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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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LOL....'WHO CARES'....

F8cking ignoramus!!....


When you start your resposnses to me with 'WHO CARES', you get back a 'GO F*CK YOURSELF'....

I hope that's plain enough English for you and you NEVER address me again. Somehow I fear that won't happen.

Posted by: Craig M | January 29, 2013 at 02:14 PM

It wont doofus. You say too many dumb things for me & others NOT to want to challenge & ridicule you over.

Gosh, you are DENSE!

I THINK ,LOL HAS A POINT @ 2;16 PM...

I'd encourage others to give Mr. LOL a 'who cares', so he gets SOME idea of just how f8cking condescending he sounds. Maybe a taste of your own medicine is what you need....d8ckhead!

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | January 29, 2013 at 02:09 PM

Name one player in nfl history that has ever "PROVEN" he can play at the nfl level before he has actually played at the nfl level? Didnt think you could.

Geesh, the flimsy stuff some people use to sell themselves on total bs. LOL...

LOL....


WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR LAST POST .....

Anways 'pal'.....have a good day!

Craig, I'm condescending?

Have you ever read any of your own posts?

Jesus Christ you are friggin delusional!

Pot...meet Kettle!

Stop trying to get people to gang up on me here BUD! The one who gets pummeled daily is you, not I.

Looking to others to bail your ignorant as* up? LMAO On a blog? LMAO

Christ, you're pathetic!

YG...WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR LAST FEW POSTS...


PS.........STILL FRIENDS ???

Aloco, aside from Craig, you're th ebiggest waste of space on this blog.

Do everyone a favor & go find yourself a spin cycle!

lol

..Yg When was that written?? Here is a scouting report from a real NFL scout. Take it for what it is worth. Also I watched these games. My eyes tell me the Walter report is just flat wrong. Anyway always differences of opinion. Here is part of the scouting report on Toiolo. Not my words.

In line blocking elite. It is the best I have seen. Gets off the ball quick. Sets his base effective. Plays with good pad level. Long arms, good initial pop to create running lanes. Finishes blocks. Works well to second level. Always has head on a swivel in pass pro. Long arms allow him to work against speed rushers. Excellent ball skills, soft hands...It goes on. but I wanted to show you the scouts perspective on his blocking ability scouted recently from this year not 2011 or 2010 when I believe the Walter Camp one was written.

LOL...........

CRAIG HAS A POINT,YOU DON'T ADDRES PEOPLE WITH ,WHO CARES.PEROID ...

'Pummeled daily'.....LOL.

It's all about winning and losing to you, right bud? What world do you live in?

It's bunch of guys coming here to EXPRESS opinions. There's no winners and losers. It's OPINIONS. You don't have a f8cking clue on this stuff, do you?

'Pummeled'.....f8cking hilarious! And I'm 'pathetic' and 'delusional'.....It's obvious you don't know what the words mean.

'Pummeled'!!....LOL. I wonder who else on this blog talks that way....hmmm?

Iguana: He touches me!

Graig M: Who?

Iguana: Aloco!

Graig: Do you like it?

Iguana: NO!

Graig: What if I tried?

WNP....

Hartline a proven commidity only up to a certian point, We know what hartline can or cannot do for the most part during his four years here..but part of being an unknown as WR is that no team will have any knowledge of what he can do or what he can bring to an offense and DC's have nothing but college scouting to go by...

it is a hit or miss sometimes but part of being bold and taking risks are teams that dont simply settle for what they have and gamble with what they could have if they decide to just wait out the process of selecting sub par talent in later rounds...Blackmon did struggle on the crappiest of teams but later you could definatly see him become more comfortable towards the end of the year with henne of all people throwing to him

Point is keeping hartline 5-7 million and then drafting a reciever early wont help you at all if he starts as your #4 WR if miami should sign a WR in FA and still have hartline and bess...so what if he should excell past both bess and hartline in preseason and the regular season???Now you have the delimma of having an overpriced #4 reciever unless you replace hartline with bess which wont happen....

LOL... PLEASE TELL US THE MEANING OF (( PUMMELED ))......

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | January 29, 2013 at 02:25 PM

DD,

If we spend a high pick on Toilolo, I just hope that wasnt one of "Jeff Ireland's" scouts making the scouting report you posted. LOL...

Craig M and Phins 78, same person?

Craig, laugh it off all you want fruitcake. I remember the days of XO80, Joe Schmoe, Montreal #1 & many many others beating you senseless every darn day.

You get pummeled on this blog daily. Everyone sees it. You laughing it off pretending it doesn't happen doesn't change the facts.

Aloco, I thought I made it clear that you are a useless spec on this blog. You don't like the way I address you or others? Perhaps I can airmail you a box of kleenex or perhaps some maxi pads?

Man up sissy!

superPHIN,

If I read your comments above correctly, you are claiming Hartline is number 4 WR. I'm not getting how you're coming up with that. To me Hartline does things that Bess can't.

I don't think there's any guarantee that a rookie comes in a contributes right away. Might take a year or two. Hence the reason you need to sign a vet and resign Hartline (at not crazy money). Very few rookies come in and have INSTANT impact and we saw Blacmon struggle somewhat right from the beginning. This isn't uncommon.

...Promicheal Quickness is one thing. I was reading you post as true speed. If that isn't what you meant. I will take you at your word. This whole thing started because I asked earlier why so many were on the Ertz bandwagon? It is ok if you are(not you in particular) I'm just trying to figure it out. I think Ertz is over-rated. And I'm trying to hear a good reason as to why he would be a good fit here. I haven't heard one yet, except the "experts" say so.so it has to be true.

I threw in my support for Toiolo just because I think as big a need as Tight end is. He would fit our needs in a later round(if he doesn't climb the draft ladder form now until draft day)

LOL....

YOUR LANGUAGE IS BECOMING FILTHY,SLOWLY ,SLOWLY...........


Its unfair to judge Hartline on his time with Tannehill. He'd excel with any decent QB.

LOL,

'Who cares'......

Aloco, if you fell off the earth, would anyone care?

LOL,


WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK .....

LOL...

BE A SMART BLOGGER LIKE DD ...........TALK ,AGREE,DISAGREE AND BE HUMBLE..

IN THE END ,WHO REALLY CARES......


LOL,

'Who cares'......

Posted by: Craig M | January 29, 2013 at 02:31 PM

You do because you keep responding! LOL IDIOT!

Honestly, it's too easy with you! LMAO

Craig M for MORON!

CraigM,

IMO, Hartline's only better on the outside than Bess. Thats based on speed alone. Bess owns Hartline when pertaining to making catches in the middle of the field.

If Bess had real speed, Hartline couldnt carry his jockstrap.

LOL;

IT'S ALL BLACK INK ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

WHO CARES....

If Jeff Ireland says the Dolphins don't need good tight ends, we don't need them. You can take that to the bank.

Aloco, who cares about you?

I have seen no one do anything but mock you on this blog.

Who cares? LMAO The answer is NO ONE....CARES ABOUT YOU!

HAHAHAHAHAHA

I care about Aloco!

LOL...

YOU DUMB LIKE A ROCK..........

NO ONE CARES ABOUT NO ONE ON A BLOG DONKEY......

IT'S ALL MAKE BELIEVE,,,,,,,

craig, have u looked 2 c if lol worx on u'r floor.?
lol

..YG..One thing. I wasn't campaingning for Toiolo in the early rounds(1,2,3) I think he could be had later. And that is why I like him so much. Also. you are big on the "eyeball test" You can believe the what you read. That is your right.I'm talking from a position of a person who from my own eyeballs I can't take the Walter Camp scouting report as anything but false. My own opionon. I know it is ridiculous. But if you can watch the USC game this year, or go back to the Oregon game in 2011, or the Fiesta bowl from last year. You will see dominance.

No craig,

I claimed that if miami did draft a WR like a terrence williams and he excelled for the sake of arguement with a FA such as wallace, then you would either be replacing hartline with bess or having hartline pushed back all the way to the #4 slot.....and no reciever as a 3 or 4 is worth 5-7 million either way you look at it!!!

And of course theres no guarantee with Rookie wrs that come in the league right away just like theres NO guarentee Brian Hartline will be any more effective in scoring TDS like he has the last four years....Id rather chance the unknown then the already have nots of the NFL...just sayin!!!

LOl,

'Who cares'....

YG......YOU R SO QUITE.

SMART .

Aloco, NEWFLASH IDIOT, no one cares about you in real life either!

You pathetic schlep!

Notice however when I mention the old timers names who used to rip on Craig everyday for his idiocy, he shuts up!

Now he remembers the meaning of pummeled! Run & hide coward! Those of us here long enough know your history!

LOL

LOL............ WHY YOU R SO MAD......

LIFE
IS
SHORT...

superPHIN,

Again I'll argue that for a 4th round WR, Hartline does his job and more. If it's more TD's you're looking for we need to improve the TE position, the QB needs to get better, the play-calling needs to get better and we need to add more elite talent at WR. Hartline with a vet and a rookie stil probably starts the year as the number 2. Going to have to be a pretty special rookie to go over a 1,000 yards right off the bat. I'm sure as Hell not counting on it.

Craig Moron,

Tell us what you read in Pro Football Digest that you'd like to plagiarize for us today!

BACK TO WORK...LATER...DONKEYS ...

DD,

On the east coast we dont see much of west coast teams. So you have a far better chance of eyeballing them than we do.

Problem in Miami is that we've "neglected" the te position for so long, fans will go nuts if Ireland drafted another te(Egnew) not quite ready to play day 1. So as far as the te position goes in Miami, Ireland either has to sign one of the top fa te's, or use one of the first 3 picks on one.

Dolfans would be hugely disappointed if Ireland brings in a TE and he isnt playing day 1. Not sayin Toilolo couldnt do this, but if he doesnt, dolfans will screaming "another Egnew".

You see what Im saying dont you?

Aloco, the 2 minutes i've wasted on you is enough. Have fun with your make believe friends & the iguana you supposedly molest.

Craig M, would you like to go down memory lane with some old bloggers and tell us how much they appreciated you?

ARMANDO AND THE FILTHY BLOGGERS;;;;;;;;


LOL......NEWEST MEMBER .......



It's all about winning and losing to you, right bud? What world do you live in?

It's bunch of guys coming here to EXPRESS opinions. There's no winners and losers. It's OPINIONS. You don't have a f8cking clue on this stuff, do you?

Posted by: Craig M | January 29, 2013 at 02:25 PM

Actually Craig,

You very frequently come on this blog and start out by stomping your feet and demanding to know where "so and so" bloggers are, ones who had a differing opinion than you on a certain player, or situation.

You also ask, quite often, for bloggers to go "on the record" with their opinions...

Not keeping a record are you?

You know, like someone who cares about winning and losing on a blog.

LOL,

'Who cares'....

Craig


seems like your saying now we have to replace the flaws of hartline as a playmaker with the help of 1 dynamic or a very good TE and one Dynamic WR...I dont undersatnd why not draft another reciever in the early rounds and try and make potentionally three very good playmakers on offense as opposed to two playmakers and one average player???...and it would be more of a bargain if most of your money is being spent on a TE and 1 WR in FA

Fine TEs important 20 years ago and today

Armando,

Just to remind you, any fine player on offense is important. That has changed in nearly a full century of nfl football.

superPHIN,

I'm looking for a vet in FA, a young guy in the draft a TE in the draft and a resign of Hartline (if the price stays reasonable). This offencehas to be upgraded BIG TIME! I'm not suggesting that we simply resign Hartline. He's good but he's never a number one. I'm also saying the plan can't be that the young guy will automatically be a star from day one. Doesn't usually work that way.

Given Irfiends draft status of playmakers , you may have very few playmakers out of the whole ordeal based on drafting a TE or WR...and my confidence hasnt shot up with Egnews play last year nor with irefiends projection of his playmaking skills...just sayin


LOL,

'Who cares'....

Posted by: Craig M | January 29, 2013 at 02:48 PM

Are you trying to play some evil jedi mind trick? It has no effect on superior minds, fool!

Figures, the only other dunce to join your chorus was the simple minded Aloco.

WOW, YOU'RE IMPRESSIVE!

LOL

Hell, Craigy! Even Armando mocked your stance on J. Martin!

Even this blog's author knows what an egotistical, unreasonable, condescending know it all you are!

And you try to gang up on me with Aloco....

LMFAOLMFAOLMFAOLMFAOLMFAO

Weird stuff!....'who cares'....

Have fun loser....I'm out!

Nothing weird about what an a**you are Craigy. We're all used to it.

Run along now. I'm sure you're trolling the screen waiting to pounce as you always do.

I mean, it wouldn't be the 1st time you said your leaving only to stay & keep posting.

We all know you'r enot a man of your word.

CraigM,

Here's my delenma, fixing the oline is top priority too, I dont want to use draft picks on it. I advocate experienced in their prime vets. IMO, drafting them means 2 of the 1st 3 picks. Then you still have the lack of nfl experience in thier first season.

So, both Albert and Levitre represents at least $20 million. Wallace(deep sped #2 wr) represents about $8-$9 million. Rounded off we're talking $30 million.

This leaves roughly $16-$17 million to resign our own fa's. The only way to increase this during fa is to let either Marshall or Patterson go, and the biggest shocker of all, let Dansby go. Dansby is $12 million on the cap this year himself.

So a lot has to happen to resign even 3 of our own supposedly most important fa's. Not saying it will happen, but I wouldnt be shocked to see Dansby become a cap casualty in lieu of retaining more of our own fa's. It may come down to value vs on the field play.

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