The Buccaneers were finally able to address their gap in the tight end position by signing veteran free agent Kyle Rudolph. He is better than a rookie.
Buccaneers rookie tight end Ko Kieft has become a darling for some within the fanbase that long for the days of old in the NFL.
Hard hits at the line of scrimmage. Run splits that left the passing attack as an after-thought. Hard-nosed, gritty football. Get the analytics and the nerds with their computers and the calculators out of here. These are the things that some fans mistakenly long for.
Those elements of the game are dying, much like any other archaic way of thinking that happens when old ideas rightfully need to go the way of the dinosaurs. The old ways aren’t the best ways. In fact, the old ways are almost always worse and less effective.
Teams win football games in the modern era by throwing the ball. Blocking tight ends are becoming a thing of the past.
While the Buccaneers have a bright history at the position with these dirty-work tight ends that act more like linemen than the pass-catchers that dominate the position today, smart money is on Ko Kieft not becoming one of these guys.
Kieft projects to be a pure blocker for the Bucs. Anyone saying anything more is simply longing. Kieft has next to no history catching passes, and expecting him to suddenly be able to do this at the highest level is downright silly.
The Bucs are at their best when they pass the ball. Having an extra blocker on the field that can’t catch is not how they are going to take their offense to the next level.
To make matters worse for Kieft’s chances, the Bucs just found their third roster tight end. After only using two for the majority of the season last year (with a third still on the roster), it stands to reason that the same thing will happen this year with Kyle Rudolph, Cameron Brate, and Cade Otton.
That room is starting to look better than Brate and two rookies.
It is a tough pill to swallow, but the writing is on the wall for Kieft with this smart decision by the Bucs. Kieft could be a decent practice squad guy, but he is officially a long-shot to make the 53-man roster.
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