I heard an argument on NFL Network that the trend in the proliferation of receiving tight ends is largely due to the NFL rules that protect defenseless receivers now. That makes some sense -- seam and deep middle routes are a little less dangerous to run now that the receiver is less worried about the safety missiles that used to blow them up. (Although I will say VD does take some big hits on his receptions still).
But the athletes like Gonzales and Gates really opened coaches eyes to the potential, and sense then you've had the VD, Graham, Gonk's, and Hernandez's join the athletic marvels at the position. Shannon Sharpe was really the predecessor of these guys, but in the 1990s style of offense he was not a typical TE fit for teams.
Wouldn't really make a point to single out TEs while talking over the middle. WRs run an array of slants, in routes, drags, and deep posts... RBs and FBs run circle routes, ins, etc.
The TE explosion is more about taking advantage of mismatches on LBs and safeties. Many backers don't have the speed and/or quickness to keep up and safeties can struggle with the size as well as staying with some of the faster TEs.
Just my thoughts on why teams will start doing what the Pats did and go with 2 TE's that both can be stars....
LB... mismatch.... SS.... mismatch (most of the time, plus frees up the top)..... CB... (most are too small... some can stick with them but even if that's the case they just used one of their best CBs leaving better opportunities for the WRs) 3rd downs, red zone... they can get it done
2. QB Friendly
Most TE's don't talk they just produce... most don't act like a lot of the WRs who can be divas. Also, they usually run shorter safer routes which means easier throws. Most have big bodies to shield defenders.
3. WR Friendly
Not only makes the QBs job easier but frees up the WRs. If you got a non receiving threat TE teams can focus on the WRs.
But vd is the only te in the nfl that can do it all....mainly go deep split outside like in the giants game. That was sick, I have never seen a te burn so many defenders but then again, he is the fastest te ever
Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, Dan Fouts K, etc, etc all used their tight ends a lot because they had noodle arms. Yeah, good one guys. Not saying it won't help a QB who has a weak arm but let's not pretend that's the reason the tight end is becoming more and more of a passing target.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
It's better for us. Alex likes TE's much better. But he never had real great WR's. So we will see what we get this year with better WR's and 2 years in the same system.
This is the one i want to see cause this has been one of the ongoing themes about Smith, hopefully he takes HUGE steps this year.
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