Rob Housler expects to be 'big part' of Browns' offense


New Cleveland Browns tight end Rob Housler would rather you not judge him on last season's output.

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With the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 he compiled just nine receptions on 18 targets for 129 yards in 15 games, including seven starts. That followed a 2013 season of 39 catches for 454 yards and one touchdown in Bruce Arians' first season in Arizona.

"The production was a direct reflection of the opportunity, and I just went out there and did what they asked me to do," Housler said Friday in a conference call, per the Akron Beacon Journal. "It was a blue-collar mentality. It wasn't pretty. I can see the stats, and they're not pretty. But sometimes it's not all about the stats."

It's not a surprise that the 6-foot-5, 250-pound, speedy, catch-first tight end was relegated to the undercurrent of Arians' offense, which prefers tight ends who block first and catch second.

In Cleveland, Housler will play a vital role in an offense bereft of pass catchers. While plenty of teams were interested in Housler, the tight end chose the Browns because it gives him the best opportunity to perform.

"It was a big factor," Housler said. "I've seen both ends of the spectrum where I've been a part of targets and a part of the flow and rhythm of the offense, and I've seen where it goes other ways. For me, I want to be a big part of the offense. So that was a big consideration. I'm confident in my ability, and I just want to be able to contribute."

In an offense with Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel as the best receivers at the moment and no other pass-catching tight end, we expect Housler to see plenty of targets in 2015.

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