Re: Steve Maneri only TE tonight . . . what will we see?
posted at 8/15/2014 4:48 PM EDT
Now here's a back story on the shortage of Patriots tight ends. Terrence Miller was all set to be stashed on the Jets' practice squad, but stuff happened.
Without running a single route, Terrence Miller resembles an NFL starter more than any of the other undrafted free agents. At 6'4", 234 pounds, Miller is as much of a small tight end as he is a big wide receiver.
The good news for Miller is that the Jets are desperate for receiver talent. The bad news is that their desperation drove them to bring in a slew of players, putting several layers of competition in between Miller and a precious roster spot.
However, if Miller is going to have a prayer of making the final 53, he will need to clean up his drop issues. Miller teased scouts with his size and catching radius, but mind-boggling lapses in concentration led to a rather disappointing senior season at Arizona.
Miller is actually listed as a tight end on the Jets' depth chart, according to OurLads.com, which adds a layer of intrigue to his chances of making the team.
If Miller can fix his hands and have a strong training camp, he should put up a fight against backup tight ends Zach Sudfeld and Chris Pantale. His upside makes him a more intriguing prospect than the other two, who already spent time with the Jets last season.
If nothing else, Miller's size alone may make him worth stashing on the practice squad for development.
Percentage chance: 15 percent
In the end, Miller was dumped by the Jets, picked up by the Patriots who probably pointedly ignored his current injury at the time, and then he took a trip via waiver to the Patriots' injured reserve list.
Now let's look at the second part of the two-step: Lets say that BB really needs a half-passable tight end in December. Miller's injury is well-rested by this time, he knows the playbook and he has a big target radius. BB spends his one ticket to get a guy off of the IR on Miller, and voila! The sick/healthy two-step pays off. Or, maybe BB needs some other position and Miller sits all season.
BB doesn't want rookies on the 53 man roster in September, but he wants lots of rooks hovering around the stadium and learning the playbook for a couple of months until they get fair/good, just in case he needs another fair/good body at position X.
I never found out what Miller's injury was, and maybe the Patriots don't care either. Maybe he broke his rookie for all I know. Stories have circulated about people such as Patriots' rookie Jeff Demps faking a phantom injury in the last game of the preseason, so that he could land on injured reserve.
Send those get-well cards and flowers to the training staff room, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxboro, MA 02035