To this point in the season, the offense of the Chicago Bears has not come anywhere near meeting the high expectations that were set after a busy offseason. But while the offense as a unit has been disappointing, nothing has brought the frustration that the tight end position has.
As the rest of the league lives in the renaissance of the tight end position, the Bears have some of the league’s worst lining up for them on Sundays. Kellen Davis has become an absolute joke, as a blocker and a receiver, and Matt Spaeth is essentially a third tackle on the line when he’s in there.
Apparently, the Bears’ coaching staff isn’t as blind to these issues at the position as we may have thought, with the news that the team plans to give rookie fullback Evan Rodriguez some reps at the tight end spot.
Though he hasn’t seen any action in the passing game to this point, Rodriguez has actually put together a solid rookie campaign, though he’s done so quietly. He’s proven to be an excellent run blocker, and his absence was definitely felt when he missed a few games with an injury.
When the Bears drafted Rodriguez back in April, he drew comparisons to Aaron Hernandez, and was listed as a fullback/h-back/tight end, with the Bears electing to put him at fullback full time.
Should the Bears choose to get Rodriguez more looks in the passing game, he won’t be coming in lacking the experience necessary to succeed. He was actually a very good receiver at Temple, and has been lauded since he was drafted for his hands. He’s not the biggest guy, but with those hands and his surprising speed, he could be effective.
The Bears are absolutely making the right decision in experimenting with Rodriguez as a pass catcher, whether at tight end or out of the backfield. Davis has rendered himself completely useless and Spaeth is a pure blocker. With the Bears needing all the help they can get on offense, more reps for Evan Rodriguez is the right way to go moving forward.