McGee is the Band-Aid Applied to Injury
Tony McGee
Tony McGee

Posted Sep 4, 2003

The job of the tight end has changed drastically over McGee’s ten-year career. Tight ends used to be in the line-up to block first and catch passes later. Recently, the position has become more hybrid and specialized. Some are in the game to block and others, like McGee and Dudley, are in to be offensive weapons down the field. An illustration of this can be found in watching the last two NFL drafts; tight ends are the new hot commodity.

The Bucs had four outstanding tight ends in camp this summer. Now that the season is about to start the team has to pick up a free agent at a position that was stacked just two weeks ago. A serious injury here, a player hurt there, and the Bucs find themselves in a dilly of a pickle. This is another indication that it is nearly impossible for a team in the NFL to have too much depth.

Ken Dilger is a first class tight end, but he does not have the ability to make the circus style catches that Dudley made against Jacksonville in the pre-season. Tony McGee is a pass catching tight end, not the same caliber as Dudley but definitely dangerous. The chances are McGee will not be in the game too much in Philadelphia because he has not had adequate time to learn the notoriously lengthy playbook of coach Jon Gruden.

With Todd Yoder still feeling sore the spot light is being directed at rookie tight end Will Heller. Heller is a blocker, but he has also had the whole mini camp to digest the offense. Heller’s familiarity with the playbook and his proven ability to catch the ball make him the best choice to be the man in double tight end formations against the hated Eagles. Keep an eye on Heller to see if he makes the most of this golden opportunity.

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