Ex-Lancer Gridder Griffin Aims To Aid Texans in Rebuild

With a former key New England Patriots’ coordinator now running the show and reasons for hope percolating among the frustrated fan base as 2014 training camp continues, former Londonderry High School multi-sport athlete Ryan Griffin is aiming to help his Houston Texans’ football squad make strides toward respectability in the National Football League over the next six months.

The second-year professional, who had a superb collegiate career at the University of Connecticut, is presently second on new head coach Bill O’Brien’s tight end depth chart after showing quite a bit in his rookie campaign of 2013-14.

The reign of former head coach Gary Kubiak ended at the end of last season after all hope seemed lost for the directionless Texans, and longtime Pats’ offensive coordinator O’Brien agreed to take over the team’s reins after having run the troubled Penn State football program in the immediate wake of scandals several years ago.

O’Brien inherited a Texans’ team strong at tight end with starter Garrett Graham and Griffin ready to roll, with the former LHS Lancer coming off a first season during which he started eight of the 15 games and caught 19 passes for 244 yards and one memorable touchdown. His receiving yards total was seventh highest for a rookie – at any offensive position – in Texans’ history.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 254-pound tight end was selected by the Houston organization with the 201st overall pick and the 33rd selection in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft last April. The LHS grad signed his first pro contract on May 10, 2013, and thus began an exiting professional odyssey for the local man.

Griffin, who spent part of his youth living in the home that now houses the Londonderry Times, recorded the first two receptions of his NFL career for 18 yards against the St. Louis Rams in mid-October. He made his first career start and saw action on special teams at Kansas City a week later, and caught the first touchdown pass of his career on a 2-yard reception at Arizona in mid-November.

The ex-Lancer caught five passes and set a new career high with 66 receiving yards – including a career-long 40-yard reception – against the tough Denver Broncos just before Christmas of last year.

During his fine career at U-Conn, Griffin was a two-time Second-Team All-Big East selection, ranked second among tight ends in the Connecticut record books with 10 receiving touchdowns and 116 career receptions, and played in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic.

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