Georgia Football: 2015 Needs to be Year of the Tight End


With the Georgia football program evolving into a more smashmouth, pounding unit rather than the speedy downfield wide open offense commonly seen under Mike Bobo, the tight end position should become a big factor.

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What is the one thing that most every NFL team covets and wants to find and feature? A big, athletic tight end who can snatch balls out of the air with just a few fingers and who can squeeze into the end of the line and help open holes for a running back.

The tight end position has undergone a tremendous revolution in the NFL, but it honestly didn’t start there. Guys like Tony Gonzalez, Ben Watson, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Jason Witten were playing out of their minds in college before they came to the pros, and they helped transform the tight end into a viable offensive weapon.

Georgia has produced more than its share of top NFL tight ends (Mr. Watson mentioned above being one of them) and they seem to never run out of talent at that position. But in the last few seasons it would seem that the tight end has become less and less of a weapon in Athens.

That all needs to (and should) change under Brian Schottenheimer.

Dec 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Not much has changed in terms of tight end talent at Georgia. Right now the Bulldogs have some incredibly athletic and dangerous players in Jeb Blazevich and Jay Rome, as well as two able backups in Jared Chapple and Jordan Davis. The difference in 2015 is, how they will be used.

Call it…the year of the tight end at Georgia.

Rather than the tight end simply becoming a safety valve or a solution in mid-range down-and-distance situations, Schotty will employ some new wrinkles in two tight end sets as well as lining them up a little differently to keep the defense guessing. Basically, the Georgia tight ends will now become a bigger part of the offense, and will be dangerous in bubble screens.

If visuals of Benjamin Watson or Leonard Pope rumbling down the field at Sanford Stadium are still fresh in your memory banks, then prepare to have that little group of neurons tickled more often this season. If you miss having Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch grabbing a ball while coming across the middle and then introducing some unfortunate linebacker to mother earth, then you’ll probably have that Jones satisfied.

Oh Georgia will run the ball, and the wide receivers are still going to get their targets, but you may see a lot of those passes that used to come to Michael Bennett or Chris Conley now going to one of the tight ends.

It’s going to be fun….so much fun that Chris Berman will wish he worked for Georgia just so he could give his signature “Rumblin’, stumblin’, bumblin'” call several times a Saturday.

The wide receiver group at Georgia may be in a state of uncertainty, even flux, but rest easy in the knowledge that Richt and Schottenheimer have a plan…and that Blazevich and Rome will be the beneficiaries.

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