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Tight Ends MIA

Posted by cuorange on September 23, 2009

Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer

Five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Not a bad game for a tight end. Too bad it’s actually the season total through three games for Clemson tight ends Michael Palmer and Dwayne Allen. And that’s with Palmer’s three catches against Boston College.

Once again this year we heard how the tight ends will produce bigger numbers. One estimate had Palmer catching 30 passes. He may do that, but at this point he is on pace to pull in 16 receptions in the regular season.

Surely you say, those numbers correspond to Kyle Parker’s struggles at quarterback. No not really. Of the 214 plays the Tigers have run on offense 8 have been thrown to the tight end. Eight of 214. 3.7%. Approximately 1 of every 27 plays is a pass is thrown to a tight end.

Maybe they’re needed for blocking due to the Tigers porous offensive line. Maybe the defenses played so far don’t lend to the tight end being a featured aspect of the Tiger offense. Maybe the tight ends are an afterthought for Billy Napier.

In their limited opportunities the tight ends have been productive. Of the 8 passes thrown their way 5 were complete. Three of those receptions gained first downs, another was a touchdown and the other was one yard short of a first down (followed by a 4th down conversion).

With the struggles in the running game and the drops by the wide receivers, why not use the tight ends as part of the “running game”? From all appearances they have the hands for it.

If there is anything that’s a better bet than Clemson being “one play away”, it’s that the Clemson tight ends won’t be a significant part of the game plan.

Prove me wrong Billy Napier. I hope you do.

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