LA Rams: Where promising tight ends go to die
With profound apologies in advance to the Biebz (Justin Bieber for the unindoctrinated) for purposefully gaffling-up the lyrics to his hit song “Peaches”, when I heard the news today (Oh Boy) that the LA Rams signed yet another tight end – this one by the household (not!) name of Kyle Markway – well, I could not help but think:
"“I got my peaches from Georgia.I get my weed from California.I took my chick up to the North, yeahBut I’ll get no TDs from this source, yeah”- first three lines from Peaches by Justin Bieber. Last line by yours truly"
Because if you’re a tight end trying to make a living in today’s pass-happy NFL, “Destination LA Rams” must surely be viewed as “Exile on Main Street”, err, Siberia, under an offense run by head coach Sean McVay.
The collective group of NFL tight ends most assuredly must view the landscape in Tinsel Town as something much less than, well, “peachy.”
If you end up there, don’t expect to rack up many TD catches. It’s probably not in the cards.
News flash: The Rams under McVay are hardly what you might call a TE-centric offense. It’s not like this team is the Bawlamer Ravens or anything.
Well, let’s clarify a bit. Whereas the Ravens have never met a tight they didn’t like, the Rams are the team that’s never quite figured out how to throw to just one of its tight ends.
The Ravens’ lead TE Mark Andrews (701 yards, seven TDs) and its blocking TE Nick Boyle (113 yards and two TDs) combined for 814 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. The Rams’ TE Tyler Higbee (521 yards and five TDs) and TE Gerald Everett (417 yards and one TD) combined for 938 yards and six touchdowns.
The LA Rams seem to be so intent on balancing out their tight ends that they (the individual player) suffer from the distribution.
If you’re a TE that’s playing in LA under McVay, best tell your agent not to write in too many contract incentives. But rather, show me the money. How many zeros are on that weekly check?
Maybe that’s why TE Gerald Everett flew the coop. It’s not about you, Coach McVay, it’s about me. I just wanna go where a team actually throws the ball to me.
McVay’s M.O. (modus operandi) is not exactly ground and pound on first down, second down, and then throw a short pass to the TE on 3rd down.
Nope. More like drop back and pass screen right on first, screen left on second and pass downfield for eight yards on third. . . but keep that tight end in, well, tight, on third, for pass protection. You can maybe drift out in the flat as a third or fourth (or fifth) read-option, but that’s about it.
In the rare case where a tight end has a true breakout game? The following week they return to anonymity. Milk cartons with their faces spring up sporting “Have you seen me?” on the sides.
In fact, they could hang a banner at So-Fi Stadium which reads: “LA: Where TEs Go to Die.”
Just follow the trail of tears to the tar pits. Pay no attention to that meteor that’s closing in on the planet.
Welcome to LA, Kyle Markway.
Say hello to your “new little friend” – his name is The Blocking Sled.