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Old 11-24-2004, 10:59 AM  
KingPriest2 KingPriest2 is offline
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Tight ends becoming quite a catch

Tight ends becoming quite a catch


By Adam Schefter
Special to NFL.com


Adam Schefter's commentaries can be seen on Tuesday night's NFL Total Access show on NFL Network. Schefter's around-the-league information reports air Mondays and Fridays.

(Nov. 23, 2004) -- Quarterbacks get the cheerleaders, running backs get the football, but tight ends get this season's glory.


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No other position has made a louder statement, or a more dramatic improvement, than the tight ends that only recently went as unnoticed as offensive linemen.

These days, tight ends are leapfrogging wide receivers amongst the league's leading pass catchers. San Diego's tight end Antonio Gates, who has played like the next coming of Kellen Winslow, is tied for the AFC lead in receptions.

San Francisco's Eric Johnson and Dallas' Jason Witten, who have played like the next coming of Brent Jones and Jay Novacek, are tied for second and fifth in the NFC in the receptions.

And all around the league, tight ends are making more plays than they've made in years.

Part of the reason is football has scored big over basketball. Gates, Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez and Indianapolis' Marcus Pollard were all basketball stars in college, before giving up their jump shot for their NFL shot.

The other reason that this has become the season of the tight end is that with teams playing more "Cover 2" defenses to guard wide receivers, tight ends are less guarded.

The results are as loud as Shannon Sharpe. Just this past Sunday, tight ends scored 14 touchdowns. One player alone, Buffalo's Mark Campbell, caught three of them -- matching as many as he had caught in any of his first six NFL seasons.

Suddenly tight end, with Jeremy Shockey and Alge Crumpler, is a glamour position, something it has not been for a while. No tight end has led the league in receptions since the Raiders' Todd Christensen in 1986.

Those were some glory days for tight ends. These days are starting to compare.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:08 PM   #2
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Tight Ends

PLAYER CURRENT LAST
WEEK CHNG REC YDS AVG LONG TD
1. Antonio Gates, SD 82.85 80.33 +2.52 62 703 11.3 29 9
2. Tony Gonzalez, KC 79.85 79.48 +0.37 56 733 13.1 32 5
3. Alge Crumpler, ATL 67.50 66.49 +1.01 39 606 15.5 49 5
4. Randy McMichael, MIA 67.00 69.84 -2.84 49 594 12.1 42 3
5. Eric Johnson, SF 65.65 71.37 -5.72 58 627 10.8 25 2
6. Jason Witten, DAL 64.60 68.33 -3.73 57 650 11.4 42 5
7. Jeremy Shockey, NYG 53.70 53.04 +0.66 42 452 10.8 34 5
8. Dallas Clark, IND 49.75 54.37 -4.62 17 351 20.6 80 5
9. Jeb Putzier, DEN 43.90 44.07 -0.17 22 328 14.9 38 2
10. Daniel Graham, NE 39.30 33.62 +5.68 22 272 12.4 48 5
11. Jermaine Wiggins, MIN 36.10 35.95 +0.15 43 410 9.5 22 4
12. Doug Jolley, OAK 34.15 34.61 -0.46 21 249 11.9 34 2
13. L.J. Smith, PHI 33.10 34.59 -1.49 18 214 11.9 27 3
14. Chad Lewis, PHI 32.65 32.11 +0.54 27 247 9.1 21 2
15. Boo Williams, NO 32.55 32.26 +0.29 24 259 10.8 22 2
16. Jerramy Stevens, SEA 32.15 34.49 -2.34 23 239 10.4 24 1
17. Mark Campbell, BUF 31.40 27.22 +4.18 14 172 12.3 27 5
18. Bubba Franks, GB 31.25 28.39 +2.86 21 205 9.8 27 4
19. Freddie Jones, ARI 30.80 26.55 +4.25 29 274 9.4 40 1
20. Ken Dilger, TB 30.70 32.76 -2.06 25 240 9.6 45 3
21. Aaron Shea, CLE 28.65 28.93 -0.28 17 167 9.8 35 4
22. Desmond Clark, CHI 28.10 28.27 -0.17 11 172 15.6 31 0
23. Stephen Alexander, DET 26.85 25.40 +1.45 26 209 8.0 24 1
24. Marcus Pollard, IND 24.50 24.65 -0.15 20 194 9.7 26 6
25. Matt Schobel, CIN 23.35 24.67 -1.32 13 151 11.6 76 2
26. Courtney Anderson, OAK 18.64 28.64 -10.00 13 175 13.5 28 1
27. Chris Baker, NYJ 17.66 27.66 -10.00 15 152 10.1 23 3
28. Daniel Wilcox, BAL 17.65 16.17 +1.48 17 117 6.9 20 1
29. Dwayne Carswell, DEN 16.08 17.27 -1.19 17 160 9.4 20 1
30. Itula Mili, SEA 12.50 -11.50 +24.00 12 112 9.3 17 1
31. Kris Mangum, CAR 10.97 12.80 -1.83 17 129 7.6 15 2
32. Terry Jones, BAL 3.68 13.68 -10.00 12 82 6.8 19 0
33. Ben Troupe, TEN 1.43 2.85 -1.42 15 132 8.8 19 0
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