Teagan Quitoriano is working his way toward more consistent playing time after scoring touchdown vs. Eagles

In a year where the Houston Texans need as much help as they can get on offense, the team has found itself with a plethora of capable tight ends who are eager to help carry the team in the passing game. Given the situation currently playing out with the Texans’ top-two receivers, the play of their tight ends could be crucial to Houston’s success in the coming weeks.

Head coach Lovie Smith brought up the contributions of one tight end, in particular, rookie Teagan Quitoriano, in the team’s Monday afternoon media availability session. He pointed out how in a position group that is so full of talent it can be hard to set oneself apart, but seemed to imply that Quitoriano has done just that after catching his first career touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It’s tough to get four tight ends active and they were able to get into it. That’s tougher to do,” Smith explained. “Talking Teagan (Quitoriano) in particular, he’s our best blocker of the group. We say we’re a running football team, you need a Y tight end and that’s what he is. He caught a touchdown pass and did some good things in the passing game too, which is an added bonus. A few weeks back we talked about Christian Harris’ first game. I know Teagan played a little bit more in the preseason but we’re just glad to get him back into the mix.

“We love those decisions where, at the tight end position you talk about four guys and how we get them involved in the gameplan. It will be fun to do that. When you play a team like we’re playing this week, without going over all the gameplan, it’s about keeping more bodies in to being able to protect some of that stuff. We’ll ask all of those guys to do an awful lot. But just talking about a position, we talked about what Teagan has done, Jordan Akins has done the same thing. O.J. Howard has had his moments and getting Brevin (Jordan) back into the mix gives us a lot of flexibility.”

If Houston can leverage their depth at the tight end position, they just might be able to prove that they are better than their 1-6-1 record would lead most to believe. As a scrappy underdog in an AFC that is chock full of contenders, the Texans will need to find innovative ways to get their lesser-known talent involved consistently in the offense.

Quitoriano will certainly be the object of much speculation moving forward as the team tries to determine which players will necessitate a larger role in the offense to help spark the unit’s resurgence before the season draws to a close.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire