After three, the tight end matters

Posted by Darren Urban on September 28, 2011 – 10:24 am

We’ve covered some of this ground before, but if there is any question about the change in tight ends for the Cardinals and its impact on the offense, try this one on for size: After three games, the Cards’ tight ends — which right now means Jeff King and Todd Heap — have already gained 206 yards receiving.

Last year, the Cardinals’ tight ends as a whole gained 210 yards for the entire season.

In fact, it’s clear the Cards will blow past their tight end production for much of the recent past. In 2009, tight ends gained 245 yards on the season. In 2008, it was 237. In 2007, it was all the way at 357 yards. In 2006, it was 296 (with former DE/OT Fred Wakefield getting 24 of those — glory days!). The last time Cards tight ends cracked 400 yards in a season was 2005, when the Adam Bergen/Eric Edwards/Teyo Johnson gained 432 yards as a group.

Right now, King has four catches for 97 yards and Heap nine for 109. King also has two touchdowns, after tight ends got none in 2010. And the Cards have yet to utilize rookie Rob Housler, which figures to happen at some point.

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45 Responses to “After three, the tight end matters”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Wil we see Dray soon? I thought this kid had a lot of potential!

  2. By Gilbert on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren do u think these 2 losses may be because of Kolbs inexperience? Do you also think the defense is doing a lot better. You see I watch every game the cards play on the Sunday ticket deAl.

  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Gilbert —

    RE: Kolb

    I think his inexperience plays a part. They should have won last week, however.

  4. By Jeff on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Fred Wakefield was my next door neighbor. I remember when he told me Dennis was moving him over to TE. Fred was a great friend and team mate according to those I talked to including Larry. I’m glad they’re gonna use that position more!

  5. By MIKE G on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Nice write-up on Feely the other day—The TE position has certainly been an upgrade for the team. I like all three and it looks like they will all contribute at some point in the year. Also it has to open up our wideouts as well. Barring injuries I think our offense will improve and be fine as the year goes on. I think Beanie is the key to the offense, but our TE’S have done a nice job. They run nice patterns and seem to be a safety net for Kolb. Geez–When were our TE’S this good in the pass game??? I’m going back to the late 80’s–Remember when they had Novachek(before Dallas) & Awalt???? Who do you think has been the most productive pass catching TE in your years covering the team??? Anyone stick out???

  6. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: TEs

    There hasn’t been one. That’s the point.

  7. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Urban, obviously its early in the season so this may be hard to answer, but do you know of any talks around the team about any changes maybe needing to made at certain positions? I have seen a lot of inconsistancy over the last few years and it seems a lot of players havent been doin thier part as members of the team. A few signings and draftees havent shown up when they should

  8. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Rodgerscro —

    RE: Changes

    Nothing is going to happen right now. This is the roster you have for 2011, basically. Could there be changes after the season? Sure. There will be. There always are.

  9. By CardsRepInChile on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply


    Over targeting? Last week Kolb targeted Heap 10 times, with Fitz at 9, and the rest at 6 or below. Do you think he feels like it’s “too much” of a safety option and dumps it over to his tight end when his other read(s) doesn’t pan out?? He’s also had errors while trying to force balls to Heap so that concerns me a little…


  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    CardsRep —

    RE: “Overtargeting”

    I think the is an argument to be made.

  11. By cheesebeef on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply


    You say there won’t be changes during the season… does that mean that you believe that even within the team, there won’t be changes? Just so curious abotu what we’re doing at the offensive Tackle position. Both of them have been bad to downright awful this season and I’m wondering if your response above means that Bridges will not be given a shot to slide into the starting lineup if our OTs continue to struggle as mightily as they have been? that’s very disconcerting if true that a player can consistently be bad for multiple seasons without any repercussions, especially when there’s a player behind them who has already started for this team in Bridges back in 2009 when they team went to the playoffs and played decent ball.


  12. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Changes

    I guess I meant there won’t be sweeping changes. Is there a chance they could make a move, per your example, at tackle? They could. I don’t see it happening right away. I think by the end of the season, we could/should see Schofield starting, for example, too.

  13. By NJCardsFan on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Any movement on a possible trade for Aaron Curry from Seattle ? Just curious. I think he could def add some depth to the LBing core. As far as TE’s are concerned, I would love to see Housler get into the mix. Didn’t he run like a 4.8 40 at the combine? Someone with that kind of athletisism needs to be on the field and catching ball down the middle to open up the outside for Larry. C’mon Whiz !! Get your stuff together !!

  14. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    NJCards —

    RE: Curry

    Hearing nothing to the Curry rumors.

  15. By Dynosaur on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    With all the talk about our bad OT’s, look at this. Our O-line’s only allowed 8 sacks on Kolb, that’s 2.67 per game. There are 9 QB’s who’ve been sacked more than Kolb, Big Ben’s one of them. We’re middle of the pack. Not bad. Not good, but not bad.

    Buffalo’s only allowed one sack. If we protected Kevin this good, we’d be undefeated as well. I hope we can, Come on Russ, I believe you can do it.

    Wes Welker’s been targeted twice as much as Larry Fitzgerald and as expected, he’s got twice the yards, first downs and touchdowns. Larry’s amazing and I wish he were targeted more, even when double teamed.

    He’d get more yards, more points and defenders would have a lot more pass interference calls which would hurt the other team mentally and on the scoreboard.

    Beanie is currently the 6th most productive RB in the league at 5.7 yards per carry. Early Doucett is 12th for yards after carry.

    We’re doing well. Once we get the team gelling and consistent, we’ll be wondering why we we’re so worried after three games. We have the pieces and they’ll get it right.

    I’m an optimist and still believe we’re on our way to Indy in February.

  16. By mike on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Yippee. A #2 receiver, some tackles, a center, and a legitimate back behind Beanie (I did like what a saw from A. Smith) and this offense will be ready to roll. Now, on defense we need a nose tackle, OLBS, ….

  17. By John the draft guy on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    It’s nice that you can see something good with this team. To me, thats hard to do.

    So after 3 games here is my good and bad.

    The Bad- Lets face it, we played 3 teams with a combined record of 3-5 and remember 2 of the 3 wins have come by beating the cards. Our defense is ranked 25th against the pass and 27th against the run. Our offense relies on the big play and struggles to string together drives. The defense overall, can’t get pressure on the QB without blitzing (although better against the horrible seahawk oline) And finally, and I say this as a Whiz fan, the coaching was terrible in seattle. The offensive play calls reminded me of preseason. And to run the ball more without Beanie than with him this year is a mystery. And again Beanie is hurt and we have no one behind him.

    The Good- the run blocking has been excellent. That practice squad kid was late to the hole and not very effective. But the holes were there as we have seen with Beanie the two weeks before. Kolb gets a pass, since he is still learning and has flashed. Washington is a very active playmaker. Fitz is Fitz (although the coaches need to find ways to get him the ball by moving him around. After all, teams key on Johnson and Johnson too) And finally, yes, we have had good play out of our TE’s.

    Overall, we look at a part of our schedule where we might not win again till sometime in Nov. But with our division, we are still in it. Maybe we can pull out this win against the giants. We need to. (before anyone says its a long season, hold that thought till the end of Oct)

  18. By Fred on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    I do think TE are going to play A big part in today NFL And I just love the upgrade of that position .The best its ever bin. it just seem to me that the left side of the O line is is what we need to upgrade next it look like A lot of missed blocking assignment on that side of the line.

  19. By cards62 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    I really like Heap and King and I am glad they are doing well, but the guy who surprised me and had me excited was Housler. His speed jumps out at you and he seemed to have good hands then the season starts and he becomes the invisible man. I would really like to see Housler on the field and see if he can get open. I do not think there are too many LBs in the league who will be able to cover him.

    Go Cards beat the Giants

  20. By Tien Lu on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    any news on beanie or lsh? are they going to be back against the giants sunday?

  21. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Tien —

    RE: RB health

    Both were limited Wednesday. We won’t know, probably, until Sunday. Certainly later this week.

  22. By drummer-1 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren

    Do you think some people are making too much of a big deal about Levi, by just repeating what they heard other peolpe say? just a simple yes, no will do..

  23. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Drummer —

    RE: Levi

    In all honesty, Levi needs to play better. I think some people make fair points. That said, everything wouldn’t be fixed if the Cards just upgraded LT.

  24. By Christo on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    It’s obvious a change needs to be made on the OL. Any word from the people that can actually enforce it? This is why Kolb has to use the TE’s so much he’s running for his life on almost every play.

    Our D is still terrible, still can’t get a stop when one is needed.

  25. By Cert 33 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    They have no choice but to go to the tight end as “last read” or outlet receiver. They no longer have Tim Hightower, who performed that duty to perfection when an adequate QB was behind the center. The current group of RB’s are incapable of this duty except for possibly “Hyphen”. We will probably be watching Hightower play in the Pro Bowl this post-season.

  26. By josh on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    wells is limited so is a lot other players hope beanie is playin cardinals gonna win caragainst giants 38 15

  27. By RED SEA on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Totally off subject but when i watched this it gave me the chills, i think everyone of you should watch this video. Go Cardinals, beat the Giants and and bring back the NFC West division title. Special thanks to thepowerofthefitz2 for creating this video

  28. By John on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Who do you think is going to be a key player for the cardinals defense against the giants?

  29. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    John —

    RE: Key on defense/Giants

    Good question. DWashington will be important if the linemen can make sure he runs free.

  30. By Jason on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, doesnt matter how many yrds our TE are catching if the team can not move the ball and put points on the board. This Sunday is a MUST win against the Gaints at home is all I am saying. Whiz has got to figure out how to win on the road as well. He can only ride the Warner train for so long and his W-L record will go down the tube.

  31. By jonnyb on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    darren wat about rob housler as a reciever he is fast,big and can catch kinda like britt from titans

  32. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    jonnyb —

    RE: Housler as WR

    He was split out wide a lot in training camp. Once they work him into the lineup, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take reps out there in games.

  33. By Procen on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    I heard that Antonio Smith can run fast. You think he might be good as a receiver, Darren?

  34. By rio on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Kurt Warner would make a great OC, hell wiz can’t call plays and his current OC is block by Wiz. When we were good Warner was changing the plays 60% of the time at the line of scrimage, or we would have never gotten anyway back then. Wiz is an Engineer, they are the most converative humans beings on earth can not make quick deceisions and will not take a risk, just ask any salesperson who has try to sell one something.

    Warner is the man for the job.

  35. By scott023 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hello Darren, I thought coach whiz hired miller as our offensive cord? Why is coach whiz calling all the plays? Coach whiz said he was going to concentrate on head coaching and hire a offensive cord? We got miller(promoted), is he still with us or did he get canned? Every play is called by coach whiz, do you know whats up?

  36. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Scott023 –

    RE: play calls

    Maybe I missed something. How exactly do you know Whiz is calling every play?

  37. By UC on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sure the facts you mention are true, but the facts you left out make your story dishonest. In addition to Cert 33’s point about the loss of Hightower, you failed to mention the fact that the primary QB last season could neither consistently hit a barn with his throws, nor was he smart enough to go through progressions to even consider throwing to a tight end. In fact, off the top of my head I can remember Hall throwing to tight ends several times while he was playing, particularly to Patrick. If you really think Heap’s presence last year would have enabled him to catch passes off of his shoes or 10 feet over his head, I beg to differ.

  38. By scott023 on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, On play calling: let me say it this way as I see him on the side lines looking at his play sheet, he is either calling them himself or blessing the call. I am only asking because he said he promoted miller, so he could concentrate on his head coaching job. Take a look at him when the defense is out there, quite different. No glancing at the play sheet.No talking on the head set. I don’t see miller at all. Just a question, and if not all,then most or some of them?

  39. By Darren Urban on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Scott023 —

    RE: Playcalling

    I have no doubt he is still involved in some ways. That’s his background, that’s what he does. It’s Miller’s job.

    I’m not sure, to be honest, what else you’d want him to do.

  40. By cardsfan1225 on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Has Deuce met his weight requirement yet? It would be nice to see him back in the line up. What is your opinion of Levi Browns contribution to the offense line? Our new TE line ups are great. I would like to see Housler used for his speed against a LB’er more often. There aren’t that many LB’s who can keep up with him, let alone match his height advantage.
    Our defense is a work in progress, the learning curve seems to be slower than us fans would like, but once they get it……watch out!

  41. By Darren Urban on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Cardsfan —

    RE: Deuce/Levi

    I do think Deuce has made weight, but Hadnot is playing well and I don’t see a change in the offing. As far as Levi, I think he is still looking for the consistency they need from him. I don’t think he has been as bad as everyone wants to think, although he needs to play better.

  42. By Scott H on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Love to see the TE’s involved. Hopefully, they will stay involved and the wins will start coming. But perhaps above ALL else at this point, we need Beanie healthy and, well…we’re on shaky ground there. He’s in the game in Seattle, we win. No doubt. He’s not there and, we have no running game. Can’t sustain drives, can’t even score enough points to overcome an oppenent who only scores 13. Unfortuanately, we’re only three games into the sesaon and he’s already missed one due to injury. Doesn’t bode well for a guy who we need to be a horse this year.

    Would love to see a win against the Giants. But what I think we will see is a very good effort from the Cardinals and a close, hard-fought game….in which the Cardinals will – once again – play well enough to win but will not. Overall, I see a game very similar to the game against the Redskins. The Giants are well-balanced in that they can run AND pass very effectively. Unfortunately, the Cardinals are not defending well against either. AND the Giants can get to the QB, that’s for sure. If we’re not running the ball effectively and they are free to come after Kolb more frequently as the game goes on…oh my.The Giants are just more capable of more big plays – especially on offense – than the Cardinals are and I think that will be the difference Sunday.

  43. By scott023 on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, thanks for the honesty on the play calling question. I am not here to throw rock at all. I am just trying to figure out why our offense is not hard to read. The play calling was called in my living room before the play ( our small group) and missed three times. I love the cardinals and feel the pain as hard as anyone has. I miss the plays to te king, he was invisable. I saw a team with great talent, not used very well. I think kolb did make mistakes later when pressed. However, when the defense is on the field I wish coach whiz would go over the pic’s himself with kolb (to get there mine set on the same exact page). Coach whiz is smart so is kolb. There is no doubt in my mind when they are on the same page it is automatic. Thanks Darren for all the bull you deal with, it’s not you we are upset with. You are the only outlet we have.

  44. By jair on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I would like to know do you see jeremy bridges starting soon because he looked good when he took over for levi.

  45. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

    Jair —

    RE: Tackles

    I do not see the lineup changing on the line anytime soon.

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