Panthers OC Joe Brady has emphasized the importance of the Tight End position recently. Carolina’s offensive coordinator plans to get the Tight End position more involved in the passing game.
“The tree that I grew up in, the tight ends are the most important position on the field, the matchups that they create, and everything. . . It’s been a point of emphasis this offseason, just trying to get those guys going in the passing game. And I think those guys have kind of taken and ran with it,” Brady told Panthers reporter Darin Gantt.
It was a vital missing piece to the passing game last season. Between Ian Thomas, Chris Manhertz, and Colin Thompson, the team got a grand total of 204 yards and two touchdowns, a disappointing performance from this group to say the least. Heading into the 2021 campaign, it’s difficult to project what kind of production we’ll see from this position after the lack of production.
Signed a two-year deal after showing promise with the Arizona Cardinals last season. Arnold posted 31 catches, 438 yards, and four touchdowns, all career highs. It’s unclear that he’ll continue to show promise, although, if he can get anything near the production put up in 2020, that would be a big improvement over what they’ve been getting from the position since Greg Olsen’s foot issues began in 2017.
The 2018 4th-round pick is under a lot of pressure this year to step up and deliver more, I was under the impression that he would be released, to be honest. I’ve been really critical of Thomas as he has suffered from consistency issues and hasn’t come close to matching the 333 yards he had recorded in his rookie year. Frankly, he just isn’t able to get himself available for a reception in the middle of the field and isn’t reliable when thrown too to make that grab. He does an excellent job in the red zone when given the opportunity for the “jump ball” but that’s an incredibly risky unreliable play. Since he was drafted to eventually step up to be the successor, I see that he tries to play like him but Ian Thomas still just only makes me miss prime Greg Olsen.
I’m really excited to see this player out of Notre Dame, I’m not expecting him to be a top receiving threat but because of the blocking excellence and his bully mentality. I can’t help but love the gameplay he showed as he was dubbed the best blocker in college football. Living up to that label will help keep him on the field. I can’t wait to see this man put somebody on their back, opening holes for the running backs.
Now, as a threat in the passing game, I can see him being used well underneath the sticks and getting those very important 4-6 yard plays. If we can see him be used to gain those early first downs on intermediate second-third downs. That contribution as a receiver might make him a critical offensive piece for Joe Brady’s puzzle, as he’ll put this offensive together.