The Rise of the Tight End

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Is the rise of tight ends like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski the response to the Cover-2 defense? @santucci_john from Twitter

“Offenses are doing their best to spread defenses out and attack the middle of the field with prolific pass-catching tight ends to respond to the blitzes that they face. Instead of leaving more players in to block, offenses are sending more out in the pattern to challenge defenses. A big, mobile tight end is an easy target for the quarterback to find on a quick read and a challenge for the defense to defend with a safety or a linebacker. Really, I believe the rise of the tight end position in the passing game is in response to the complex blitz packages that have developed.”

This is a wonderful perspective that I hadn’t thought of. I might add that it doesn’t hurt that a good blocking tight end can help with the running game or with pass protections is situations like this. Both are reasonable responses to the blitz depending upon what is called. And, of course, if you find a good one he’s a matchup nightmare being too athletic for a linebacker and too big for a safety or cornerback. But I like Biggs’s reason the best and it makes a lot of sense.

I’m not too judgmental but there’s no denying that a lot of questions from readers that get published in these columns that are just plain dumb. Despite that, its questions and thoughtful answers like this that keep me reading.

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