Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week two.
Grading Scale: Tight end is an interesting position to grade out, given that they are responsible for both receiving and blocking. As receivers in the West Coast Offense, tight ends will be asked to line up anywhere from slot, to split end, to flanker and be responsible for the entire route tree. As blockers in the offense, they will be assigned delayed releases, one-on-one blocks, or simply to chip a pass rusher. With these roles in mind, it is difficult to create a complex grading scale based on YPC or blocking, as the play may conclude before the tight end’s true role on the play is clear. All of that is to say, because the tight end position is so enigmatic (particularly in a WCO) a simple letter based grading scale is best employed.
- A = Entirely positive impact
- B = Consistent positive impact, few minor mistakes
- C = Equal level of positive and negative impact, average, or made no impact plays whatsoever
- D = Mostly negative impact, with room for improvement
- F = Entirely negative impact
Kellen Winslow -
Once again we are left expecting more from Winslow. His week one production against the Bucs seems like a thing of the past after a second straight week of minimal impact. The middle of the field is a strong point for the Bills pass defense, and with their cornerbacks being injury bitten it is no surprise that the outside receivers saw more targets. Another contributing factor may be the fact that most of the balls thrown Winslow’s way were uncatchable. However, the man saw 51/78 snaps. One would hope for at least a sign of life from the veteran pass catcher. To make matters worse, Winslow was called for offensive pass interference in the late third quarter (the 11th penalty of the night). This came at a very inopportune time (a first and ten near midfield) stalling the drive and giving Geno Smith a 1st and 20. Smith, trying to make something happen on the next play, forced a pass to Gates that got picked off. Without the PI, the Jets may have continued to drive and put the game out of reach. That penalty, at that point, is inexcusable.
Jeff Cumberland – 3 rec, 26 yds
Cumberland, after being relatively MIA for the first two weeks of the season, saw 45 snaps against the Bills (only 6 less than Winslow). This may have been an indictment of Winslow’s effectiveness or because the Jets often ran the ball out of two tight end sets. Regardless of the reason, Cumberland made due. He was mostly asked to block, Winslow receiving most of the pass catching assignments, and did reasonably well. Cumberland blocked linebackers out of rushing lanes and, despite being called for holding on a first quarter pass play, he held up well in pass protection. On the 21 yard run by Powell Cumberland completely took Arthur Moats out of the play, leaving some serious running room. He had one big 18 yard catch that put the Jets in the red zone and set up a Nick Folk field goal. His other two catches helped keep the down and distance manageable by working the middle of the field.
Reauland actually saw six snaps on offense this week, which is six more than last week. I didn’t see him go out for a pass which would explain his lack of statistical out put. Reuland did make an impact as a run blocker and freed Powell up for some good gains to keep the chains moving. For the role he was asked to play, Reuland made a positive impact.
Because of the day the Jets wide receivers were having, the tight ends were not asked to do much in the way of pass catching. Winslow, for his part, did call for serious attention in the middle of the field. His being bracketed and double teamed certainly contributed to his zero catch day. Otherwise, the tight ends were mostly asked to block and block they did. Bilal Powell had a career game and that was in no small part to the running lanes opened by Cumberland and Reuland.