Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Jim Dray (81) makes a catch as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colt McCoy (2) defends during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 season is over and now it is time to review the Arizona Cardinals position by position and see what transpired in 2013 and what will or should take place in 2014. Now, we take a look at the tight end position.
The tight end position will need another scrutinized look in the off-season. After what we saw in 2013, I expect some change but not a complete overhaul. The assumed future of the position was in the hands of Rob Housler. However, Housler started the Bruce Arians somewhat in the dog house for whatever reason, then he got injured in the preseason and got off to a slow start.
Housler ended up playing in 13 games, catching 39 balls for 454 yards but just one touchdown. He continued to have issues with dropped passes much of the season. He looked as if he might be nipping that in the bud in the middle of the season when he made some spectacular catches. Then at the end of the season, he seemed to be regressing again.
To compare stats, Jake Ballard was signed in October and ended up with seven catches for 75 yards but two touchdowns. The other tight end, Jim Dray, had 26 receptions for 215 yards. He also had two touchdowns.
Right now it is tough to gauge what the Cards will do with this position in the off-season but I imagine there will be some change. Do they want to trust Dray and Ballard to get the job done? Will they draft another tight end? Has Housler reached the end of his rope? If you ask me what they should do, I’d tell you run with Ballard and Dray who have been in the system and as long as they are healthy, I’m good sticking with them. Housler has had three seasons now to prove himself and still isn’t producing consistently enough. We’ll see.