Working In The Tight End

December 14th, 2012

Dallas Clark has been a big part of the Bucs passing game the past month.

In recent years, the tight end position was too much of a target for the Bucs and quarterback Josh Freeman. With selfish Kellen Winslow always barking for the ball, Freeman telegraphed passes to him on virtually every other pass play worse than Samuel Morse.

This became a problem for several reasons. One, the zebras were always looking for Winslow to push off with his fading skills and, sometimes, there were phantom calls. Second, Freeman was forcing passes to Winslow when he was double-covered if not triple-covered.

Third, Joe remembers Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik saying in Greg Schiano’s interview with Dominik and Team Glazer the very first words out of the coach’s mouth were that Freeman was forcing way too many passes to Winslow.

If a college coach could see this, so to did the most inept of defensive coordinators.

So when Winslow was jettisoned, Freeman all but was forced to wean himself from throwing to the tight end. But that has changed recently, so writes Nathan Jahnke of

Over the past four weeks, the Buccaneers have worked on making the tight end a bigger part of their offense. Over the first nine games the Tampa Bay tight ends averaged 3.9 targets per game, but over the past four that has increased to 7.8. In fact, 46% of Dallas Clark’s targets and 53.8% of Luke Stocker’s targets have come in the past four weeks.

Now this is good and this is bad. The good comes in when Clark is targeted. In recent weeks, Clark has shown he still has the goods to be an effective receiver. The bad is Stocker. Now Joe has nothing against Stocker in any way shape or form. It just seems as if Stocker will always struggle to be an average tight end. He has a bad case of the dropsies at the very wrong times (is there a right time to have the dropsies?) and seems to be more of a blocker than a receiver.

Joe wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs go after a tight end with, oh, say their third-round pick in April.

Joe has a hunch just about every Bucs fan knows what position Dominik will draft with his first round pick.

30 Responses to “Working In The Tight End”

  1. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    At 6’6″..Stocker plays like he’s 6’2″ with severe arthritis from head to toe

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    “Joe has a hunch just about every Bucs fan knows what position Dominik will draft with his first round pick.”

    Dare I say, first TWO picks.

  3. buccanay Says:

    You do realize, your hero moved UP to draft Stocker. With Freeman’s accuracy issues, IMO, the TE will never be a big part of this offense. Could we use an upgrade, certainly, but I wouldn’t spend high draft pick on TE, at least, till we get our secondary straightened out, and some depth on interior lines. Freemans huge interception numbers came when trying to force throws in the middle of the field to TE.

  4. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Why doesn’t Freeman go back to the basics and practice accuracy drills… just like the defense has to practice tackling drills.

  5. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    So you say we all have a hunch on who we draft?

    Does this mean we draft a CB even if that isnt BPA?

  6. Macabee Says:

    I wouldn’t waste time with Stocker anymore, nor would I spend an early round draft pick. Jared Cook is a UFA and doesn’t want to return to the Titans (on IR with torn rotator cuff). Keep Nate Byham as the blocking TE.

    I would package Stocker with another WR and make the Redskins a deal they couldn’t refuse and move on!

  7. Vic Says:

    A lot will come down to how Stocker’s blocking is evaluated. Can’t stay I’ve studied it, but that’s his key grade and will determine how they move forward.

  8. JonBuc Says:

    The fact that two 4th round picks were spent on Stocker is astounding.I guess he did draw a pass interference call near the goal line last week….not that he would have caught it otherwise….

  9. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    @ Vic. ….i’ve broken down Luke’s blocking and it is absolutely horrendous. Cannot hold a block against linebackers, quicker players run right around him and he completely whiffs at least 2 to 3 times per game.

  10. SteveK Says:


    You are right, we need a CB.

    I would much rather see us cut Wright and sign the best and 2nd best FA CB.

    This would allow us to “work” the board, and mazimize our picks by not pidgeonholing us into anything.

    BPA all day every day.

    Even with our CB situation being terrible right now, I am still grateful that we DID NOT draft Morris Claibourne.

    No more idiots on the Bucs.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Stocker cost two 4th round picks…

    Not a good move at all by Domininick.

    Notice, the drafting got much better with Schiano and Davis spotting the true “players”.

    No more “talent” or “size” that just can’t play.

    Myron Lewis, be gone!

  12. Macabee Says:

    I didn’t want to change the thread, but The Redskins need a TE and the un-named WR would be very popular in the Washington, DC area.

  13. Capt. Tim Says:

    Pick one- Johnthan Banks, come on down!
    Pick Two- David Amerson- come on down

    Third pick should with be TE, or Young Sam Lber, to go with Foster/ David.

  14. buc4life Says:

    I know it’s kinda early ,but how lsu de barkevious mingo ,a dominant pass rusher and absolute disruptor of offense. mingo reminds me of simeon rice, someone offenses has to account for and will take pressure off mccoy and bennett as well as the back end of the defense.

  15. Deminion Says:

    I would draft FS Eric Reid in the first and grab a corner in the second get a free agent CB

  16. OAR Says:

    I know I try to “work in” my tight end (aka wife) three or four times a week!

  17. OAR Says:

    And, yes Joe, next year’s draft is going to be pretty obvious.

  18. princespanky Says:

    I hope we take Johnthan Banks in the first round. He has a good head on his shoulders, has great length and is a big play maker in big games.

  19. SteveK Says:

    We definitely need to cut Eric Wright at the end of the year, and reallocate his $35 mil to a Free Agent CB.

    We should have went all in on Cortland Finnegan, and on Jonathan Joseph the offseason prior (you know, when Dom let down Raheem by ONLY getting a Punter).

  20. Eric Says:

    It’s a given that Dominik will win another offseason championship.

    Then September comes…………..

  21. Brandon Says:


    I don’t think you can technically draft a defensive coordinator. With a decent defensive coordinator, the Bucs would need pass rush help just as much if not more than DB help.

  22. PRBucFan Says:

    Sign best FA CB available, draft best CB available despite BPA. Maybe even if Eric Wrights releases we sign two FA CBs.

  23. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Im not sure I agree with your last statement Joe. Last year we all thought we knew who the Bucs were drafting with there first pic as well, only to have Schiano throw everyone for a loop. This year could be more of the same…. I wouldnt at all be surprised to see the Bucs by pass on a corner to get say… the TE from Notre Dame? Just saying its definately a possibility. I wouldn’t put anything past Schiano.

  24. Joe Says:


    I don’t think you can technically draft a defensive coordinator.

    Well done.

  25. buccanay Says:

    We dont have a starting caliber CB on this team or even an average 3, 4, or 5 CB, besides Wright, who’s an average #2 at best. Drafting a TE is about an 8 on a “needs list” of 1 to 10, IMO. For anyone to even suggest drafting a TE in the 3rd round or above is lunacy! Oline, Dline, CB, S, are all much higher on the priority list IMO. Again, Freeman is NOT gonna carry this team by chuckin the ball all over the place. We need a top 10 defense and great running game and some very good WR’s. We have 2 out of 3.

  26. buccanay Says:

    and BTW…who’s the TE for the Giants?

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    I think Biggers is a legitimate #3 as is LJ at this moment. LJ has a lot of potential to get much better. Problem is we have a bunch of #3’s lining up with 1’s and 2’s.

  28. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Nobody is questioning where a CB is on our list of needs. But with Schiano expect the unexpected. TE is a need for us and if they have a TE as BPA on the board when our pick is up… You cant rule that option out, especially not with Schiano. And we arent the Giants so stop comparing us to them.

  29. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    And btw Buccanay I believe you are wrong. If Free could play all 4 quarters of a game he could very well carry us. We would easily be at 9 wins right now if he would stay consistant. I’m not saying our defense is adequate because its absolutely not but we have an offense right now that can carry us with good play. Nothing wrong with adding more weapons for Free.

  30. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Draft Geno with the #1 pick that we receive from KC and grab that CB, Rhodes from FSU with the other pick.

    Wait for 2015 for a TE named Colt Lyerla from Oregon. Check out his 62″ vertical jump coming out of high school.