4 Point Stance: A Too Tight-End Offense

Aight, last time I said, "First off, let me get this out of the way: I was not on board with the selection of Gavin Escobar in the second round. Rather, I think that this pick would have been better used on a defensive lineman. But what I’m really not on board with the pundit’s assessment that he’s strictly a pass catching TE either. I remember a TE being drafted in the 3rd round by the Cowboys who everyone said was only a pass catcher and he turned out to be a pretty solid all around TE: Jason Witten."

And don’t get me wrong, though I would have taken a DT with the pick, I am a huge fan of the (2) TE offense. I just love the flexibility, the evenness, and the issues it presents for a defense whether it’s a 3-4 or 4-3. But mostly, I love it because it will open up a ton of options for the offense this season.

I’d like to you guys to hear my case on Why the (2) TE Offense Will Lead to a Better Offensive Team using (4) points that lead me to a single conclusion, a metaphorical "4 point stance":

"Blue 80": Balance. Man, I usually hate that word, especially when it comes to the Run/Pass ratio. There is no greater myth in all of football (well except maybe a QB’s Win/Loss record but I’ll save that one for later). If you’re winning the game, then you’re running the ball more at the END of the game to run out the clock. Meaning, up until the final possession, you were more pass heavy than run heavy. Sigh. Anyway, 2 TE’s, balance across the formation is what I’m referring too. With (2) in-line Y’s you get a front with no strong side. And that my friend lends the offensive a vast amount of unpredictability. Run left? Run right? Up the gut? (More on the run game later!) Pass? Play action pass? Max protect? (2) TE’s in the route? 1? There is no defensive pre-snap key or read. But that’s not the best part…

"Yellow 80": Pass protection. On a team where pass protection was horrible, this is a good one. In the 12 personnel group with (2) in line Y’s, does Witten release into the pass pattern. Does Hanna/Escobar? Both? Or do they both stay in and block? If Free is struggling at RT, does the OC leave Escobar/Hanna in to combo block? And don’t get it twisted, Escobar can block. YouTube his highlights. He’s a good effort blocker that lacks some power to control playside but on the backside he’s fine. Still, in this offense, he won’t be asked to block DE’s 1-on-1 too often. You cool with that?

"White 80": I thought so! Now, what about the run game? Witten is an underrated move blocker, who can flex into the backfield and lead the back through the hole out of the 12 personnel. But even if the formation stays even, the option to run to either side, means that the defense is automatically spread out to protect against either option. And we all know what a terrific cut back runner Murray is. What about lining both TE’s in the backfield, full house style? There was lot of this in Marty B’s 1st season, with Barber as the back. What is we line Escobar/Hanna up in the slot to crackback on the DE? Remember when Crayton made a living doing this? But the best part?

"Go": Mismatches. See where Marty B and Fasano failed was capitalizing on mismatches. Fasano had no hands and Marty often flexed out to the wide side but was rarely targeted because of his lack of good body language. And believe me, that’s important. When a receiver "looks" like he might not catch the ball, the QB won’t throw it to him. And when he got chances he didn’t deliver. Still I blame a lot of this on his position coach, who thankfully isn’t here anymore. On a side note, it was painful watching the Hard Knocks reply of John Garrett "coaching" Marty B. Anyway, from all accounts Escobar is a catching machine. And if they break the huddle with 12 personnel and Witten and Escobar line up as slot receiver, do you know who likely covers them in the base D? Linebackers! Mismatch. Or they bring a S down. Mismatch. And when they do that then that means that Dez and Miles are getting single covered. Mismatch. And if both TE’s release, the screen to Murray is wide open!

I’m geeking out just thinking about it!


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