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Old 07-07-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default SN- Ranking the AFC Tight Ends

its offseason and we gotta take the good with the bad in all these rankings. here is some good:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn...c.php?t=233598

Quote:
AFC Focus: Ranking the tight ends


Posted: July 5, 2007

More: NFC Rankings

Where does your team's complement of tight ends rank against the rest of the league? And who's the league's No. 1 overall player at the position?

1. CHARGERS Because he draws double-teams, Antonio Gates might be the most important player on an offense that features league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson. Brandon Manumaleuna is a good blocker who has helped Gates improve in that area.

2. CHIEFS Tony Gonzalez remains a premier receiver and has improved his ability to gain yards after the catch. Jason Dunn is a powerful run blocker.

3. STEELERS Heath Miller is a budding star who has soft hands, runs excellent routes and is tough to bring down. Rookie Matt Spaeth will be a pass-catching option.

4. COLTS Dallas Clark has sure hands, gets downfield and has outstanding after-the-catch skills. Bryan Fletcher and Ben Utecht offer quality depth.

5. BRONCOS Daniel Graham gives Denver a devastating blocker for its running game. Tony Scheffler can split out wide as a receiver in some formations.

6. RAVENS Todd Heap is a versatile weapon. Dan Wilcox has good hands but isn't a deep threat.

7. BROWNS If offseason microfracture surgery stabilized Kellen Winslow's knee, he could be more explosive after the catch. Steve Heiden (6-5, 267) has the size and athleticism to serve as a quality No. 2.

8. PATRIOTS Ben Watson creates mismatches against slower linebackers and smaller safeties and will benefit from the team's beefed-up receiving unit. Kyle Brady basically serves as a third tackle in the running game.

9. TEXANS Owen Daniels, Jeb Putzier and Mark Bruener are solid, and all three will be used often. Daniels' biggest negative is a lack of durability.

10. TITANS The team is running out of patience with Ben Troupe, who has been a disappointment. Bo Scaife is a reliable target for Vince Young.

Quote:
Top 5 AFC Tight Ends

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers. He's the best downfield threat, and he knows how to box out defenders and get to the ball from his days as a basketball player.
2. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs. At 31, he hasn't shown signs of decline. His hands are vise grips, and he still has the leaping ability to thrive.
3. Todd Heap, Ravens. He can get downfield and knows how to use his big body to shield defenders from the ball.
4. Kellen Winslow, Browns. After injuries stifled his first two years, Winslow broke out with 89 catches in 2006. But offseason knee surgery brings doubt back into the equation.
5. Heath Miller, Steelers. He has the receiving and blocking ability to move higher on this list.
this may seem a bit shocking, but really it makes sense. in the past 3 drafts we have picked a consensus top 2 collegiate TE. if they are this highly regarded it only makes sense we use them. we may not get a. gates or t. gonzales production (although midway through heaths miller's rookie year he was on pace to tie a. gates td record).

willie parker isnt l. tomlinson or l. johnson, however the chargers or cheifs arent nearly as stacked at wr. n. washington or c. wilson would probably be starters for either team. theres no reason we shouldnt be in the top 10 in offense this year.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

I hope we use the tightends a lot more in the passing game.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

Is it just me, or does anybody else also think Gonzalez has slipped a bit over the last couple of seasons?

Edit: Never mind, it was just me:



Probably more a case of Gates stealing a bit of his thunder.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

I like what they have to say about Miller, but I think that Gonzales is ranked to high. The last couple of year he showed that he has lost a step with Green at QB...what kind of step back will he take with Brodie Croyle at the Helm?
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
Is it just me, or does anybody else also think Gonzalez has slipped a bit over the last couple of seasons?
Okay..that was weird...I guess great minds think alike!!!!
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

As bad as some of the 'anti-Steelers' articles that have been floating about this year (Ben ranked at 17th and the Rooney's at 9) this seems like a total reach the other way.

Why is Matt Spaeth even getting mentioned?

More than a few people were spitting feathers when Calvin Johnson showed up in the WR rankings but at least he was a genuine All Star college player - Spaeth is a 3rd round draft pick.

I like Heath Miller and think he can be a weapon on offense but reality tells us that he caught for less than 500 yards in his rookie season - then regressed last year to less than 400.

Im fully aware that Pittsburgh haven't made the most of their TE's ability to catch the ball in the past, but why are they ranked at No.3?

The Colts TE's are better by a long way (and actually proven at NFL level) and im not too sure why the Patriots rank as low as No.8 despite having Ben Watson who's production last year improved by 50% on the year before.

Aswell as Kyle Brady they have a guy who used to be Vince Youngs go-to-guy for Texas - David Thomas who has alot of ability as a pass catcher.

Truly a bizarre placing of the Steelers - every bit as out-of-whack with reality as ranking the Rooney's at No.9.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

Well... I hate to play Devil's Advocate, but I feel like I must.

I was complaining before about the Steelers getting snubbed, but this time the Ratbirds did. Todd Heap got robbed at number 5. WIlcox isn't amazing, but how can you rank Heap's 70+ receptions and about 800 yards a year over the past two years 5th?? He has been unjustly overlooked.

I realize that blocking is a large part of the TE position, but Heap's receiving qualities are stellar. To compare, he has about twice as many receptions, yards, and first downs than Miller the past two years.

Wilcox isn't unreal, but a solid backup. More proven than a rookie at least.

As far as run blocking. In Heap's third year (started 16 games). Jamal Lewis ran for over 2,000 yards. Not to mention other successful years together, look at the stats. I realize that the Ravens have a good run blocking line, but can't the same be said for the Steelers?

Phew. That was hard to say... but Ravens at 5? Please.

This is one position that I didn't think we should rank extremely high and did. The ones where we should be shoe ins we get snubbed. I should have this job apparently.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

Grrr... Nigel kind of beat me to it...

Don't you have anything else to do than steal my thunder you old bloke?
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
Is it just me, or does anybody else also think Gonzalez has slipped a bit over the last couple of seasons?

Edit: Never mind, it was just me:



Probably more a case of Gates stealing a bit of his thunder.
I think Tony G's production has gone down because of Larry Johnson getting a ton of rushes.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: SN- Ranking the Tight Ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushzilla View Post
Grrr... Nigel kind of beat me to it...

Don't you have anything else to do than steal my thunder you old bloke?
Who you calling 'old'? ...whippersnapper! (ok that just proved I am old )
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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