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Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Forgotten Tight End At UT

The Forgotten Tight End At UT
Everyone knows that the tight end is the most overlooked position in the University of Tennessee football offensive scheme. The Vols use of the tight end is the biggest waste of scholarships and talent known to collegiate football. We might as well just play another offensive tackle at the position.

In the past, some fans have questioned the wasteful use of the position by Phil Fulmer. His apologists always retorted that the Vols tight ends were not talented enough for the Vols to use consistently in the Vols passing game or they would say that if we had anyone as talented as Jason Witten that we could then and only then feature the tight end prominently in our offense.

Look at the other teams around the country at all levels of football and how they use the tight end in intricate ways other than as an extra blocker. Most teams force the opponent to account for the tight end and make them guard him with a safety or linebacker. Phil Fulmer is content to allow our opponents to cover our tight end with a defensive tackle and allow the other team's defense to let the free man roam the field to make plays unobstructed. Do all of the other collegiate teams in the nation have better talent at tight end than UT? Or are the other coaches just more offensively opened minded and smart enough to fully utilize the entire field?

The Vols have landed some decent tight ends in the recruiting wars in recent years. Chris Jackson is a potential devastating weapon on offense, but is more under-used than John Daly's 3 wood. Then you have the two Cottam brothers. Are other teams' tight ends that much better than ours that we refuse to use them in a way that benefits our offense?

Knowing this, we are recruiting several high school tight ends. Some of them project to be defensive ends or linebackers. For the ones who look to play tight end, why would they trust Phil Fulmer's word that UT will use the tight end in the future? He's been saying that for years and we have only known what the word "tight end" actually means in two of the years. If you look in the University of Tennessee official dictionary, next to word "tight end" it says see picture and one can see a photo of an offensive tackle. Some one is very confused.

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