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This series of Five Questions With... will focus not only on the 2015 draft class for the Chicago Bears, but some of the undrafted free agents as well. This series of articles has become one of my favorites to do here at Windy City Gridiron, as I feel it gives us an added insight to the new players on the Bears.
Next up we'll focus on one of the undrafted free agents and talk with Brent Taylor of Roll 'Bama Roll, the SB Nation site that covers the Alabama Crimson Tide, about tight end Brian Vogler.
Windy City Gridiron - Volger is a very big tight end (6'7", 263), and even though he only had 2 career touchdowns, was he ever lined up outside and used as a jump ball threat in the red zone?
Roll 'Bama Roll - While I was following Vogler in high school, I was extremely excited over his potential to be used in the same sort of way as Jimmy Graham. His high school often lined him up on the outside and he was used for fade routes consistently. At 6'7", he easily towers over defenders and can stretch out to make great catches. In his time at Alabama, however, he was never used in such a way.
WCG - Was Volger's low reception total the last two years (14) a product of the scheme, or is he just not a very good receiver?
RBR - I think his low career reception total is partially due to scheme. The tight ends have never been that involved as pass catchers in the offense. Vogler has shown that he has soft, reliable hands any time he had the chance, but I think he really limits himself by being extremely slow. He is pretty much never open, and never seems to really even try to get open. He also struggles with balancing and is mostly useless after the catch.
WCG - Some scouts have criticized his blocking, do you think that's more a technique issue or a strength issue?
RBR - For a man of his size, Vogler is often overpowered when trying to block. He's a smart player, so I don't think it is his technique. I would say that he never has grown into his height, is a very upright player, and does not have the lower body strength or footwork to hold his own while blocking.
WCG - Chicago offensive coordinator Adam Gase isn't fond of carrying fullbacks on the roster, instead relying on versatile TEs to play the H-Back role. Was Vogler used primarily in-line, or was he moved around the formation?
RBR - Vogler was used almost exclusively as an in-line tight end. Occasionally he motioned into the backfield in more of an H-back role, but it was extremely rare.
WCG - Bottom line, do you think Vogler has what it takes to stick on an NFL roster or practice squad?
RBR - I do not think he will stick. I was excited about Vogler when he came out of high school as a 6'7" red zone threat, but he never developed. He gained weight to become a better blocker, and lost a lot of speed because of that... And it didn't even make him anything more than a barely serviceable blocker either.
He does not offer much in special teams, and his shining moment in that regard was giving up on a tackle attempt on the game losing field goal return against Auburn in 2013 (I'm sure you've seen it replayed a thousand times). If Vogler makes it past the summer cuts, I will be surprised.
Thanks again to Brent Taylor of Roll 'Bama Roll for giving us the inside scoop!