Camp Countdown: 20 Days — TE Production

Of course Andrew Quarless isn't going anywhere. The tight end production was meager last season, as shown by our league-wide charts, and the depth is nonexistent.

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY

While the knee-jerk reaction among many fans is the Green Bay Packers should release Andrew Quarless, who was arrested in Miami on July 4 for discharging a firearm in public, the team intends to stick with their tight end.

The decision shouldn’t come as any surprise. Public image is important but winning is what’s critical. If the Packers were to release Quarless, then what? It’s not as if the Packers have an abundance of talent at the position. Quarless and Richard Rodgers, a third-round pick last year, basically shared top billing last season, with Quarless averaging about 10 snaps more per game. Quarless caught 29 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in, of all places, Miami. Rodgers chipped in 20 catches for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Otherwise, with the offseason release of Brandon Bostick (two catches, 3 yards, one touchdown), Justin Perillo is the only other tight end on the roster with NFL experience. As an undrafted free agent out of Maine, he played all of 11 snaps as a rookie. They are joined by three rookies. A sixth-round pick was used on Kennard Backman, who struggled catching the ball throughout the offseason. Mitchell Henry was signed immediately after the draft and Harold Spears was added during the minicamp. If the Packers were to release Quarless, Rodgers would be the No. 1 and the team almost certainly would have to find a veteran retread on the market to build some sort of depth.

Green Bay’s tight ends caught 51 passes last season for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Only seven teams got fewer catches, though the touchdown total tied for 16th, as did the 10.8-yard average per catch.

The chart below shows the league-wide production from tight ends last season, listed in order of receptions. The categories are self-explanatory. Targets, drops and missed tackles (“MT” on the chart) are from ProFootballFocus.com.

TeamRec.TargetPercentYardsAvgTDDropMT
New Orleans11916870.81,20110.1171210
New England11116268.51,42712.918919
Chicago10614473.61,0329.76826
Washington10213277.31,05010.32717
Indianapolis9815463.61,28713.11847
Carolina9814368.51,16711.9755
Kansas City9612378.01,11111.69717
Philadelphia9313668.41,10111.8636
San Diego9012373.21,05211.71334
Miami8612071.791310.65414
N.Y. Giants8411473.786110.31156
St. Louis8112962.893411.5865
Dallas7710474.085611.1931
Baltimore7610771.080010.5553
Tennessee7311861.91,00413.85819
Cincinnati708780.55187.45212
Pittsburgh709573.781311.6562
Buffalo699275.070510.2372
Minnesota678777.071310.64613
N.Y. Jets6610165.367710.3596
Oakland6510263.75778.9552
Denver639467.067210.71554
Cleveland549358.182215.2323
Green Bay517766.255110.8655
Tampa Bay517568.04699.2230
Arizona507864.158811.8161
Seattle488060.075715.7667
Jacksonville476968.151811.0447
Detroit417653.93929.6283
San Francisco397154.943311.1286
Houston355168.63209.1622
Atlanta335164.72417.3361

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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