The tight end position is critical to the success of an offense stemming from the Andy Reid coaching tree.
Tight ends serve as security blankets of sorts, especially in a West Coast-rooted scheme. When the primary target is locked down and the play is coming to an end, the big-bodied tight end is an important checkdown option for the quarterback to have.
It makes sense, then, that poor tight end play was a causation for the Bears’ struggles on offense in 2019.
Chicago hopes that their overhaul of the position will result in better offensive play. They particularly hope that Cole Kmet, their second-round pick out of Notre Dame, can develop into the long-term starting option the team has lacked for some time.
Of the former offensive assistants Andy Reid has had who still hold head coaching jobs, Matt Nagy is the only one to not have had a Pro Bowl tight end at his disposal.
A huge factor in success for Andy Reid’s coaching tree has been Pro Bowl tight end play.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) August 19, 2020
- Reid: Travis Kelce
- Doug Pederson: Zach Ertz
- Frank Reich: Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron
If Cole Kmet can become that for the #Bears, that would be huge for Matt Nagy’s offense.
Though Jimmy Graham will likely see the bulk of targets at the tight end position in 2020, the Bears drafted Kmet in hopes that he may be their long-term answer at that spot.
Chicago’s coaching staff had plenty of positive things to say about Kmet on Wednesday, including tight end coach Clancy Barone, who has worked with such tight ends like Antonio Gates, Kyle Rudolph, Julius Thomas and Alge Crumpler.
"I have zero concerns about Cole Kmet. I really do," Bears TE coach Clancy Barone says. Matt Nagy and his staff aren't doing anything to tamper enthusiasm for Kmet. They clearly believe he's NFL-ready right now.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 19, 2020
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano added to those claims, stating that Kmet is “going to be a phenomenal football player”.
While such claims may just be typical coach speak during a period in which some coaches tend to exaggerate to the media, it is an encouraging sign for the Bears that Kmet has made such an impression early on in training camp.
Whether he translates that hype into success at the NFL level is currently unknown, but he’s certainly off to a good start.