Texans' Keke Coutee: 'I feel like I've grown a lot'

Keke Coutee has the requisite quickness, speed and moves to create separation.

The shifty Texans wide receiver has the instincts for how to find an opening to shake loose from the defense.

And Coutee has good hands, not dropping a pass during arguably his best all-around season last year.

The former fourth-round draft pick from Texas Tech has delivered some impressive moments at training camp so far, consistently getting open and catching the football.

As Coutee enters the final year of his four-year, $3.189 million contract and due a $920,000 base salary this year, it’s all about him stacking days and remaining healthy as he competes with Anthony Miller for the slot receiver job.

“I feel like I've grown a lot, this being my fourth year in the league,” said Coutee, a Lufkin native. “Obviously, still have more to get better at as well, so I'm just focused on different, little things every day, just focusing on one thing at a time.”

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

Photo: Getty Images

Targeted 40 times last season, Coutee caught 33 passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns on 40 targets as his role increased when Randall Cobb, since traded to the Green Bay Packers, injured his toe. For his career, Coutee has 83 catches for 941 yards and four scores.

Now, Coutee is adapting to a new quarterback in Tyrod Taylor after building chemistry the past few seasons with disgruntled and embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson who is seeking a trade.

“Going good,” Coutee said. “Tyrod, he's a new guy, learning very well. Everybody is learning each other right now. This is a whole new team, so I feel like we're gelling pretty well right now.

“I feel like everybody is fitting in very well. We're just coming out here trying to get 1 percent better every day. I feel like we're progressing every day.”

Coutee has a history of durability problems have plagued him in the past, including multiple hamstring issues. He’s healthy now and he knows he has to stay that way.

“Learning from my past situations, past injuries, and learning how to be a pro,” Coutee said. “Take care of my body, be out there as much as I can and continuing to make plays for my team.”

Coutee’s low moment last season: a fumble, one of four overall last season with three lost. Coutee lost a fumble in a 27-20 road loss to the Indianapolis Colts as linebacker Darius Leonard punched the football out of his hands. Coutee also lost a fumble against the Baltimore Ravens that was returned for a touchdown.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

Photo: Getty Images

Unlike the past when he was benched and was firmly in former coach Bill O'Brien's doghouse, Coutee kept getting opportunities to make up for his mistake.

“Every day is a new day,” Coutee said. “Every day is a new opportunity, as well. So that's in the past and I'm focusing on this year with this team.”

With Cobb gone, Coutee has a prime opportunity to contribute. Wide receiver is one the most competitive situations on the roster.

“I feel like this is more sticking to my routine, being ready when my number is called and just being able to make plays when the ball is in the air,” Coutee said. “So, that's what I'm going to continue to do. I feel like it's wide open opportunities. Just sticking to myself, as I said before, continuing to make plays for this team.”

“We've got a lot of different talent in that room from one to the bottom, as well. Everybody brings something different to the table, a great group of guys, so I feel like we all can make plays.”

Coutee regularly works out with wide receivers coach David Robinson during the offseason. Among the pros that train with Robinson: fellow Lufkin native and mentor Dez Bryant.

“Most definitely a mentor,” Coutee said. “ Obviously being from the same hometown as well, so I obviously looked up to him, a big mentor.”

Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content