It’s no secret in Western New York, the Buffalo Bills don’t have a great tight-end. This is not new news, this position debacle has been going on for over a decade in Bills country, and the team is finally looking to change that once and for all.
The team is hoping that bringing in a familiar face for Bills fans can do the trick. Chan Gailey has hired former Bill Pete Metzelears as the team’s new tight-ends coach, following his stint last year as the Indianapolis Colts offensive-line coach.
Metzelears knows what it takes to be successful in that position for the Bills as he was a reliable target for quarterback Jim Kelly as a part of four straight AFC Champion teams.
On top of being part of great teams he was also a strong player in his own right, named as a pro-bowl alternate three times.
The pro-bowl and Buffalo Bills tight-end have not been phrases said together very often since then, and is one of the many reasons the team hasn’t made the playoffs in 12 years.
Since the Bills last playoff appearance in 1999 here is a list of how their tight-ends have performed:
- 2000-Jay Riemersma had 31 receptions, 372 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.
- 2001- Jay Riemersma had 53 receptions, 590 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns
- 2002- Jay Riemersma had 32 receptions and 350 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns
- 2003- Mark Campbell had 34 receptions, 339 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown
- 2004- Mark Campbell had 17 receptions, 203 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns
- 2005- Mark Campbell had 19 receptions, 139 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns.
- 2006- Robert Royal had 23 receptions, 233 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns
- 2007- Michael Gaines had 25 receptions, 215 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns.
- 2008- Robert Royal had 33 receptions, 351 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown
- 2009- Shawn Nelson had 18 receptions, 157 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown
- 2010- Jonathan Stupar had 12 receptions, 111 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns
- 2011- Scott Chandler had 38 receptions, 389 yards and 6 touchdowns
Looking at those numbers only one season did a tight-end have over 50 catches (2001), and only once did a tight-end have more than five touchdowns (2011).
Moving forward it will be important for the team to re-sign Chandler, who is an unrestricted free-agent, and hopefully he can improve on last year’s numbers.
If the team can get a solid contribution from that position consistently once and for all it will be a big step forward for their playoff push.