Chambers Has Healthy TEs to Work With

Perhaps no coach on the Texas staff understands the need for a healthy group like tight ends coach Bruce Chambers.

In Blaine Irby, he had the Longhorns' most famous comeback story, though D.J. Grant had the more storybook 'I'm back' moment in returning from his own knee injury.

"Just like I said (earlier this year) about Blaine, how Blaine worked really hard, but D.J. did the same thing," Chambers said. "The thing is that those guys never took a day off. They've really pushed themselves, and that's a big credit to Kenny Boyd and his staff and that rehab staff that they (have) downstairs. They really stay after those guys, and just the fact that those guys never did have any doubt that they were going to come back and obviously, I'm glad they are (back)."

Speaking of coming back, Grant did that in a big way this past week, catching three touchdowns against UCLA.

"I was really happy about it, and as I was just telling somebody today, in our offense, the way that it's structured, it didn't have to be D.J.," Chambers said. "It could have been Blaine, could have been Barrett (Matthews), could have been any of those guys. It was just that it was D.J.'s number and it came up and he kept responding. So I was glad to see that.

"One of the things I do as I coach those guys, I coach them like they are wide receivers," Chambers said. "One of the things that I constantly said to them is the fact that I want them to have that mentality, that they are wide receivers. They're just bigger guys, bigger bodies. I want them to think that they're a wide receiver. The fact that no one can cover them, the fact that they're going to catch everything, and I believe that, and that's the way I coach them."

At the same time, Chambers said the tight ends know how to block.

"We run routes and catch balls like wide receivers, but we block like tackles," Chambers said. "They have to be two positions in one."

That downhill blocking scheme includes Grant, who Chambers said was moving past his reputation as a receiving-first tight end.

"The thing that D.J. did during his time away is that he got stronger, just like Blaine did," Chambers said. "He got stronger and when you get stronger, that brings confidence, and you're very confident in blocking because you are stronger. Of course, the quickness that comes in with it, with quick hands, a guy gets that confidence when he knows he's strong."

While Grant earned the headlines against UCLA, Chambers said all the tight ends prepared as if they were going to be the next to breakout.

"All I know is that everyday those guys are really working hard just so they can be ready," Chambers said. "When opportunity and preparation meet, some people call it luck. We like to think we're planning for that to happen."

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