Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York State
OD getting some press
Texans tight end Owen Daniels' first trip to the Pro Bowl set a standard that has catapulted him to the best start of his four-year career entering Sunday's game against San Francisco at Reliant Stadium.
Daniels has picked up where he left off at the Pro Bowl, where he caught a touchdown pass. Among tight ends, he ranks third in the NFL with 32 catches and fourth with 374 yards. His four touchdown passes are tied for second, and his four receptions of 25 or more yards are tied for first.
Daniels, 26, has been targeted as a receiver by quarterback Matt Schaub a league-high 47 times. Sixty-eight percent of Daniels' catches have produced first downs.
“I don't set any goals as far as statistics, but through six games, this is the best I've played,” Daniels said. “I think going to the Pro Bowl and just being around those guys, practicing with them, has helped me. It was an awesome experience.
“It was definitely motivation. It definitely helped my confidence knowing that your peers have that type of respect for you and knowing that I can play with them and be among the best. That contributed to me working so hard in the offseason and having the kind of start I'm having.”
Kubiak sees change
Coach Gary Kubiak has noticed a difference in Daniels.
“I think his confidence, obviously,” Kubiak said. “When you make it to that level, and you go there and spend the week with those players that you idolize and follow all the time you start to see yourself in that light.
“Owen's work ethic makes him special. He's a lot like (receiver) Andre (Johnson) from the standpoint that he doesn't say much and just works really, really hard. He's very accountable to his teammates.”
Another thing that impresses Kubiak is that Daniels attends special-teams meetings with coach Joe Marciano.
“I'll tell you what Owen is about,” Kubiak said. “He's been in Joe's special-teams meetings every day since he's been here, and he really doesn't even have to be there. That's the type of player Owen is, just very committed to everybody around here.”
Daniels (6-3, 250 pounds) has worked to improve as a blocker.
“It's hard to find tight ends who can do both,” Kubiak said. “Obviously, he's a heck of a receiver, but he's worked to become better on the line of scrimmage, which has gotten him respect around the league.”
Last season, Daniels had 70 catches for 862 yards and two touchdowns. He's doubled his touchdown catches from Schaub this season.
“We had a conversation in the offseason,” Daniels said. “He was like, ‘We've got to get you some more scores.'It doesn't matter to me who's scoring, but I like scoring touchdowns.”
After his first Pro Bowl, Daniels thought he was going to be rewarded with a contract extension, but his agent couldn't reach an agreement.
Show me the extension
“I thought last year we were going to get something done,” he said. “It's not something that's on my mind all the time, but when we have a big game and I play well, my family and teammates will get at me about my contract situation.
“It's funny because when I play well and we win, I definitely feel better about the (contract) situation. It makes me think they've got to want me back.”
Owner Bob McNair has told the players to win, and they'll get paid.
Daniels, middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, cornerback Dunta Robinson and receiver Kevin Walter are among those hoping to get lucrative extensions.
“We've got something good going on, and I think they'd want to keep us together,” Daniels said. “If we finish the season the way we want, they're (management) going to have some long nights and hard work ahead of them, which is what we want. It's important to keep the right guys here.”
Those are the 3 reasons why I love this team