful year," Pettine said on WKRK-FM, via the Beacon Journal. "When you build the team right, it minimizes the importance of the quarterback."
The problem here is that while in Chicago, McCown was throwing to Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett and now he'll be targeting Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Rob Housler. That's a serious downgrade at all three positions. McCown didn't play particularly well with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans in 2014, there's no reason to believe that he's going to make a passing game go with Bowe, Hartline and Housler.
Browns TE Rob Housler, 27, confirmed the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals were interested in signing him, but he said he ultimately chose the Browns partly because of the opportunities he expects to receive in new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s scheme. Housler emphasized the coach affectionately known as “Flip” wants to move him around a lot in the offense and feature him as a vertical threat in the middle of the field.
“It was a big factor,” Housler said of weighing the pass-catching opportunities each of his suitors would likely grant him. “I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum where I’ve been a part of targets and a part of the flow and rhythm of the offense, and I’ve seen where it goes other ways. For me, I want to be a big part of the offense. So that was a big consideration. I’m confident in my ability, and I just want to be able to contribute.”
Housler should get plenty of chances as the Browns try to compensate for losing Cameron, whom they attempted to re-sign before he bolted to Miami.
Housler signed a one-year deal with aligns with his expectation that he'll be a big part of the offense. He has great athleticism for his position, but so far that athleticism hasn't translated to on-field production. Part of the problem is that he was an afterthought in the Arizona offense, but it sounds as if the Browns intend to utilize his speed down the seam.
Housler, 27, recorded 84 catches and 871 yards from 2012 through 2013, but he saw limited targets in 15 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season, with only nine receptions and 129 yards.
Housler has one career touchdown in 55 games. He has elite speed for his position, recording a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL combine, helping him secure a third-round selection in that year's draft.
The Browns were in need of help at the position after Jordan Cameron signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins earlier this offseason. The Browns' current depth chart at tight end also includes Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge, who combined for 30 catches and 398 yards and zero touchdowns, so Housler has a chance to emerge as the team's TE1. This isn't likely to make him a fantasy starter, however.
Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:19pm
Cardinals TE Rob Housler (hip, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 5.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:31pm
Cardinals TE Rob Housler (hip) took full practice reps again Thursday.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Cardinals TE Rob Housler (hip, questionable) missed practice again Friday and is questionable for Week 3.
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 10:56am
"John has done a really, really good job," HC Bruce Arians said. "First off, he's extremely bright. He picked up the system extremely quick. He plays full speed all the time and has got outstanding hands. His issue in the past ... he's not an overwhelming blocker but he's more than adequate."
Each new addition to the tight end room brought more competition. While some players wilt at the first sign of having to play for their job, Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer said that hasn't happened yet with the Cards.
"It's been phenomenal to have John here for a number of (reasons)," Palmer said. "Mainly, he's really pushed that tight end group. He's really brought the best out of [Rob Housler]. Bringing competition to that spot has really helped Robby improve."
The tight end position isn't a big part of Bruce Arians' offense, but if Carlson wins the starting job, he may be useful as a TE2 or as part of a streaming strategy.
Cardinals beat writer Darren Urban says that TE John Carlson looks very, very good. The veteran tight end hasn’t put on pads. And in the end, his career has been less about an inability to perform as much as the injuries that have stopped him from performing. But as a receiver, he’s more impressive that I expected. Blocking is a big part of the job, and that’s a pads thing, but if Carlson is healthy, they could have a find there.
Rookie tight end Troy Niklas broke his right hand after catching it in another jersey. Head coach Bruce Arians said Niklas got his finger twisted in a jersey last week, which caused the break. Niklas, the Cards’ second-round draft pick, is expected to be ready for training camp in July.
Friday, June 6, 2014, 6:37pm
Cardinals TE Rob Housler, Bruce Arians said, has had a “fantastic” offseason so far. And that’s at least a start.
Where Rob Housler goes from there, we’ll see. It seems that Housler’s “make-or-break” year, or “year to make a leap” has been every year except his first. The Cardinals are still waiting, and now the reality of the NFL means time grows short. Housler is in the last year of his rookie contract. The Cardinals signed John Carlson (who has looked very good so far), brought Jake Ballard back to health and drafted Troy Niklas. Even, at least in the heat of OTAs, Darren Fells has looked the part. Arians has called his tight ends group “an NFL room right now” and they all certainly look the part. Making this team — and getting playing time — won’t be simple.
We're not expecting much from any of the Cardinals tight ends. It's not a featured spot in Arians' offense and the pecking order is too murky with Housler, Carlson and rookie Niklas all in the mix.
Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:11pm
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