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  1. #1
    Judaxi's Avatar
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    My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    Lately I have been seeing talk of either signing a free agent Tight end (Owen Daniels, Marcedes Lewis, Jermey Shockey) or drafting a talented Tight end (Kyle Rudolph). At this point last year I would have loved all of these idea, but with Josh McDaniels as our new offensive coordinator I think spending money on a premier FA or drafting a young TE before round 5 would be a waste of our resources. McDaniels system requires TE's to mostly block, and we already have a good blocking TE in Bajema. Outside of blocking McDaniels historically has not used his Tight ends very much. Bernie Miklasz gave the statistic that when Denver passed the ball last year a TE was only on the field 39 percent of the time. I wanted to find more statistics on the 1 and 2 TE formations used by McDaniels but was unable to. I think it is fair to assume however that when in a 2 TE formation the percentage of a pass play drops even more.

    To further support my argument that we do not need another TE on our roster I present statistics from 2007-2010.

    (Statistics based on info from ESPN Fantasy Football and Football Outsiders)

    Starting from 2007, Tight ends playing in Josh McDaniels system had stats like this:

    2007: New England Patriots
    Ben Watson: 36 rec, 389 yds, 6 tds, 49 targets
    Kyle Brady: 9 rec, 70 yds, 2 tds, 16 targets

    2008 New England Patriots:
    Ben Watson: 22 rec, 209 yds, 2 tds, 47 targets
    David Thomas: 9 rec, 93 yds, 0 tds, 17 targets


    2009 Denver Broncos:
    Tony Scheffler: 31 rec, 416 yds, 2 tds, 50 targets
    Daniel Graham: 28 rec, 289 yds, 1 td, 42 targets

    2010 Denver Broncos:
    Daniel Graham: 18 rec, 148 yds, 0 tds, 37 targets
    Dan Gronkowski: 8 rec, 64 yds, 0 tds, 13 targets
    Richard Quinn (who he traded up for): 1 rec, 9 yds, 0 tds, 2 targets


    These numbers are not eye popping in the slightest despite playing in offensive systems that put up big passing stats. Comparing McDaniels Tight end targets to the rest of the league continues to show his lack of the use of a Tight end in the passing game. In 2007 the average targets for a top 10 TE was 112, for a top 20 it was 89. The 20th most targeted Tight end in 2007 had 67 targets. The two Tight ends playing in McDaniels system that year didn't even crack the top 20 in targets for a Tight end combined. In 2008 the average targets for a top 10 TE was 101, for a top 20 it was 85. The 20th most target Tight end in that season had 62 targets. Again the two Tight ends playing under McDaniels that season did not combine for that many targets. In 2009 the average targets for a top 10 Te was 117, and for a top 20 it was 95. The 20th most targeted TE that season had 62 targets. This season was the best statistical year for a TE under McDaniels in between the 2007 and 2010 season. Tony Shcheffler put up 31 receptions for 416 yards and 2 touchdowns with 50 receptions. This however was a drop from his statistics the year before when he was not playing for McDaniels. In 2010 the average targets for a top 10 TE was 105 and for a top 20 it was 90. The 20th most targeted Tight end that season had 61 targets. For the 3rd season in 4 years Tight ends under McDaniels did not combine to make the top 20 in targets.



    In comparison these are the Rams TE stats for 2009 and 2010:


    2009 St. Louis Rams
    Daniel Fells: 21 rec, 273 yards, 3 tds, 35 targets
    Randy McMichael: 34 rec, 332 yards, 1 td, 62 targets


    2010: St. Louis Rams
    Daniel Fells: 41 rec, 391 yds, 2 tds, 65 targets
    Mike Hoomanawanui: 13 rec, 146 yds, 3 tds, 22 targets
    Billy Bajema: 14 rec, 145 yds, 2 tds, 24 targets


    Despite playing in a more conservative offense Rams Tight ends were able to put up similar numbers to those playing under McDaniels.



    The final statistics that I present are the percentage of times Tight ends were targeted when passing the ball. In 2007, on one of the most prolific passing offenses of all time Tight ends were targeted 11% of the time. In 2008 this number stayed around the same with 12%. In 2009, the best year for a Tight end under McDaniels of the four, Tight ends were targeted on 16% of pass plays under McDaniels. In 2010 the percentage of Tight end targets under McDaniels dropped to 9%.


    All of these numbers show that a premier receiving Tight end is not needed for a McDaniels offense and that the Rams would be OK with either standing pat at the position or acquiring either a lower tier free agent or low round draft prospect.


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    I see no need for a TE. We have an adequate group, and a budding star in Michael Hoomanawanui, provided he stay healthy and McDaniels chooses to incorporate him in the offense.

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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    i guess i can cross Kyle Rudolph off my list of 2nd rounders to watch...

    We have the best TEs for McDaniels system; Illinois mike and Bajema are blocking TE that can also be effective in the red zone.

    If we have a very good pass catching TE his name would be Fendi Onubon

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    An upgrade at tight end would be a luxury, yes. But it's also not a position where the Rams have a lot of great options, either. Bajema is solid, Hoomanawanui has shown flashes when he's been healthy but he rarely was. I don't envision this being a position that the Rams will put high on their priority list, but I also don't think they'll intentionally shy away from it if they stumble upon a player they like.

    I think the numbers that Scheffler and Graham put up in 2009 illustrate that the tight end can be involved in McDaniels' system; it's not as if the position is completely phased out ala the fullback. When you look at the names on those lists, none of them really jump out as being anything more than adequate in terms of talent. And the Patriots teams had better targets to throw to than Ben Watson (namely Moss and Welker, to start). Let's keep in mind that in his first year in Denver, McDaniels actually traded back into the second round to take a tight end in Richard Quinn, albeit overdrafting him significantly.

    So yes, while I agree it's not a priority and would be more of a luxury move, I doubt the Rams would completely ignore opportunities to upgrade the position if they present themselves.

  5. #5
    Judaxi's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    I agree that they probably wont ignore the position, especially if a good opportunity presents itself, but I would think it a waste or resources to spend alot of money or use a high draft pick on one. Yes he did trade up to get Quinn in the second round, and look at quinns numbers since being drafted. And Ben Watson put up good numbers this year (3 years later) with the Browns. I just don't think TE should be a huge priority based on our other needs.

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    richtree's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    I just want to see Fendi get some action....Line him up anywhere, he is an athlete and the Rams needs that on offense.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Judaxi View Post
    I agree that they probably wont ignore the position, especially if a good opportunity presents itself, but I would think it a waste or resources to spend alot of money or use a high draft pick on one. Yes he did trade up to get Quinn in the second round, and look at quinns numbers since being drafted. And Ben Watson put up good numbers this year (3 years later) with the Browns. I just don't think TE should be a huge priority based on our other needs.
    I don't necessarily disagree that our resources could be better spent at other positions, but I don't think I'd call it a "waste" if this offense added a legitimate tight end who could challenge the intermediate middle of the field, help move the chains, and score in the red zone. Quinn hasn't worked out for Denver, but McDaniels' willingness to move back up in the second round illustrates that the position is not an afterthought in his system, and if the right guy is available, the Rams could look to upgrade.

  8. #8
    Ram Mar Ram's Avatar
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    Re: My Argument Against a Tightend (Disclaimer: Kinda Long)

    I think we are good-enough with our current crop for what system McDaniels will implement. We have Bejma & Hoomanawanui and Fendi the project.

    We have to many must uprades and should upgrades to spend high picks on could upgrades. If there is talent late in the draft ... maybe

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