Bengals Position by Position Breakdown: Day #8 TE
I’ll be honest, the 2009 Bengals tight ends where awful. I honestly cannot remember watching a worse tight end group in my entire life time. It wasn’t all the Bengals fault though, as the group was absolutely plagued by devastating season ending injuries last year. Before the season even began Cincy had already lost the starter and back up, when Reggie Kelly tore his Achilles tendon in camp and Ben Utecht suffered a severe concussion. The rest of the season was run out by a rotating door of tight ends. J.P. Foschi and Daniel Coats took the majority of reps last year as Chase Coffman, the rookie third round draft pick out of Missouri, was also unable to find the football field in 09 as he was sidelined with bone spurs in his left ankle. From what I have heard, the coaches where largely unsatisfied with what Coffman showed in camp last year and expect him to make a rebound in camp this year. The Bengals knew tight end was a huge area of concern so they took action. They selected Jermaine Gresham out of Oklahoma with the 21st overall pick in the first round of April’s draft. The massive TE had to sit out his entire senior season for the Sooners when he tore his knee early in the year. Gresham looks to add a dimension the Bengals have lacked for 15 years, a dynamic play maker at TE. Gresham is 6-5, 260 pounds, and can run like a fast wide receiver. I expect Gresham to have a very good year and to quickly become Palmers new “go to guy” (coincidentally wearing the same number as Carson’s last “go to guy,” ex Bengal, T.J. Houshmandzadeh). Reggie Kelly looks to return as not just a backup but also a good run blocker and a mentor to the young TE’s Gresham and Coffman. I expect this years group to not only be more athletic but to be much better coached and more prepared for aerial duties in the offense.
Predicted Depth Chart as Regular Season Begins-
Starter- Jermaine Gresham (his superior athleticism and freakish talent wins him this job)
Back Up- Reggie Kelly/Chase Coffman (don’t be shocked to see Kelly cut if he has not recovered well from his injury or if Coffman excels as I believe they wish to keep only 2 TE’s but will probably be forced to keep 3)
Cut/Practice Squad- Darius Hill, Clark Harris, Daniel Coats