The trend in the NFL today seems to be to get as many tight ends on the field as possible. Tight ends are big, strong, and provide matchup issues in coverage to both cornerbacks and linebackers. At least the good ones do.
Do the Giants have enough talent at tight end to cause problems for defenses the way teams like the Patriots and Texans did last season?
According to New York Giant Bear Pascoe, yes.
"I believe that it's another weapon that we have," said backup tight end Bear Pascoe. "It could be something that we utilitze this year. It depends on what the coaches want to do."
Pascoe himself may not have the quickness to make opposing linebackers shake in their boots, but he does have good size and hands. That's a theme in New York's tight end corps this season. In addition to Pascoe, free agent import Brandon Myers and 2012 draft pick Adrien Robinson have stood out because of the way the ball sticks to their fingers.
Pascoe has something that his fellow tight ends don't, though, and that is the ability to play fullback. That skill, combined with Pascoe's enormous hands, can make him a secret weapon in the NFL. Last year, Houston's James Casey used his reps out of the backfield and his experience as a tight end to become a great pass-catching fullback. Pascoe believes he can do the same thing this season if given the opportunity.
""It's something that I've done before," said Pascoe about playing out of the backfield. "Playing this position is not new to me. I've done it before, I did it last year. So, it's just getting back to familiarizing myself with everything. Most definitely I can catch the ball out of the backfield and run routes and give Eli another body to go to."
During offseason team activities, the Giants used Pascoe at fullback out of necessity because of Henry Hynoski's knee injury. Necessity is the mother of invention, though. Maybe the Giants stumbled upon something by playing Pascoe in the backfield?
"In our offense, we do run a lot of two-tight-end sets," said Pascoe. "So I'm still getting a lot of work up on the line. I'm very focused and detailed on what I've got to get done in both positions."
Odds are that Pascoe continues to be just an emergency option at fullback, but it would be something if the Giants use his experience at the position to launch a three-tight-end formation. Something like that would seem like a throwback to the days of three-yard-and-a-cloud-of-dust, but provide the Giants with a versatile offensive look.