The Invisible Man
No, I'm not doing movie reviews. I'm talking about the Tight End as a receiver. I know its sexy and all to line up with 4 wides and send everybody deep, but have you ever actually worked with wide recievers? Do you really want to deal with more of those guys than you have to? Its non-stop whining about not getting enough touches... that the QB likes the other wideout and won't throw to me... or having to stalk block on those rare occasions where the ball is actually ran. If you really want to hear that all the time, then, by all means, run 4 or, God forbid, 5 wides. You'll go nuts before game 5. Guaranteed.
Me, give me Tight Ends over wide recievers any day of the week... Preferably a mutant that's 1/3 tackle, 1/3 fullback, and 1/3 mike linebacker who just wants to line up and crush the guy across from him. "Touches..?" They would rather be flexed-out and crack some OLB into next week. No, I much prefer TE's and FB's and LB's... The last of the dinosaurs... Kids that just like contact.
Well, back to today's topic. I decided to mix it up a bit and look at some play-action passing to the tight end - the "invisible man" referred to in the title. Off of play action (especially in the flat vs cover 3), the tight end is the great (sometimes) untapped resource of the veer offense. So much defensive thought goes into prepping for the option that who notices that lone player heading up the seam or into the flat all by his lonesome? Among all the "who's got dive, who's got QB, who's got pitch," it's easy to under-emphasize the role of the TE in the veer package. Against a zone team where all eyes are on the backfield, there's a lot of room for a TE to roam around and get open. These few game cuts by no means the only routes we run to the TE, but they should serve as an example of how wide-open the TE can become when a defensive coordinator gets tunnel vision.