Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week seven.
Looks like I will be the first to do a positional grade, here at TOJ, for this fresh can of ‘you know what’ delivered to the New York Jets, an enviable task. There is not much to say about the individual performance of the Jets tight ends this week and what does warrant mention is certainly not good…
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 –
Let us leave it at this: Winslow cannot make his return to the field soon enough.
Jeff Cumberland – 1 rec, 9 yds
To be fair, Cumberland was open on a few flat and comeback routes early in the game. He also blocked admirably in the run game, albeit against smaller defensive backs. However, that is where the positives end.
Cumberland was not targeted until the second drive of the second quarter. He was covered by Vontaze Burfict and could not haul in the pass. He caught a pass on the next drive for nine yards. Finally, he got one look in the third that he dropped thanks to an unnecessary roughness from Terrence Newman.
Without the benefit of coaches tape, it seemed that Cumberland struggled to get open on many of his routes. He often drew a linebacker in coverage with safety help over the top. A true starting tight end would be able to utilize precisie timing and route running to counter this bracket coverage. However, after following his game all season, it seems to me that Cumberland rounds off his routes and fails to get separation out of his breaks. Rather than refining his technique, Cumberland appears to rely on his athleticism to get open.
It is only fair to mention that the inability of the Jets offense to produce anything (with Geno Smith under fire and the run game stalling) certainly impacted Cumberland’s lack production. However, over the course of the game, Cumberland made no consistent impact and looked much like the backup tight end he is.
Zach Sudfeld: 2 rec, 10 yds
Gronk-lite emerges! Well, sort of.
Sudfeld saw thirty-eight snaps, eight more than Cumberland. His snaps came mostly in garbage time and he saw only two targets. The first came in the third quarter on a six yard come back. The next pass he caught from the savior himself, Matt Simms, in the fourth.
Sudfeld used his significant size advantage well in the running game. However, we didn’t get much of a run blocking sample size because the pass was featured heavily with Sudfeld on the field. Going foward, I would be interested to see how Sudfeld fares with extended run blocking reps given his natural ability and what I saw on Sunday.
Konrad Reuland –
“Reuland only saw the field on two plays and made no impact whatsoever.” Is what I said last week. Ditto for this week.