Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 5/25/12
By now Kevin Walter is used to the talk every offseason: How the Texans absolutely have to upgrade at the wide receiver spot opposite Andre Johnson and how they need to add another deep threat to the offense. "They've been saying that since I've been here," said Walter. "This is my tenth season, my seventh year (with the Texans) and they've been saying that for quite a while." Walter, 30, has been a possession receiver his entire career, lacking the speed of a deep threat. But he also has arguably the best hands on the roster and the non-glamorous work he does often goes unnoticed by fans and media. Walter is an effective blocker who finds it a challenge to dig out a safety and is willing to block in the running game. But criticism always seems to go back to his inability to stretch the defense. "In this offense, there's a lot more than just catching passes," said Walter. "My stats last year weren't as great as they have been but there's a lot of things besides catching the ball... things out there that I do. We need eleven players to do what Arian (Foster) did last year and what Ben (Tate) did. We're a tight-knit group and that's all that counts." Walter caught 39 passes for 474 yards in 2011 but it must be noted that quarterback Matt Schaub's absence for a major part of the season likely played a role in the decreased numbers. As for the talk prior to the draft that the Texans should have prioritized the wide receiver position in the first round, Walter heard it but said it did not affect him. "It doesn't hurt, by any means," Walter said. "People are going to say what they want to say. I'm going to continue to play my game, do my job and work as hard as I can. That's all I can control." The Texans selected receivers in the third round and the fourth round. "They're all very impressive," Walter said. "They run fast, they catch the ball well. It's about learning the concepts now." Usually the term "possession receiver" is NFL-speak for a player with a lack of speed. The term implies limitations. But Walter doesn't take offense. "There are a lot of things that fuel my fire and that's definitely not one of them," Walter said. "There's a lot of guys that made a strong living in this league for a long time being a possession receiver." Walter said he feels no extra urgency to prove his worth because he is constantly in that mode. "I'm always trying to prove myself," he said. "It doesn't matter whether if it's year-one or right now. I'm always trying to prove myself to my coaches, to my teammates and that's on a daily basis. That's not just in training camp, not just in the games. It's every day." Walter's best season was 2008, when he caught 60 passes for 899 yards, averaging 15 yards per catch. He also caught a career-high eight touchdowns that season.
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