Add Kliff Kingsbury to the recent list of Arizona Cardinals play-callers who’ve elected to neglect the tight end position
In recent years, the tight end has been a forgotten component of the Arizona Cardinals offense. For some odd reason, the club’s play-callers have refused to make the position a vital part of it’s scoring attack. Would pass-happy head coach Kliff Kingsbury put an end to the discrimination that Cards tight ends have had to endure over the past several campaigns?
The answer to that question, through the first two games at least, is a resounding no. Things were not looking up for the position on August 31st, when the Cardinals elected to keep just two tight ends on their 53-man roster. Those who follow the team believed that management would retain at least three at the spot until Ricky Seals-Jones was surprisingly let go on the league’s final cutdown day.
Both of Arizona’s current tight ends are brand new additions to the organization. Charles Clay is a ninth-year veteran who has racked up 341 receptions and 23 touchdowns during his NFL career. Maxx Williams is a 25-year old who was a second-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2015.
Things got off to a slow start for the position in week one, when Cards tight ends were targeted just twice against the Detroit Lions. Clay caught only one pass for a measly five yards in his Cardinals debut. Williams didn’t do much better in his first game with the franchise, tallying just one reception for 15 yards.
The tight ends were also minimally-used during last Sunday’s matchup with the Ravens. Clay was targeted twice, but hauled in just one of the balls for six yards. Williams’ one catch during the contest resulted in a 21-yard gain in the third quarter.
Kingsbury’s propensity for using four and five wide receiver sets will certainly limit the tight ends’ usage going forward. Clay and Williams are both talented pass-catchers, however, who deserve to be utilized more. Whether that happens or not will be something to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season.