With the success of the pass rush summit and the offensive line summit in recent years, it was just a matter of time before some of the other position groups got in on the fun, and the latest comes from the most versatile players on the roster, the tight ends.
The Tight End Summit, found on Twitter @te_university, was started by the San Francisco 49ers George Kittle, the Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce, and the recently retired Greg Olsen, who spent the first three years of his career with the Chicago Bears.
The inaugural summit where tight ends of all shapes and sizes will #uniTE (get it?) will take place this summer in Nashville, Tennessee.
Current Bears tight end Cole Kmet is one of several players that have already committed to attend. Much like the pass rush/o-line summits, players at their position will come together to share nuance of playing tight end, swap stories, share secrets, and look to better their overall play as a position group around the league. Tight ends have always been a versatile position group, but these days the position itself is broken into three main sub-positions, in-line (Y), move (U), and blocking (H-back).
The Y’s need to have the skill set to line up next to an offensive tackle and help block just as much as they run routes. The U’s are often spilt out wide and move around an offense to find mismatches in coverage. And the H’s are occasionally lined up like a traditional fullback or on the wing and they lead the way as a blocker.
What teams call these positions vary from team to team, but there’s no denying the tight end is, and always will be, a versatile member of any offense.
Kmet was the first tight end drafted a year ago, and as a rookie he played in all 16 games for the Bears, making 9 starts, with 28 catches, 243 yards, and 2 TDs. The 6’6”, 262 pound Kmet provided some solid blocking in 2020, and he showed decent athleticism and power running the ball too.
With Jimmy Graham still on the roster Kmet figures to spend most of, if not all of, his time manning the Y position with the veteran Graham at the U, but don’t be surprised to see Kmet’s role expanded in year two on Matt Nagy’s offense.
Just getting the chance to learn from guys like Kittle, Kelce, and Olsen, plus an opportunity to talk with guys that have a wide variety of skill sets like the Patriots Jonnu Smith, the Lions T.J. Hockenson, the Raiders Darren Waller, and Falcons rookie Kyle Pitts, could have a lasting impact on Kmet’s game.