Greg Olsen caught nearly all the balls from that position a season ago and the Hurricanes have been looking for his replacement for the last several months, dating back to the spring.
Many people believe DajLeon Farr has the inside track to winning the job. Richard Gordon, Dedrick Epps, and Chris Zellner are also in the running. The race for that job is wide open and Randy Shannon talked about it after practice on Monday morning.
"They're doing well," Shannon said of all four tight ends. "We got good competition with DajLeon and Richard and Epps and Zellner. I'm kinda enthused about it."
Each of the four bring something different to the table. Farr is the biggest of the group and is very physical in the running game as a blocker. Epps is probably the most natural pass-catcher. Gordon's a physical freak who has been timed as low as in the 4.5's while Zellner has shown some versatility having played H-Back as well.
"All of them can catch," Shannon said. "They're big and they can block."
While Olsen was the main guy at this position for the past couple seasons, Shannon believes it could end up being a few guys that share the bulk of the duty.
"Everybody here on this team has talent," he said. "Once you try to make one guy THE guy, that one guy will get tired. So you better make sure you have another guy to come in and step up."
There have been times in the past where the Hurricanes have used a tight end by committee system and Shannon specifically recalls a time where it worked out very well.
"I remember the time we had Mondriel Fulcher and Bubba Franks," he said. "Both of those guys were splitting time but both were great players because each of them were getting maybe 35 plays apiece instead of 65. When you have that kind of rotation it can wear a (defense) down. They got a lot of talent."
Note: Zellner has been dinged up and Shannon said he will likely miss only a couple more practices before returning to the field.