Master Yoda is Best Choice for 3rd Tight End Spot
Todd Yoder
Todd Yoder

Posted Aug 14, 2003

The Bucs have a great one and two at tight end with veteran Ken Dilger and receiver hybrid Rickey Dudley, who have performed up to expectations thus far. The third TE must be a stand out on special teams, a job that Yoder has handled with great expertise in his three year career. The Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers should take some of Grandpa's advice, "don't fix it if it ain't broken".

Heller has been turning heads and raising eyebrows by showing up to camp with softer hands than expected, but the honeymoon was over Monday for Heller as the rookie had four balls go in and out of his hands. The trend continued in the Tuesday morning session, culminating with an unenthusiastic showing in the short special teams practice Tuesday afternoon. He was near the back of the pack during the sprints, and appeared bored during the stretching exercises that were led by his position rival.

Yoder, displaying the consistency that has made him a fan favorite, responded to the challenge by turning out solid practice performances day in and day out. The fans in the Family Tent at Disney's Wide World of Sports were treated to two spectacular catches in the end zone, and got up close and personal with Yoder as he almost broke through the tent barrier after making a jumping grab.

When comparing the two tight ends head to head Yoder has a decisive advantage. Three years of NFL experience with outstanding special teams contributions, a Super Bowl Championship, and hustle that often leaves the man in need of intravenous saline after practice completes a three game sweep over the challenging rookie. After Heller spends a year on the practice squad he will make next year's tight end competition tough to call, but as for this year Master Yoda is the only reasonable choice

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