That's because new offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson likes having the tight end as a part of the passing game. Davidson spent 10 games last season as Cleveland's offensive coordinator and Kellen Winslow led the team with 89 catches.
As for throwing to the tight end, something that has been a rarity in the Carolina offense since Henning's arrival, Davidson said, "I don't want to compare myself to Dan Henning or other coaches, but do I think the tight end is important in the passing game? Yes I do. I would like to involve the tight end and, really, all of the receivers on the field. So it would be unfair to say that I'm going to go in there with the plan to throw it to Steve Smith on every play. That plan will not be in the system.
"We will have a progression that we will work through. If Steve Smith is the first one in that progression and he's open, then that's where we are throwing the ball. If the tight end is the first progression and he's open, then that's where we're throwing the ball. If the tight end is second in the progression and we were unable to get the first guy the ball then we will throw to the tight end.
"So yes, the tight end will be involved. When I took over Cleveland's offense last year we ended up throwing to the tight end the majority of the time."