Monday, June 22, 2009

Do Tight Ends Wear Tighty Whiteys?

The tight-end. Possibly the worst named position in American sports, but an essential part of the offense on any football team. They are essentially the one position that is asked to perform more than one role on every drive. They need to be able to block like an offensive lineman, run routes like a wide receiver, as well as line up as a lead blocker for the running backs, occasionally even running the ball themselves. And they have to have really soft hands. Let's look at the 6 tight-ends that are currently on the roster.

Anthony Fasano, # 80.
If he improves upon last year's performance, that trade that brought him and Akin Ayodele to us will continue to look like Parcells' golden touch. He had 34 catches for 454 yards and was second on the team with 7 touchdowns scored. I think a 15% increase in production would be acceptable improvement, but to be considered a top-tier tight end, he will need to increase those numbers by 25 to 30%, that is, approximately 44 catches, 580 yards, 9 TDs.

David Martin, # 88.
Martin is the guy most likely to extend for the ball, making for a bigger pass target. He was not the primary tight-end pass target but did come in on double tight end packages and was able to separate better than Fasano on the 'Tight-End Cross" play. He also got some time out at WR during the season. He ended up with 31 catches for 450 yards and 3 TDs. He's one of my favorite players on the team, and he showed incredible focus on several amazing catches in 2008, but he also has a tendency to drop passes, though he was stable in the games, while Fasano dropped a couple of crucial balls towards the end of the year. A lot of fans have whispered trade/release rumours or wishes for Martin, but we know for a fact that Sparano loves this guy, and it will likely come down to how the bigger wide receivers and Ernest Wilford perform in training camp/pre-season. I don't believe the younger tight-ends are a threat to Martin's job, but Wilford and Patrick Turner could be.

Joey Haynos, # 81.
Babyface Haynos did not get a lot of playing time through the year but once he got into the game on offense, I immediately noticed his crisp route running and it paid off with a touch-down a play or two later. Since he didn't get a lot of playing time, I can't judge how he blocks, though he did play on special teams, so his experience and time with the playbook likely gives him an edge over the two new guys.

Jared Bronson, # 89.
Bronson may not look like much at first glance, but he was pretty beastly at the division II rankings in college. One of our former wild-cat draftees, Bronson performed well at the Combine, but when it came to Central Washington's pro-day, only one NFL scout showed up. It's unknown whether that was a Miami scout or a Pittsburgh scout (they signed QB Mike Reily), or neither. Click on the picture to see video of what Bronson can do.

John Nalbone, #86.
Well, we didn't go after Miles Austin in trade, but we got his former Monmouth teammate, Nalbone in the 5th round of the draft. This is one of a couple of 'reaches' by Parcells and crew, in my opinion. Nalbone was drafted to be a blocking tight-end, so imagine my dismay, when in the first interview of his NFL career he said he considers himself a pass-receiver first, not a blocker. That pretty much raised the red flag as well as the white flag as far as I'm concerned. He did just get a contract signed, but so did Jared Bronson, and we know they're not both going to make the roster. One of them will probably make the practice squad. Nalbone and Bronson are basically in competition to make the PS.

Ernest Wilford, # 18.
You ever go to a fancy expensive dinner, and go overboard? You figure, hey, I'm shelling out the money, I might as well fill up. But then you feel a little sick to your stomach, but you don't really want to let go of that 'full up' feeling because it's the result of your exuberant meal? And then, at some point, you HAVE to let go of it, and as it's released you feel so much lighter and relieved, yet you have another feeling - like you've gone back to the place you were before you had your fancy dinner. You have nothing to show for it except for a dent in your bank account. This is the analogy I've come up with for Ernest Wilford. Sure, we'll have nothing to show for the oreo cookie buffet in the morning, but we'll be able to buckle our belt and move on.

As with the running backs, I feel we'll have the same tight-end squad we had in 2008. As I mentioned above, the only difference I could see is if the 'big' wide receivers turn it on and we end up keeping 6 WRs. I doubt we would go down to 2 TEs though since we run so many 2 TE formations, we'd have to have a reserve.

Any thoughts?


  1. The Knight who says Ni!June 22, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Tin, Haynos didn't beat any TEs out for a roster spot, he was signed during the bye when we cut Parmele.

  2. oh, damn you're right, I mixed him up with Matthew Mulligan.  better get my white out...

  3. The Knight who says Ni!June 22, 2009 at 9:52 AM


  4. jared is verr good at getting open.

  5. I don't know Tin, I have a very strong feeling that Martin is done with the Dolphins. I think they will go with Fasano, Heynos and one of the two rookies. Or they can put my avatar on the field as a tight end and it would cause all kinds of mismatches as players shuffle around to try and "cover" her!

  6. I think Wilford will be the 3rd TE, and there's a longshot that Martin won't be with us this yr making one of the rookies our 3rd TE.

  7. Rockphin, your avatar makes my avatar all discombobulated!

  8. The Knight who says Ni!June 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Rockphin, your avatar is very distracting. Thanks!  =-O

  9. It's only distracting because you are staining your eyes to see the delicious details.

    I don't think Wilford will be here by end of training camp and I think Martin will be gone so that leaves us with the three I stated above.  But we're all guessing at this point.  It will be interesting so see who wins ALL the positional battles this year. 

    BTW, I can change my avatar if you guys like.  Just let me know.

  10. <span style=""><img src="" border="0"/><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">Anthony Fasano, # 80.</span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">""If he improves upon last year's performance, that trade that brought him and Akin Ayodele to us will continue to look like Parcells' golden touch.""</span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"></span></span>
    <span style=""></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">In MY eyes that trade was OBVIOUSLY GOLDEN,(I had no doubt whatsoever),that it was"one for"OUR"side"!! </span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">We needed a depth @ ILB,and TE very baddd,let-alone starters,which is what they'd obviously be for us @ the time!!</span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">Though some of MY favs were available w'that 4th rnd pk(ILB Beau Bell,DT Red Bryant among others),who MIGHT have equaled the necessity of AAyodele,but throw in Fasano,and that trade was a NO-BRAINER from the get-go..</span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">I think Fasano can equal that 25-30% increase in production(rec/yrdg wise),but 9TDs might be asking a bit much of him.. I'll gladly take the 25% rec/yrdg increase,and his 7 TDs of"08"..</span></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"></span></span>
    <span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">I think Haynos makes the 53,and agree that the rooks are PS material @ best..Quite the reach for Nalbone,IMHO!!</span></span></span>

  11. I like this Tight End more than any we have on the team.  She truely defines the meaning of getting open.  :-P   I wonder if she has great hands, that's pretty important also.

  12. I have to admit I sometimes think Miami has no players that can play at all.  That's not right of me because no team is loaded with all pro players at every position and I base my opinions on pro bowl talent.  That's not fair so I will from here on try to compare our starters with the average starters around the league.

    So based on that criteria here's what I think.  Willford will make tis team somewhere, only because the trifecta want to save face not because of his talent.  The guy can't catch the ball no matter where he plays period, he was a msitake and they don't want to admit it.  I'd love to see him gone I just don't think it will happen. 

    I also don't see either TE brought in to make the team, mostly because Haynos is going to step it up.  He is exactly what the trifecta like in a player big and strong.  Of the TEs we keep, one of them needs to step it up on the blocking side.  My personell fav. is Joey.  I like his size, I know he can catch, and when he was in the games late in the year he was able to get open.  He has the greatest up side of all TE in camp, all he has to do is put it together and nail that OLB on the running plays and he's the Man.

  13. I think it would be hard for them to keep Wilford at tight end.  the other guys play special teams, wilford doesn't.  even our top WRs played special teams last year.  it's time to move on.

  14. the whole TE query centers around a point we don't know the answer to yet ...can Wilford block effectively? ...if he can, I think the trifecta keeps him and dominoes begin to tumble ...Fasano is as much a "lock" as Penne ...everything else waits on the answer to Wilford's blocking because I think it will impact how many WRs and TEs we carry.

    ...if Wilford can block (and play ST) then I think he stays ...if not, he's gone.

    ...interesting comment re Turner, tin do you see him figuring in to the TE equation? ...if a position switch were in the works that would seem a natural if he can block ...I'd just not thought about it before.

  15. ...I will hurt you ...I only come here to see your avatar 8-)

  16. lemmus,  i'm not implying that Turner would convert to TE, though he certainly could if he put on another 15lbs.

    What I was saying is that if both Wilford and Turner make the roster, we might go with one less tight end because we'd have these big tall pass targets everywhere, and could stand to let one go.  Thus Martin might be the odd one out.  That's a huge 'if' though.  Just throwing it out there.

  17. ...nice toss :)
    ...I've been thinking about the numbers game and came to the same conclusion ...but I'm not sold on Haynos ...he has to win it in camp ...and if Wilford makes a TE slot, another one just might not be there depending on how Sparano allocates the numbers.