Levine Toilolo caught just 31 passes last season. He was targeted 54 times. The 238 yards dwarfed what Gonzalez did in his seasons with the Falcons.
So the team went out and brought in Jacob Tamme, who played with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and then followed him to Denver. They also brought in free agent Tony Moeaki, who had an injury and reached a settlement with the team in training camp.
Tamme won the starting job over Toilolo. But what can we expect from Tamme, who had just 293 yards in his last two seasons after an impressive 555-yard season in 2012, his first year in Denver? Tamme is now 30 years old, so he's a seven-year veteran that has decent experience. But to expect a lot out of Tamme may be just plain wrong.
It's a shame Toilolo never really turned the corner. He's huge - six-foot-eight inches tall - but his pass-catching ability is questionable, and that's likely being kind. The fourth round pick in the 2013 draft looks like a bad pick, at least right now.
As long as Julio Jones stays healthy, there should be no reason to lean heavily on the tight end position for receiving yards. But Tamme and Toilolo still need to be effective with their blocking, particularly with questions on the offensive line.
This position has changed since Tony Gonzalez left. Perhaps that was inevitable, as it's hard to replace such a star player. But the Falcons need improvement compared to what happened last year with Toilolo, and Tamme will be heavily counted on to upgrade the position.
Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.