Friday, August 05, 2005

Surprise! Key To Lions' Offense May Be The Tight End

There’s a snake lying in the grass on the Lions, as far as opposing teams should be concerned. That is, if snakes were over six feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds.

Roy Williams. Charlie Rogers. Mike Williams. The Kevins Jones and Johnson. All these, plus pal Joey Harrington, will get all the ink and airwaves in the next few weeks as Lions fans and the media goof around trying to figure out where the team will finish this season, or how they will begin.

But wait a minute -- what about Marcus Pollard?

Pollard, a tight end signed away from the Colts, is the aforementioned snake. While defensive secondaries scramble all over themselves trying to cover the Lions’ talented receiving corps, Harrington should be able to earn a lot of his dough finding Pollard for six, seven, eight yard gains as if he was playing a game of catch.

Pollard got lost in the shuffle in Indianapolis, too, mainly because of some quarterback named Peyton something, and the fact that all those TD passes the QB tossed went to receivers and running backs. But Pollard is a veteran, more than capable receiver, and he gives the Lions something they haven’t had since perhaps Charlie Sanders -- a veteran, more than capable receiver at the tight end position.

Pollard should be able to help the Lions point the way this season

With the Lions, tight end has seemed to either be a place for an untested rookie or an over-the-hill guy. It’s either been a Casey FitzSimmons or Rodney Holman type, to give you a couple of examples. David Sloan looked to be on the verge of goodness, but he got hurt and was never the same. But Pollard can catch, block some, and has been a part of explosive offenses before, something that folks are whispering could be used to describe the Lions this season.

Besides the suspect abilities of the men who’ve played the position, the Lions have also treated the tight end like a leper. In the run-and-shoot days, tight ends weren’t even on the roster. Then, when they did accumulate them, the Lions refused to use them. Or, they had a guy who could block but not catch, or who could catch but not block. They made up a good tight end -- combined.

In this West Coast Offense, supposedly, the tight end gets some touches, to use a basketball term. And you could do a lot worse to touch the football than Marcus Pollard. So if the Lions are serious about this West Coast thing, I suggest they look Pollard’s way when it comes to a crucial 3rd-and-5 kind of play. Seriously, I can’t imagine how you can cover everyone with this offense. Or Pollard could help lead the blocking on a screen pass to Kevin Jones. See how easy it is to be an offensive coordinator sitting in front of your computer monitor?

All levity aside, watch for Marcus Pollard this season. The dude can play a little bit of football, and he plays it at a position that will be often ignored by opposing defensive coaches. That’s how you get bitten by snakes, you know.

1 comment:

dolphinfan said...

Pollard was a great pick up by the Lions who already had one of the top three receiving groups in the NFL (Indy and St. Louis are the others). The Lions should post big numbers on offense this season.