Position Analysis: Tight End and H-Back

The Redskins got excellent production out of their tight ends and H-Backs in 2005, but the unit could be in for some changes this coming season.

2005 Final Roster

Player

Posit

Status

'06 Contract Status

Comment



Chris Cooley

HB

Starter

Signed

Posting a breakout season in his second year, Cooley caught 71 passes for 774 yards and seven touchdowns. His blocking techniques progressed nicely as well. Cooley could be on the verge of true stardom if he can catch a few deeper passes down the seam. 



Mike Sellers

HB

Reserve

Signed

Sellers didn't touch the ball a lot, but he made the most out of his limited chances. He caught 12 passes and seven of them went for six points and three more were for first downs. On top of that he had one rushing attempt that went for one yard and a touchdown. His greatest value, however, was on special teams, putting up 13 tackles.



Robert Royal

TE

Starter

UFA

Royal caught just 18 passes and had a severe case of the dropsies at times. Both by design and because of his hands, he seemed to be the fifth of five options on most pass plays.  However, he constantly drew praise from Gibbs and company for his blocking and attitude and the team will try to retain him.


Manuel White
HB IR Signed White was already on a bumpy road, learning how to play H-Back after a college career as a running back, when a broken leg ended his year just before the regular season started. He has a good shot at earning a spot not only on the roster but as a regular contributor.
Brian Kozlowski TE Reserve UFA A spare part who played little offensively, he is unlikely to return.
Robert Johnson TE Reserve Signed Johnson has a rare combination of size and speed that makes him an intriguing prospect. 

2005 Season Grade: A-

There wasn't much not to like here in 2005. As a group, they had 15 of the team's 25 touchdown receptions. Blocking is key at these position in Joe Gibbs' offense and their performance there was evident in Clinton Portis' team-record 1,516 yards rushing. The grade gets dinged a bit by the fact that nobody was able to sneak open down the field and make opposing defenses pay for giving too much attention to Santana Moss.

2006 Outlook:

There could be some serious revamping of this unit here if Royal decides to sign elsewhere. If that happens, the Redskins may opt to start Sellers at tight end and go with a draftee or a second or third-tier free agent such as one-time Redskin Zeron Flemister. Johnson will get a shot to contribute, but he has to get his tools together in a hurry. White is the X-factor here; if the team thinks that he can contribute there will be much less of a sense of urgency to add a young player in this position.

Warpath Position Analysis:


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