Saturday, April 19, 2008

Where Did the Throwback TE's Go

by: Michael Steffes

Do you wonder why Seahawks fans are having such a hard time coming to any kind of logical agreement on who the best tight end for them to draft is? One of the reasons is because there are very few complete tight ends around these days. We use terms like "H Back" and phrases like "weak at the point of attack" to describe many of this years candidates. It almost seems as if you have choose a blocker or pass catcher.

Well, this may be the reason why. Michael David Smith takes a look at the problem in his Fifth Down Blog. The proliferation of the spread offense is also hurting running back evaluations. This is one of the reasons that I think it helps to find players who have succeeded in pro style offenses. If you are wondering the difference....

The spread is usually a one back, multiple receiver offense where the QB is given a lot of freedom to see what is in front of him after the ball is snapped and make a play accordingly by either running or throwing. When the QB is less mobile, it looks like Missouri last year. When you have a mobile QB, it looks like Oregon before Dixon got hurt.

A pro style offense uses an I formation in running sets. Usually, also, the tight end works from the end of the line rather than flexed out. Rather making decisions on the go, the QB will read the defense at the line and make audibles accordingly. Also, the QB will be under center most of the time. In a spread they usually work mostly from the shotgun to help the QB see things quicker. Pro style offenses include USC, Michigan (last year), Ohio St, Georgia, Kentucky, etc. If you watched any of those teams you get an idea of what it is.