C.J. Fiedorowicz believes he made a good first impression. The Johnsburg native, who was taken in the third round of the NFL draft in May by the Houston Texans, debuted with the team at its minicamp last month. Fiedorowicz, a 6-foot-6, 262-pound tight end who played in college at Iowa, hopes that can continue to make an impression. In Houston, he’ll be under the tutelage of first-year head coach Bill O’Brien, who has often leaned on his tight ends in the past during stints as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots and at Penn State. Along with the Texans’ other rookies, including No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, Fiedorowicz is scheduled to report to training camp on July 21 in Houston. He was back in McHenry on Saturday for an autograph signing at National Pastime Sports Cards Memorabilia and More. Described by CBS Sports as a draft pick who is a “good schematic fit,” he hopes to make an immediate impact as a rookie.
Mini-camp was really good. It was a lot of learning. I really didn’t know what to expect going in there, meeting Coach O’Brien, the offensive coordinator. But I learned the offense pretty quickly, and I made a lot of big plays in the passing game to prove that I can be a pass catcher. It’s hard to tell where we’re going to be at in just helmets. But for the most part, I think we looked pretty good.
I know he [O’Brien] was at New England before. I also watched him at Penn State and what he did there, where he used three tight ends or two tight ends. He’d have a balanced attack with the run and the pass. I have a lot of respect for him, for bringing Penn State back from all that stuff that they were going through. To do something like that, to care as much as he did, it just goes to show the leader he is.
Right now, it’s just keeping busy. Working out three, four, five days a week. Trying to condition a little bit, so I don’t have to worry about being completely out of shape with dead legs the first couple day of camp. Just not over doing it to the point where I’m not going to be worn out, but just staying in shape. Doing what I’ve done my whole life, really. Maintaining good condition.
[Iowa] Coach [Kirk] Ferentz always preached team, team, team. No one was an individual. He made us all buy into working hard every day, listening to coach. Just being a guy who’s disciplined and trustworthy. Showing up to work every day.
A lot of guys in the NFL have families. You can’t go out partying every weekend after a game. The biggest thing [I’ve learned from the veterans] is taking care of your body. Whether it’s weekends after a game, instead of going home, it’s jumping into the ice tub and getting a little extra stretch or treatment to get prepared for the next week. Because, now, it’s your job. You have to take it that much more seriously.
I think I can be both [a pass catcher and a run blocker]. That’s what I did at Iowa. That’s what I’m comfortable with. That’s why they drafted me for. I think Coach O’Brien plans utilize me at both, depending on how I do at camp as a pass catcher.
I was able to buy my first truck – a Dodger Ram. A big 2,500 jacked up. I’ve never owned a car. I passed it. It was in the lot, I was like ‘I got to have that truck.’ Next day, I went and bought it. Big ole diesel. It’s pretty sweet.
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