Rookie Dickerson adjusts to new position By KRISTIE RIEKEN (AP) 3 hours ago HOUSTON Dorin Dickerson spent the last two seasons as a tight end at Pittsburgh after spending his sophomore year playing linebacker. Now the rookie seventh-round pick is a receiver for the Houston Texans. At least he's returning to the position where he started his college career. The transition hasn't been easy. Dickerson has been eating salads to shave 8-10 pounds off his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame. Lunching on lettuce after sweating through hours of practice in the Houston heat and humidity has been difficult, but he's sticking to it to reach his goal. Coach Gary Kubiak said the weight loss is necessary to increase his stamina so he can compete with Houston's other receivers. "His conditioning level is not good enough to play at our level right now," Kubiak said. "I don't think that's his fault. We're trying to catch him up. He's got to lose about 10 pounds and just get to where he can run all day." For now, Dickerson is adjusting to the change by shadowing star receiver Andre Johnson. He hopes learning from one of the best receivers in the NFL will help and said he's already picked up a lot from Johnson. The Texans believe Dickerson's progress in college may have been hindered by playing so many positions. Along with tight end, linebacker and receiver, he also saw action at fullback and returned kicks. Last season he had a career-high 49 receptions for 529 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kubiak suggested that Dickerson spend time with Johnson because he sees similarities in the two players. "He's got that big body like Andre," Kubiak said. "He's got a little stiffness that we've got to work through and I think that comes from just not playing that position for a long time. It's been hard on the kid: linebacker, fullback, tight end, wide receiver. Hopefully we'll settle him down and now he can be the best he can be." Dickerson said he was smaller when he arrived at Pittsburgh and as he got bigger coaches couldn't figure out where they wanted to use him. He seems relieved the Texans aren't planning to move him around. "I'm a receiver now," he said. "That's where I'm going to be playing at this year. I don't know what the future holds but I'm working at receiver now and trying to mold myself into a receiver." Moving around so much could have hurt more than just his development. Dickerson was projected to be drafted as high as the third round, but instead fell to the last round. He said he's using that as motivation. "I was supposed to go pretty high in the draft and I ended up not," he said. "So that's life. But I still want to prove something. I have a chip on my shoulder now and I want to show everybody I wasn't a seventh-round pick and hopefully help this team win." While the Texans hope to keep him at receiver, he will see some work on special teams. With nine other players vying for playing time at receiver, Kubiak said Dickerson will have to contribute on special teams to earn a spot on the team. Dickerson's progress was halted on Tuesday when he tweaked a hamstring during practice. He'll likely miss Houston's last offseason workout on Wednesday because of the injury, but will be back on the field when the Texans start training camp later this summer.