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Texans Wide Receivers: Keke Coutee Set For Breakout Year

Sophomore player ready to lock down the slot

Wild Card Round - Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Lufkin High School product was originally set to be a Texas Longhorn, committing to UT in June of 2013. But, he de-committed and went with the Texas Tech Red Raiders instead. Catching passes from Patrick Mahomes suited Coutee well, as he racked up a 15.1 yard/catch average, going for 1429 yards and 10 touchdowns his junior year.

When the Houston Texans took him with their 4th round pick he flew under the radar. Then, the rookie suffered a hamstring injury that marred his NFL debut.

Fast forward to Sunday, 9.30.2018 when Coutee found the field against the division rival Indianapolis Colts and went off for 11 catches and 109 yards. But, the hamstring injury lingered throughout the year, clamping a lid on Coutee’s potential, that is until he faced the Colts again in the playoffs, where the rookie’s performance was one of the lone memorable things about a game most Texans fans would rather forget. By the time the final whistle blew, Coutee had a combined 22 catches for 219 yards and one touchdown against the Colts over the course of two games.

Now, with the Texans preseason starting tomorrow, a healthy Coutee is getting praise from his two offensive future Hall of Fame teammates:

DeAndre Hopkins

I think Keke is one of the most improved players on this offense, just from seeing his development from going through injuries and all. Playing the little time he did last year, he showed what he can do, but I think this year he stepped it up.

Moments later, Deshaun Watson echoed his elite wideouts words:

Deshaun Watson

I agree Keke has come a long way. He was great last year. But he had the injury, so he couldn’t really build the experience that he wanted to. He’s come into this camp and been able to read defenses. Exactly what the offense has been wanting him to do, and he’s been a factor for sure. [Coutee] is a lot faster and will definitely help this team win a lot of games.

As Matt Burnham pointed out back in March, a healthy Coutee is a big problem for opposing offenses. Especially with the emergence of Houston’s tight end corps.

If the “new & improved” offensive line can give Deshaun Watson time in the pocket, having the ability to choose between Hopkins, Coutee, Will Fuller V (who isn’t fully recovered from his knee injury, but making big strides), Jordan Thomas, Jordan Akins and Lamar Miller will be like handing a starving teenager the keys to an all you can eat buffet. Watson will feast and defenses will weep.

Yesterday, the Texans staff reporter John Harris pointed out as much:

John Harris

The next drill was 11-on-11 work and the offense got rolling after a few plays as it took a Watson to Keke Coutee completion to get the juices flowing. Coutee and the tight ends really had a pair of excellent days in Green Bay.

Will Coutee make the same jump he did at Texas Tech from his sophomore to junior year? When he went from 890 yards to 1429? It won’t take much to see that sort of increase due to his limited availability last year. But, if he can stay healthy, don’t be surprised if Houston has two 1000-yard receivers. Not to mention his name is just so much fun to say out loud (pronounced Key-Key CUE-Tee).

What do you think? Give us your Coutee stat predictions in the comments.