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Tribal Warfare
06-02-2010, 02:59 AM
Chiefs’ tight end situation unclear (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/01/1986135/chiefs-tight-end-situation-unclear.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

Leonard Pope made a tough catch over the middle during the Chiefs’ offseason practice Tuesday, and most of Pope’s teammates cheered the acrobatic play. Two of those teammates, Brad Cottam and Tony Moeaki, couldn’t do much other than watch and clap.

Pope’s play Tuesday was a source of optimism for the Chiefs’ tight ends, but the presence of Cottam and Moeaki on the sideline kept the enthusiasm in check. Cottam is still recovering from neck surgery, after he fractured a vertebra during a game against Cleveland last December. Moeaki, a third-round pick in April’s NFL draft, has an undisclosed injury that has kept him out of recent team drills.

“It’s terrible. It’s hard to watch,” Cottam said. “I’m trying to help the new guys and pay attention as much as I can, but you want to get out there.”

Cottam said he’s uncertain when he might return to football activities, instead of the conditioning work he’s been doing on an adjoining field. He said he wore a collar to stabilize his neck until just before Kansas City began activities last month.

Coach Todd Haley has said that Moeaki’s injury isn’t serious. But the Chiefs drafted Moeaki having known his history at the University of Iowa. The tight end is athletic and talented enough to imagine the possibilities, but a list of past injuries has held him back, then and now.

As the team approaches the final weeks of offseason practice, coaches have yet to get a good look at a position expected to play a significant role in a revamped offense. Haley called the tight ends a “critical” group to the offense’s growth and for quarterback Matt Cassel to have enough targets.

“A key position,” Haley said. “It’s a little more complicated position than others because the guy can do a lot of things.”

It’s a position the Chiefs have plenty invested in but not much yet to show for it. In an effort to either complement or replace Tony Gonzalez, the team drafted a tight end each of the last three years. Cottam was a third-rounder in 2008, and the Chiefs selected Jake O’Connell in the seventh round last year.

Cottam started one game in ’09, and he might have been on his way to more playing time after his performance against the Browns, when he had a career-high four catches for 62 yards. But he landed awkwardly near the sideline during that game, and a test showed afterward that he’d fractured a cervical vertebra. He was placed on injured reserve two days later.

Cottam said Tuesday that, as frustrating as it was to have his season end after a breakout contest, the more pressing matter was that he temporarily lost feeling in his left arm.

“At that point,” Cottam said, “it was a matter of: ‘Am I going to walk or not?’ It was a very, very scary experience.”

He said he was assured later that, barring an unforeseen circumstance, the injury would heal and he wouldn’t face paralysis or long-term effects.

Cottam said he has seen different doctors throughout the offseason and that his progress is week-to-week.

“For me,” he said, “all I can do is get everything done mentally and make sure I know the system.”

In April the Chiefs traded up and selected Moeaki late in the third round. It added another promising tight end, but it also raised the stakes for Kansas City’s holdovers.

The Chiefs cycled through four tight ends last year, and that made for tough Sunday decisions. Activate all four at risk of weakening the offensive line? Or dress two or three and gamble on who might be ready for the pressure?

The Chiefs would prefer if one of their tight ends emerges before the regular season. But Haley said that step will have to wait until they’re all healthy. So might the team seeing a clear picture of its offense.

“Once they’re all out there we can do a little better job of evaluating,” Haley said. “We need them all out there, and they’re all working toward that.”

salame
06-02-2010, 03:09 AM
I keep reading about Leroy Banks too

ForeverChiefs58
06-02-2010, 05:25 AM
Yeah, if only we had a sure thing at the TE position. :rolleyes::(:eek::spock::doh!:

Fritz88
06-02-2010, 06:36 AM
lucky if we get 4 wins

boogblaster
06-02-2010, 08:35 AM
prolly need three TEs for our massive over the middle attack this year ..

milkman
06-02-2010, 08:40 AM
Yeah, if only we had a sure thing at the TE position. :rolleyes::(:eek::spock::doh!:

We had a sure thing at TE for 11 years, and could never have won all those playoff games without him.

Mr. Laz
06-02-2010, 09:26 AM
got a bunch of injury prone tightends

i'm really surprised that we traded up for Moeaki knowing that he injured.

ForeverChiefs58
06-02-2010, 09:30 AM
We had a sure thing at TE for 11 years, and could never have won all those playoff games without him.

we really needed to add a couple pieces on defense, but yet here we are same holes, only now you add one more need. At least TE wasn't a position of need like now. Same with DE that we still havn't replaced.
Anyways, I think the TE position is really more important with our QB who can't seem to throw it more than 8 yards down the field on 3rd and long.

HoneyBadger
06-02-2010, 10:11 AM
"career-high four catches for 62 yards.....Cottam said Tuesday that, as frustrating as it was to have his season end after a breakout contest "

Its sad when a breakout contest is considered 4 catches for 62 yards.

Sweet Daddy Hate
06-02-2010, 04:09 PM
Damnit Tony!

(choose either)

salame
06-02-2010, 04:57 PM
Cottam college stats
Brad Cottam #87 TE

CAREER STATS
RECEPTIONS YDS TOUCHDOWNS
21 341 1


Moeaki
Tony Moeaki #81 TE
CAREER STATS
RECEPTIONS YDS TOUCHDOWNS
76 953 11


why is everyone so excited about these guys again?

OnTheWarpath58
06-02-2010, 05:20 PM
We might be the only team in NFL history to have like 7 TE's on the roster, yet still have a huge gaping hole at the position.

Sweet Daddy Hate
06-03-2010, 02:24 PM
We might be the only team in NFL history to have like 7 TE's on the roster, yet still have a huge gaping hole at the position.

:LOL: