'A dog, a beast': Pharaoh Brown critical in every aspect of Texans offense

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

There is consensus among teammates and coaches about Texans tight end Pharaoh Brown.

At 6 feet, 7 inches and nearly 260 pounds, Brown provides the size and physicality the Texans need up front to run the ball how they want to.

As head coach David Culley noted Monday morning following the Texans' 37-21 season-opening win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, size matters up front.

For Brown, who finished the game with four catches four a career-high 67 yards, including a one-handed, career-long 29-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter, it helps when teammates describe you like this:

“Pharaoh is a dog, he's a beast, straight savage, an animal," running back Mark Ingram said when asked about the Texans' starting tight end. "I've been around a lot of great tight ends, and he can be one of the best. He's physical in the run game, takes pride in blocking, and he's going to get his guy. Even when he doesn't, he comes to the sideline, that was me, that was me.

"But then obviously he has the talent, the athleticism to go run routes downfield, catch the ball, break tackles. He's a versatile tight end, a complete tight end, and I think he's one of the best in the game. He's super underrated. He's physical in the run game, holds the edge in the run game, whoops people in the run game, but also can be versatile and athletic enough to run routes, get open off safeties or linebackers and catch the ball and get yards after the catch."

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks said the same about Brown.

“Yeah, that guy is a dog," Cooks said. "He's physical. He's going to block with the best of them, but he also going to run a route and make plays in the passing game as well. He's dynamic, and you just love to see him finally get his chance throughout the years. He's making the most of it."

Brown, who the Texans can line up almost anywhere, including at fullback, went undrafted in 2017 and has spent the time since signing with practice squads for the Raiders, Browns and finally the Texans last year.

Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly raved about Brown's physicality and how football comes natural to him.

"It always has," Brown said last week. "I think the journey coming from a lot of teams, I’ve been in the league five years, I haven’t had the same coach back-to-back years yet. So those are new systems every time, even from college. I think just learning the game, just being the student of the game, learning these offenses, learning how to attack, learning defenses, watching film. I watch football. So it’s just studying. ...

"That’s really just what it boils down to. I just put in the hours and put in the work. I’ve always been an intelligent kid even growing up, so that was never a problem. I think it was just putting in those hours. You see these coaches, they’re up here putting in hours too, trying to see what the defense is going to do. So when I’m out there, it’s like the game is just kind of slower for me and I’m seeing stuff happening. I’m able to see the big picture of what’s trying to get done."