http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051125/SPORTS01/511250406/1027The Tennessee Titans have thrown 44 percent of their completed passes to tight ends this season, and they are not alone in expanding the passing game role for players once regarded primarily as extra blockers.
The Titans are the only team with two tight ends with 25 catches or more. Ben Troupe has 28.
Kinney said the trend is simply part of the league's ebb and flow. Not long ago, he said, small shifty receivers were coveted. Now it's big, fast guys in the mold of Randy Moss.
"It used to be big, burly, blocking tight ends and now it's big guys who can run and catch," said Kinney, who is on pace for 78 catches, more than Frank Wycheck reached during the stretch (1996-2000) he led the team in catches.
"Now guys who are reliable to block and catch are starting to flourish," Kinney said. "Look at Gonzalez, Gates, Alge Crumpler, Jason Witten. They get it done run blocking, but they can also dominate in the passing game."