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Better Than Average - Tight Ends
David M. Dorey
2004
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends

Wrapping up this analysis on tight ends has the chance to be misleading in some cases. When determining the top eight performances against each defense, the reality is that for many it meant only 30 or 40 yards receiving and no scores would still fall into the Top 8 in some cases. Tight ends as a position have great variability as to how they are used by each offense. Some (KC, BAL, NYG, NO) will use them rather extensively while others (PIT, WAS, JAX, CAR) rarely use them.

To complete the set of BTA reviews, review the following but keep in mind what you are truly considering.

There are three measurements with BTA analysis and to the right you can see an example of how it was derived considering all TE performances against the Bills last season.

Better Than Average Sample (BUF defense)

Wk Tm QB's against OAK - 2003 FF
Pts
RCV
Yards
RCV
TD's
Rush
Yards
Rush
TDs
Top
8
Top
3
Top
1
6 NYJ Becht A 16.1 41 2          
8 KC Gonzalez T 12.5 65 1          
15 TEN Kinney E 10.4 44 1 0 0      
2 JAX Wrighster G 8.1 21 1          
10 DAL Campbell D 6.7 7 1          
17 NE Graham D 6.1 1 1          
3 MIA McMichael R 5.7 57 0          
2 JAX Brady K 4.2 42 0          
5 CIN Stewart T 3.5 35 0          
10 DAL Witten J 2.4 24 0          
13 NYG Rivers M 2.2 22 0          

1. BTA Top 8 - Shows how many times a TE faced a defense last year and produced a top 8 performance allowed by that defense considering all the TE's they faced in 2003. To the right in yellow are the Top 8 performances against the Bills by a WR using standard performance scoring. Becht, Gonzalez, Kinney, Wrighster, Campbell, Graham, McMichael and Brady would be credited with a Top 8 game.

2. BTA Top 3 - Shows how many times a player faced a defense last year and produced a top 3 performance allowed by that defense for that position. Considering only BUF, only Gonzalez, Becht and Kinney are credited with a Top 3 game.

3. BTA Top 1 - Shows how many times an RB faced a defense last year that produced the BEST performance allowed by that defense for that position. Considering only the Bills' defense, only Becht is credited with a Top 1 game. Realize as well that the best possible score here would be 13 games since each TE would face three teams twice and only one game against a team could be best.

Taking that methodology and applying it to the most inconsistent of the highest scoring positions yields interesting results.

Top 8 performances allowed by defenses faced in 2003 Top 8% Top 8 Gms Gms
Played
Top 3 performances allowed by defenses faced in 2003 Top 3% Top 3 Gms Gms
Played
NYG Jeremy Shockey 89% 8 9 NYG Jeremy Shockey 56% 5 9
KC Tony Gonzalez 81% 13 16 KC Tony Gonzalez 50% 8 16
DEN Shannon Sharpe 80% 12 15 DEN Shannon Sharpe 33% 5 15
NO Ernie Conwell 60% 6 10 NO Boo Williams 33% 5 15
BAL Todd Heap 56% 9 16 NE Daniel Graham 31% 4 13
NE Daniel Graham 54% 7 13 IND Marcus Pollard 31% 4 13
IND Marcus Pollard 54% 7 13 SD Antonia Gates 30% 3 10
ATL Alge Crumpler 50% 8 16 ATL Alge Crumpler 25% 4 16
ARI Freddie Jones 50% 8 16 MIA Randy McMichael 25% 4 16
MIA Randy McMichael 50% 8 16 MIN Jim Kleinsasser 25% 4 16
DET Mikhael Ricks 47% 7 15 CIN Matt Schobel 25% 3 12
NO Boo Williams 47% 7 15 DET Mikhael Ricks 20% 3 15
DAL Jason Witten 47% 7 15 IND Dallas Clark 20% 2 10
SEA Itula Mili 44% 7 16 SEA Itula Mili 19% 3 16
PHI L.J. Smith 43% 6 14 NYJ Anthony Becht 19% 3 16
IND Dallas Clark 40% 4 10 TEN Erron Kinney 19% 3 16
SD Antonia Gates 40% 4 10 PHI L.J. Smith 14% 2 14
MIN Jim Kleinsasser 38% 6 16 GB Bubba Franks 14% 2 14
SF Jed Weaver 38% 6 16 BAL Todd Heap 13% 2 16
GB Bubba Franks 36% 5 14 ARI Freddie Jones 13% 2 16
PHI Chad Lewis 36% 5 14 SF Jed Weaver 13% 2 16
BUF Mark Campbell 33% 5 15 HOU Billy Miller 13% 2 16
CHI Desmond Clark 33% 5 15 NO Ernie Conwell 10% 1 10
NYJ Anthony Becht 31% 5 16 TB Ken Dilger 8% 1 13
TEN Erron Kinney 31% 5 16 BAL Terry Jones 8% 1 13
HOU Billy Miller 25% 4 16 DAL Jason Witten 7% 1 15
CIN Matt Schobel 25% 3 12 BUF Mark Campbell 7% 1 15
GB Wesley Walls 25% 3 12 NE Christian Fauria 7% 1 15
TB Ken Dilger 23% 3 13 JAX Kyle Brady 6% 1 16
BAL Terry Jones 23% 3 13 PHI Chad Lewis 0% 0 14
NE Christian Fauria 20% 3 15 CHI Desmond Clark 0% 0 15
STL Brandon Manumaleuna 20% 3 15 GB Wesley Walls 0% 0 12
JAX Kyle Brady 19% 3 16 STL Brandon Manumaleuna 0% 0 15

The role of Jeremy Shockey in the Giant's offense cannot be understated. In the nine games he played last year there was only once that he failed to record a Top 8 game against the opposing defense. That's heavy use. Gonzalez naturally also tops out well and the NFL will certainly miss Shannon Sharpe though no one as much as the Denver Broncos offense. Surprisingly Heap did not supply quite as many Top 8 games as would be assumed and Daniel Graham's 54% rate was high and yet his lower numbers reflect the tougher defenses that populate his division.

Very notable in this review was that Ernie Conwell placed Top 8 six times and Boo Williams did it seven times. They are on the same team. Now Williams has surpassed Conwell as the starter and plays for an offense that placed a TE in the Top 8 against opposing defenses 13 times last season.

Given the huge volume of tight ends used against defenses during the season, a better measurement is the Top 3. In a position that a single touchdown greatly bumps normal numbers for a tight end, Top 8 or even the occasional Top 3 game is not necessarily something you can hang your hat on. In the Top 3, we see many of the same players at the top and Boo Williams rises with his higher than average number of very good tight end games. A Top 3 game almost always includes a touchdown or decent yardage.

Top 1 performances by Tight Ends were arrayed almost at one for each with the exception of five tight ends.

Top 1 performances allowed by defenses faced in 2003 Top 1% Top 1 Gms Gms
Played
KC Tony Gonzalez 25% 4 16
DEN Shannon Sharpe 13% 2 15
NO Boo Williams 13% 2 15
NYJ Anthony Becht 13% 2 16
HOU Billy Miller 13% 2 16
NYG Jeremy Shockey 11% 1 9
IND Dallas Clark 10% 1 10
SD Antonia Gates 10% 1 10
NE Daniel Graham 8% 1 13
IND Marcus Pollard 8% 1 13
TB Ken Dilger 8% 1 13
DET Mikhael Ricks 7% 1 15
BUF Mark Campbell 7% 1 15
BAL Todd Heap 6% 1 16
ATL Alge Crumpler 6% 1 16
MIA Randy McMichael 6% 1 16
SEA Itula Mili 6% 1 16
MIN Jim Kleinsasser 6% 1 16
SF Jed Weaver 6% 1 16

Naturally, Gonzalez dominated here with 4 games that were the most that defense gave up all season but beyond him only Shannon Sharpe, Boo Williams, Anthony Becht and Billy Miller managed so much as two.

Tight end is a position where consistency reports likely mean very much and BTA analysis means less given the sparse production by so many and the inconsistency of scoring from game to game.

The lack of players with multiple numbers of Top 1 games reflects how often one tight end has the one big game (think Todd Yoder) and yet rarely does anything else the rest of the season. With Tight End BTA, only pay attention to the top players and even then, understand what you are seeing.