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Fine TEs important 20 years ago and today

At the dawn of NFL free agency, the Dolphins saw Keith Jackson dangling there, available and talented, and decided to be aggressive and chase him as their first unrestricted free agent addition.

Why, people wondered, would the Dolphins want to add a tight end -- especially an expensive one?

The Dolphins had Ferrell Edmunds on the roster and he was solid. And Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were still on the team and both were coming off 1,000-yard seasons in 1991.

So why bunch talent at TE? Why take catches away from twin 1,000-yard receivers? (The last question was also asked by Clayton, but that's another story).

"Adding talent whenever you can ianywhere you can on the roster is something we're going to do," Don Shula said. "If there's someone out there that can help us and fits, we'll try to get them. And adding a tight end helps the passing game, helps the running game, helps the receivers get more one-on-one matchups and helps our quarterback. Those are things we like to do."

And so the Dolphins landed Keith Jackson and four days after arriving in Miami he caught a TD pass against the Bills in a 37-10 whipping of the defending AFC Champions.

Fast forward to today. I'm at the Super Bowl. I covered the AFC Championship game last week.

You know what I see?

Teams with pass-catching, seam-threatening tight ends.

The four conference finalists had good if not great tight end play this season.

The Falcons had Tony Gonzalez, who caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Patriots had both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who combined for 106 receptions, over 1,200 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns.

The Super Bowl teams also have excellent pass-catching tight ends.

Vernon Davis is a tight end that runs like some wide receivers. He runs a 4.4 in the 40 and can get deep. This year was a down season for him as the quarterback change from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick resulted in more passes going to Michael Crabtree.

But Davis still had 41 receptions for 548 yards. He averaged 13.4 yards per catch, which is a wide receiver-type average, and scored five touchdowns.

The Ravens, meanwhile, offer Dennis Pitta, who is really starting to emerge in his third year with the team. This year Pitta caught 61 passes for 669 yads and seven TDs. The Ravens have always recognized the need for outstanding tight end play as they drafted Todd Heap in the first round a decade ago and went to the Super Bowl with Shannon Sharpe.

The point?

Successful teams recognize the need for excellent tight end play and they find a way to add that to the roster. The Dolphins of yesterday tried free agency when it was in its infancy, the Falcons traded for Gonzalez, the Patriots drafted not one, but two outstanding tight ends and Gronkowski came with the 41st overall selection. The Ravens have a history of finding fine tight ends as their general manager Ozzie Newsome was a great tight end.

Today's Dolphins, meanwhile, have been chugging along with mediocre tight end play.

Oh, the club's coaches will speak about Anthony Fasano in glowing terms. He's a fine blocker. He doesn't make mistakes. He's got great hands (sometimes). He's like a coach on the field.

But the thing they can never say is that he's a seam threat that worries the defense and is a matchup nightmare. They don't say that because it is not true.

The Dolphins have used resources to improve their tight end corps. Charles Clay came in the draft in 2011. Michael Egnew came in the draft in 2012.

Neither has really contributed to any significant degree. Indeed, if the Dolphins handle this offseason as it should be handled, both should be very nervous about their job status in 2013.

If the Dolphins do what should be done -- namely address the tight end position with significant resources -- Clay and Egnew should come to camp worried. They should come to camp thinking that their scholarships have been revoked and they'll get cut unless they make plays and do it consistently in training camp and during the preseason.

Last season, neither Clay nor Egnew did anything worthy of making the team in camp. They just basically made the team because they were young and there was simply no one else around. In other words, they made the team on promise rather than production.

And Fasano?

He's not starting because he's great. He's starting because he's the best of a bad lot. He's the best Miami's got but he's typically a C-plus player.

And as I look around, teams with merely C-plus tight ends didn't get deep into the playoffs this year.

Comments

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78, why the drew carey 4 db?
lol

I know what it means 2 Watt. So what does WAP mean because that's how you originally spelled it?

I see we're going into 'draft analysis' mode here, where everyone is suddenly an expert about 22-year-old kids they've seen play for 45 seconds on TV.

Posted by: Making Popcorn | January 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM


. Well, coutless hours put in from Irescum hasnt helped!!! LOL

the other te from stanford.?6'7" 275?

LOL 2 watt, obviously this is not Ireland due to none of the first pics are offensive linemen. ;)

Continuing to prove to be a "complete idiot"

YG I'm a complete idiot because you don't agree with my opinion? Interesting. I don't know why people call you an old man because you act like a child.

What do you mean you're not here? You came in 2 minutes after the mystery poster misspelled the same word you always misspell.

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Phony78,

I guess you also dont see where not taking your schizophrenia meds isnt hurting you either. Please dont tell us you have kids. Mentally defective genes such as your should not be allowed to spread. LOL...


it's sounds funnier in spanish and french.
lol

..Bootang25...Sweet, been awhile. Good posts today. Especially your point about Lane. After the first quarter of this season he was a liability. I would bet he is released. Also Your guy Kelce. People get caught up in just the pass catching side of the position. You have to be a good blocker as well(in our offense). That is why I like Toiolo so much.

So Mr. Popcorn..Yes I did watch a lot of Stanford games. And since I did I know that Ertz is not my first choice for the tight end spot. Since i watched the games(and now you can go google the highlights t confirm what I am telling you) I would know that Toiolo was the guy that caught the balls down the field. Toiolo was the guy who caught balls over the top of defenders(made TJ McDonald look like an inphant) You would also know(you don't) that as good as Ertz was, he was an underneath possession tight end. Not a seam threat. You would also know that when Stanford ran the strech play, it was usually to one side...guess who?

10 mil 2 flaco. evry1 is retiring after the sb the ravens will puke chunks 4 a decade now.
do it ire.
lol

My dream Dolphins top 4 rounds draft as of January 29th.

12-Eric Fisher
42-Stedman Bailey
54-Marquise Goodwin
77-Travis Kelce
82-Mike Gillislee
Round 4-Lerentee McCray

YG your shtick where you call me dumb all the time is old. You base that assessment on my opinions. You think I'm dumb because you don't share the same opinion.

Are you for real? You understand what that makes you right? A hypocrite. Not to mention every single post you write has at least four grammatical errors.

AND HOW F&^*ING STUPID DOES ONE HAVE TO BE TO SAY EIFERT ISN'T EVEN GOING IN THE FIRST WHEN EVERY OUTLET IN THE COUNTRY HAS HIM RANKED AS A TOP TWO TE IN THE COUNTRY? MOST HAVE HIM GOING 1ST OUT OF THE TE'S. But if you want to have a real conversation go ahead and prove me wrong on that. You said I was stupid for believing Eifert will go first. Go ahead and prove it.

I suspect you know this and are just playing your normal games. I see you have already reverted to changing your name and attacking me. For this reason I'm done talking to you and your aliases again today. Fire away, no one cares.

25. pos. pls.
lol

Getting a little defensive, Darryl?

So sorry to question your unparalleled draft expertise. I'm sure ESPN and half the teams in the NFL (at least) will be calling soon to tap into your finely honed skills and innate ability to divine the future pro prospects of these 22-year-old players.

I look forward to many posts including phrases such as "separation," "field awareness," "initial burst," etc. that will confirm your expertise on these matters.

YG you know I don't read your posts after your first insult right?

Every day you insult me I start ignoring your posts. I read the name at the bottom and if I even see the letters YEST, I skip right by it. But I keep noticing my name while scrolling which is awesome. It means your writing posts to someone who isn't even reading them.

Waste your own time much? ROFL

"Adding talent whenever you can ianywhere you can on the roster is something we're going to do," Don Shula said. "If there's someone out there that can help us and fits, we'll try to get them. And adding a tight end helps the passing game, helps the running game, helps the receivers get more one-on-one matchups and helps our quarterback. Those are things we like to do."

This is actually hysterical b/c it sounds like something Ireland has said in each of the last three off seasons. The difference between what Ireland continues to say & what Shula said here is that Shula actually accomplished it...


YG your shtick where you call me dumb all the time is old.

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM


First of all, its only up to you to decide when "being stupid" gets old. If you never stop being stupid, being called stupid will never get old dumbass stpido.

2ndly, You say:

"AND HOW F&^*ING STUPID DOES ONE HAVE TO BE TO SAY EIFERT ISN'T EVEN GOING IN THE FIRST WHEN EVERY OUTLET IN THE COUNTRY HAS HIM RANKED AS A TOP TWO TE IN THE COUNTRY"?

Dumbass, did you read your own "DUMBASS POST"? You said Eiffert will go top 10 idiot. Now find an outlet that confirms this neanderthal weiner brain. LOL...

BILLCALE good points. We will have to wait and see how it turns out. I just would like to use that money on some different guys in free agency. I was never looking to fill the te spot through free agency. I would grab one of the excellent TEs from the draft and let him grow with Tannehill. That's just me.

But Ireland may not do a thing. That's what is scaring me right now. I'm starting to honestly believe his ego is so massive he still thinks Egnew will magically transform in one off season.

the players themselves said that eggnew is a puxxie.
lol


YG you know I don't read your posts after your first insult right?

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poop for brains, are you aware youve responded to me at least 5-6 times all ready? You even respond to me when Im not here. Accusing other posters of being me.

Do you really realize how stupid you appear to those posters who are not me? Let me answer that for you, NO and you dont even have sense enough to care. You take stupido-mania to new levels with every single post.

You are far beyond meds right now stupido kid. LOL...

DD,

Finally figured out the Herald put an app for this out on Android. Been too long.

Kelce has good bloodlines, and can play in all situations. Tannehill would benefit from his size, especially in the red area.

BILLCALE good points.

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Quit trying to fake it. The only good point you have any knowledge of is at the north end of Marcie In Toronto's abnormally small boy tool. LOL....

From what I've been reading recently apparently the Dolphins aren't going to sign anyone, just let everyone walk, haha. I still think some of the best free agent buys are guys from our own team.

By the way, yesterday read something that the Detroit Lions have written of jahvid best and are looking for a breakaway RB ... meet Reggie Bush ...

Yeah my info on Eifert is outdated, during the college season when all of the hype was surrounding ND people had him top 10. His numbers dropped during the season because teams were double teaming him after he lit up the first few games. He is now projected to go to the bears at #20.

I still want Ertz though, watched the kid play tons this year and he catches EVERYTHING and always finds a way to get open while also being a superb blocker.

Darryl Dunphy says:
...Speed like Gronkowski??? Speed like Who?
=====================================================

Speed or quickness that will create separation. Speed or quickness like Dustin Keller or Eric Hernandez.

"The Dolphins have used resources to improve their tight end corps. Charles Clay came in the draft in 2011. Michael Egnew came in the draft in 2012.'

Mando,

Great points but as you know it's not just the lack of talent at the TE position. This is all part of a bigger picture of why this offense could barely score points last year. You look at draft picks like Clay, Egnew, Thomas, Gates, & Cunningham who have done either nothing or very little & it's not difficult to see how incompetent this franchise is. So much for building through the draft.

When a GM has scouts that can't hit on a TE or a RB or a WR then either the GM needs to find better scouts or we need to find a better GM. And then factor in that the GM & his personnel department can't even find players in FA??? And he still has a job after 4 straight losing seasons??? Clearly Ireland has failed & it was a HUGE mistake not firing him after last season.

If he re-signs Jake Long &/or lets Hartline leave that will be the last straw for me.

Phins78, every time I get to thinking about WHAT Ireland MIGHT do, it scares me too. LOL

I am in favor of OL and CB rebuilding in FA. But if Bush won't be resigned, I think it's a good move to get a top TE in FA. I lke Bennett. Cook and Finley have reputations of speaking out. That's a Philbin NoNo. Keller had misc injuries last year. With no Reggie as a passing target, let's focus on the TEs. It may immeasurably help Tannehill and the run game.

Not with our first pick. Have to find a way to grab Ertz with our second. I would be nervous someone could swoop in and take him before we pick so I wouldn't mind trading up a few spots if we have to.

GB will offer Reggie Bush 7-8 mill/yr.

Agreed there billcale, TE is very important especially if Tannehill is going to be given a chance to succeed.

When do they wise up and start Matt Moore and move Tanny to WR?

Darryl Dunphy says:

This idea that tight ends have to have crazy elite speed is a myth.
=====================================================
Really speed and quickness are myths not to be associated with TE's. How does Tony Gonzalez get open etc...How did Dallas Clark and Chris Cooley get open when they were younger.

From what I've been reading recently apparently the Dolphins aren't going to sign anyone, just let everyone walk, haha. I still think some of the best free agent buys are guys from our own team.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Thats what I was thinking Mark. It's a pretty fruitless deal to try and predict what Ireland is gonna do anyway. Hopefully he will take alot of input from Philbin on the draft and free agency this year.

Who knows if Philbin is a great talent evaluator but it couldn't hurt to change our luck.


Posted by: promichael | January 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I guess Fasano has crazy elite speed. Because Fasano cant getting open seems myth too. LOL....

Why you continue to waste your time is a mystery.

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Geesh, didnt you say you were going to stop responding to me 10 posts ago? Guess you are gay, you cant stop responding to "real men". LOL....

Posted by: And You Are? | January 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Leaving in ten minutes when my lunch ends. Good to know you are able to keep tabs in here while people are gone though.

Do me a favor while I'm gone. Read what everyone says and let me know what the good conversations were when I come back? Thanks guy.

From what I've been reading recently apparently the Dolphins aren't going to sign anyone, just let everyone walk, haha. I still think some of the best free agent buys are guys from our own team.

Mark,

It's actually not funny. You must realize by now that Ireland & his staff are among the worst evaluators of talent (both college & pro) in the NFL.

I was thinking that if we resigned Hartline to a 4 year 25 Million dollar deal & guaranteed about half of that so figure $12-$12.5 Million what is so risky about that for an extremely reliable player with??? He's coming off his best season & that was w/o an offseason or training camp or a preseason. Is he all of a sudden implode or break down at 27 years old???

Obviously there's risk with any player b/c of injury (especially knees or concussions) but if the guys was able to gut it out last year after what he went through, he's DEFINITELY a safer bet than $8-9 Million for Greg Jennings.

Not that I wouldn't want Jennings & more talent at WR than just Hartline, Bess, & Matthews but this should really be a no-brainer for Ireland which may be the problem...Why would Ireland want to re-sign a WR that has proven chemistry with our starting QB??? Forget that let's just look for Irecorns & Leprachauns...LOL!!!

Speed or quickness that will create separation. Speed or quickness like Dustin Keller or Eric Hernandez.

Promichael,

Forget Keller. The guy is a cissy & is not the answer.

BTW--His name is Aaron Hernandez.

"GB will offer Reggie Bush 7-8 mill/yr."

LOL@Steve. That's Arian Foster/AP money & thr Packers??? First of all that number is ludicrous for a 28 year old RB who rushed for over a 1000 yards once in his NFL career & you're talking about a team that RARELY signs players in FA.


Posted by: Dolfan Rick | January 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I believe anyone projecting we will not resign any of our own fa's to be a spread of total falsehood.

What I do believe is that it's very unlikely we resign more than 3 of them. Resigning 4 would be a huge stretch. Resigning even 3 shrinks our ability to sign other needed fa's.

IMO, we need to come out of fa with 2 olinemen and a stretch the field wr like Wallace(#2wr). Will Ireland see it the same, I seriously doubt it.

WNP the only problem with Hartline is he disappears in the endzone because of his size and inability to jump more than two inches off the ground. He's 6'2" and plays like he's 5'8". Seriously, he's like George Costanza out there.

I'm sure there will be a lot of good teams looking for a 3rd wr option and will be thinking Hartline. For this reason I'm hoping he is over valuing himself. The rest of the league may laugh at the notion he is a #2. At that point we can sign him for less than if we signed him now. I'm hoping this is how it plays out because I would hate to give a guy that kind of money because he put up numbers like that this year.

His numbers were all in between the twenties, no big catches in the red zone. And he benefited because he was on the team with the worst wr's in the league. I don't thin people are recognizing this when talking about how great he is because of all of the catches.

Of course he had a ton of catches, who in the heck was Tannehill going to throw to? Hartline was the only one that could even remotely get open down the field.

TE's to look at in FA

Heath Miller

Dustin Keller

Jerad Cook

Fred Davis

and possibly a sleeper in Delanie Walker from SF

Back to work gents, have a great day everyone.

How many times can you guys write the SAME things ad nauseum?? Ugh, what a blog.

I would offer Danny Amendola 5-7 million as a #2 reciever instead of paying hartline...just sayin!!!

Fasano, Clay and Egnew. Do you really trust Ireland and his scouts to evaluate TE's well?

GOODBYE PHINS 78. I WILL SEE YOU AT THE MALL LATER FOR OUR WEEKLY PEDICURE!

Fasano, Bush, Starks,Smith, Hartline, Long. Isn't it a stretch to think Ireland will be able to replace all these guys with upgrades? Not to mention the cb and wr positions where there are already holes.

I'm sure there will be a lot of good teams looking for a 3rd wr option and will be thinking Hartline. "For this reason I'm hoping he is over valuing himself. The rest of the league may laugh at the notion he is a #2. At that point we can sign him for less than if we signed him now. I'm hoping this is how it plays out because I would hate to give a guy that kind of money because he put up numbers like that this year."

I don't believe he is. Look at the money Robert Meachum got from SD & he sucked this year. There are a LOT of teams looking for a Number Two WR & imagine the numbers he would have had with an experienced QB.

The guy was picked as an alternate for the Pro Bowl!!! I find it very odd that some people refuse to give Hartline enough credit for having a GREAT season.

Im not going to place all of my eggs into an unproven basket, but, I believe Rishard Matthews could possibly have more upside than Brian Hartline.

I believe we need to bring in at least 2 wr's, whether 1 in fa and 1 in the draft. Then it will be a lot easier to allow Hartline to walk and give Rishard Matthews more room to grow into a more valuable piece of our recieving rotation.

IMO, by Matthews 4th yr, I believe he will be far more productive as far as producing tds than Hartline. This was Hartline's 4th season and he produced only td for the entire season.

Im beginning to believe Hartline's a little afraid of catching over the middle too. Seems his drop and incompletion ratio increases during pass attempts to him in the middle of the field.

Fasano, Bush, Starks,Smith, Hartline, Long. Isn't it a stretch to think Ireland will be able to replace all these guys with upgrades? Not to mention the cb and wr positions where there are already holes.

Rick,

You raise a great question. He'll blow FA & the draft b/c at the end of the day he's the worst GM in football.


The guy was picked as an alternate for the Pro Bowl!!! I find it very odd that some people refuse to give Hartline enough credit for having a GREAT season.

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | January 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

When the hell did Hartline get picked as a pro bowl alternate? Really, what universe did this occur?

Dolfan Rick

You forget that economics might force miami to replace them

Bush wants RB money like 6-7 million

Long Wants 10 Million a yr

Hartline reportedly wants 6-7 million a yr

Smith wants *lmao* Elite CB money

Fasano might be one of the few that will take a hometown discount to stay since his market value isnt nearly that high

Starks is also looking to cash in as a top payed Defensive player

Miami needs to honestly set a value for these players because truly none of them are Difference makers(with maybe the exception of starks) and all of their prices are way overvalued. Replacing them might make more sense then keeping them.

I could give a f#ck less about him being named a pro bowl alternate...the point is can his production of 1 TD a year be replaced by a reciever in the draft...The answer is YES!!!!

"I would offer Danny Amendola 5-7 million as a #2 reciever instead of paying hartline...just sayin!!!"

Superphin,

Then you'd probably be a worse GM than Ireland. Amendola has missed 20 games in the last two years. To pay that kind of money for a guy that couldn't stay healthy in each of the last two years??? That's just dumb.

Yay!! New Post!!

Great Post! Mando!!

TE's! Were Important!! And To Most Teams! Without Good Wr's!! They Still Are!!

But To The Fins! And The Scheme They Are Trying To Run!! A TE At Best Is The #3 Option!! More Like The 4th Or 5th Option!! On Any Play!!

And Before You Guys Start Screaming!! BS!!

We Ran A Lot Of 4-5 Wr Sets!! With Better TE's Than Wr's!!

AND LOOK AT THE PACKERS!!

Once They Got 4 Real Wr's!! The Seam Threat TE Became Expendable!!

Look At A&M! With And Without Sherman!! 4-5 WR's!! No TE's!!

I'm More Worried! About Fixing The Wr Position!!

T-Hill With 4 Fast Wr's!! That Can Run Routes And Catch Passes!! Will Be More Exciting And Realistic To Watch!! Than T-Hill With 2 TE's!!

Oh, and On The Run Blocking!!

Another Reason!! Dashi Says, We Are Looking For 6'3" 205+ Wr's!! And No Short, Small, and Skinny Wr's!!

Bigger WR's!! Just Naturally Run Block Better!! Than Having A Midget!! Like S.Bailey!! Blocking A CB or A Safety!!

"I could give a f#ck less about him being named a pro bowl alternate...the point is can his production of 1 TD a year be replaced by a reciever in the draft...The answer is YES!!!!"

Superphin,

But you'd pay that money to Amendola that had three this year??? I don't get it.

And yet the man had 3 TDS and 666 receptions and was targeted just as much as hartline was before injury this year.....But your right, since hartline didnt get injured and played 4 yrs with 6 TDS in his Career, he's worth more *lmao*

Rishard Matthews is a guy I am hoping becomes a viable receiving option with continued development. Loved him coming out, he was the only guy to really do anything in the preseason, and showed skills when given the chance in the season. Nice big bodied possession guy who can win downfield.

Posted by: Phins78 | January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Personally, I find you dumb not because I disagree with your opinions but, because most of the sane living population does as well.

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