Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week twelve.
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 – 2 receptions, 34 yards
Kellen Winslow started off the season hot and quickly developed a rapport with rookie Geno Smith. When the Jets lost Winslow to a four game suspension, Smith’s production took a precipitous drop. Following his return, the hope was that Winslow would immediately make his presence felt in the line up. This has not been the case, however.
In the two games since his return, Winslow has made almost no impact. He was saw five targets and only hauled in two, not a good catch percentage for your starting tight end and safety blanket.
Winslow looks a step slower than he did at the beginning of the season and doesn’t seem to be fighting for the ball with as much energy. Even his routes lack the crispness we saw early in the year. I will not speculate as to the cause for his drop-off but it is evident.
Jeff Cumberland – 1 reception, 9 yards
Cumberland only saw two targets on Sunday. Two. He saw 34 snaps (60%), fifteen more than Winslow’s nineteen (33%). In Winslow’s absence, Cumberland was given an opportunity to step into the starting job. Besides the apparent aberration that was the Falcons game, Cumberland has failed to take advantage. He has displayed the same poor route running, awareness, and effort on contested catches that has buried him on the depth chart during his Jets tenure.
Too compound his deficiencies in the passing game, Cumberland has been abysmal in pass and run blocking. He got Geno Smith obliterated on Sunday and failed to contain his man on outside runs.
Cumberland showed some promise in relief in the young season but reason for optimism has disappeared. Cumberland is a situational pass catching tight end, at best.
Zach Sudfeld –
After a strong showing against the Saints with Cumberland and WInslow sidelined, Sudfeld was once again forced to the pine. He only saw four snaps (7%). Three of those he was run blocking. Only once was the run to his side and he took his man out of the play. He showed serious promise against the Saints as both a receiver and a blocker. Its a shame he is losing snaps to the return of Cumberland and Winslow
Notes and Conclusions:
Jets UDFA rookie TE Chris Pantale was activated from the practice squad today. You can read our full profile here. The 6’5″ – 254 lbs Pantale attended Boston College. He was a stand out run blocker but was a step slow (4.99 40 yd dash) and had inconsistent hands. Clearly, the Jets are still looking for answers at the position and a full overhaul can be expected in 2014. Look for the Jets to acquire at least two new players through the draft and free agency. Keep a close eye on UNC TE Eric Ebron (who I will be scouting later in the week) as an option for the Jets come April. Expect Sudfeld to be the only TE hold over from the 2013 Jets.