After an impressive 6 reception, 77 yard performance against the Houston Texans. It is time for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to find a way to involve tight end Jeff Cumberland in some packages with the first unit. The Jets kept him on the roster all of last season as an inactive player, obviously believing he had a high amount of potential and he displayed it last night.
Cumberland is 6 foot 4, 260 pounds and had experience at both tight end and wide receiver in college at Illinois. He has terrific hands and looked good running in the open field last night. I would imagine he still has to improve on his blocking to become a more full time player, yet he could contribute as a pass catching weapon immediately.
If Plaxico Burress is missing time with an injury, Cumberland could provide some of the height the Jets are missing. Even with Burress in the line-up, he is another weapon to use in the red-zone and on passing downs. Dustin Keller is enough of a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses, never mind worrying about how to defend Cumberland if the Jets show a two tight end set.
Matthew Mulligan is basically like another tackle playing tight end. There is a danger in showing too much of a tendency by using Mulligan as the second tight end on running downs and Cumberland as the second tight end on only passing downs. Yet, if Cumberland can block somewhat adequately, the Jets should be able to incorporate him on offense. If he continues to grow and develop, he could become an excellent number two option at tight end behind Dustin Keller.