BEREA -- Gary Barnidge is just a blue-collar type football player who shows up and does his job.
And he’s okay with that.
Barnidge was asked if he’s more of a blocking tight end or a receiving tight end.
“Every year, I’m categorized as one thing or another – one year as receiver, one year as blocker,” Barnidge said. “I don’t really get into all that kind of stuff. I’m just going out there and doing my job just like the rest of our tight ends are. You’ve got to do what the coaches ask.”
Barnidge joined the Browns after following Rob Chudzinski--who was his offensive coordinator at Carolina--to the Browns prior to the 2013 season after five seasons with the Panthers.
Barnidge caught just 13 passes in each of his two seasons with the Browns, both career highs.
Barnidge caught a 47-yard pass from Josh McCown in the Orange & Brown scrimmage last Friday, which set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from McCown to Brian Hartline.
In practice on Monday, Barnidge was able to get behind Tashaun Gipson and catch a deep pass from McCown for a score in the team part of practice.
Barnidge thinks all of the tight ends will get opportunities this season in the offense.
“I think our whole tight end room is going to have the opportunity because we do tight end by committee,” he said. “It’s not really one guy. I think we’re all going to have the opportunity to get shots like that. I was just fortunate to get them in the scrimmage and then the one open today.”
Barnidge consistently catches most all of the passes that are thrown his way.
“I just go out there and catch the ball,” he said. “When they throw the ball to me, I’m going to catch it. That’s my job and that’s what we’re planning to do.”
Barnidge has the endorsement of Mike Pettine.
“I think Gary Barnidge is very underrated,” Pettine said after the scrimmage in Columbus. “He just does his job and makes plays.”
On the surface, unrestricted free agent Rob Housler was labeled the receiving tight end, but thus far in camp has had trouble hanging on to passes.
Barnidge thinks all of the tight ends will get opportunities in the passing game, including Jim Dray and rookie E.J. Bibbs.
“It’s very exciting,” Barnidge said. “Our whole room is excited about it because we love all of the opportunities. We had one thrown deep to Rob, too. The defense played good coverage on it, but everybody gets the opportunity and that’s what we like about it.
“I think all of the tight ends are going to have the opportunity because we all get that opportunity,” he said. “We all rotate and do different plays and have different things together. You never know who it’s going to be, and I think that’s going to take the whole burden off of it.”
Barnidge said he thinks the offensive system under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is coming together pretty well this early in training camp.
“Everybody works together,” Barnidge said. “It just all works together well. We’re gelling together well as an offense.”