As explosive as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense was this season, there was little consistency. Mainly in the distribution of passes. Cincinnati’s offense has many talented skill players,that they could have used better and more often. Jermaine Gresham being one of those guys.
Gresham was a first round pick out of Oklahoma back in 2010. His statistical numbers improved in each of his first three seasons.
2010- Receptions: 52 | Yards: 471 | TDs: 4
2011- Receptions: 56 | Yards: 596 | TDs: 6
2012: Receptions: 64 | Yards: 737 | TDs: 5
The gradual improvement over Gresham’s first three years in the NFL warranted the attention of fans and experts. The 25 year-old tight end used his speed, strength, and route running ability; along with his 6-5 260 pound frame to take advantages of mismatches.
With such a great start to his young career, many believed 2013 would be a true “breakout season” for Jermaine Gresham. But that was not the case. This season was actually Gresham’s least productive. Numbers wise, he had career lows across the board.
2013- Receptions: 46 | Yards: 458 | TDs: 4
Gresham’s decline no doubt had something to do with the emergence of rookie TE Tyler Eifert. But it also was a result of bad use of personnel by the Bengals’ coaching staff. In many games this season, Gresham was visibly non-existent. For a guy with such size and skill, this is unacceptable.
The Bengals will need to bring a more versatile offensive attack into 2014. Marvin Lewis and company must make it a priority to utilize the assets they have. Spread the ball around the field. Crossing routes, bubble screens, comebacks, playaction, and seam routes are all ways to get other guys involved. The in between passing game relies heavily on the production of a team’s tight ends. And that is the place Cincinnati needs to improve most going into next season.