Depth Chart Battle: H-Back

I think we need to get this place back to normal after the Kravitz fiasco.  The Colts have always used a 2 tight end set since Tom Moore was hired, an era that sadly ended yesterday.  It's gone from Dilger-Pollard, Pollard-Clark, Clark-Utecht and finally Clark-Robinson.  However, Gijon Robinson didn't have a stellar year last year and there are two second year players ready to take his spot.  The Colts have a plethora of weapons on offense, and they can't go wrong with any of these guys.  The breakdown is after the jump.

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via www.orlandosentinel.com

Gijon Robinson


2008 Stats
Preseason: 8 catches, 85 yards, 10.8 yards per catch
Season: 19 catches, 166 yards, 8.7 yards per catch
Postseason: 1 catch, 3 yards

My Take

Robinson wasn't as good of a blocker as he was made out to be, but he did have his moments.  The worst part of his season was his missed assignment in the Chargers game that led to Peyton being sacked on third down and subsequently letting the Chargers move on.  Robinson wasn't a threat with the ball in his hand, but his blocking could keep him on as starter.  With the uncertainty of the line, they could use another good blocker out there to protect Peyton and make lanes for Brown and Addai.  However, he is just not a threat as a receiver, and that could ultimately drop him down to a special teamer's role.

83207515_medium

via cache.gettyimages.com

Tom Santi


Stats
Preseason: 1 catch, 22 yards
Season: 10 catches, 64 yards, 6.4 yards per catch
Postseason: Injured

My Take

Santi is my favorite out of the three.  He is the best all-around H-back on the team.  Even though his stats don't represent it, he was a solid receiver to go along with his blocking, which is what he was drafted for.  He didn't have a preseason due to a bursa sac, an evil fluid sac in the knee created by Bill Belichick to take out Peyton Manning and other Colts [citation needed].  Even without a preseason, he started two of his six games before he hurt his shoulder and was placed on IR.  He scored the first touchdown in the comeback against the Texans and had a solid year.  He would be my choice for starting H-back, but that depends on his ability to come back from his injury.  Hopefully the other 2008 6th round picks can have the success I think he will in 2009.  Santi could be the Polian gem from 2008.

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via www.colts.com

Jacob Tamme

Stats
Preseason: 10 catches, 133 yards, 13.3 yars per catch, 2 touchdowns
Season: 3 catches, 12 yards, 4 yards per catch
Postseason: Special teams only

Scouting Report

Walter Football

Strengths: A true receiving threat and can stretch the field…Might run in the high 4.5s at the Combine…Has outstanding concentration and can make the highlight reel…Has reliable hands…Possesses a lot of experience…Has the frame to put some weight on to and get stronger…Should have been thrown to more often…The best tight end in the SEC going into the 2007 season…Had seven catches for 120 yards against Tennessee last season…An elusive runner in open space.

Weaknesses: Has a thin frame and is no John Carlson…A below-average blocker…You have to wonder why he didn’t get thrown to more often…Has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage…Does not sustain blocks very well.

Thoughts: He is by far the best tight end in the SEC but he really needs to have a big year if he wants to be a first-day draft pick…Will he ever get a tight end’s body?...Needs to become a better blocker as a senior.

Player Comparison: Chris Cooley.


My Take

Tamme was supposed to be a big part of the offense last year; however, he did absolutely nothing.  He was the most impressive receiver in the preseason and made Sorgi, the Pillsbury Throwboy and Quinn Gray look like strong QBs.  The problem is that he ended up being behind Santi and Robinson on the depth chart.  Even when Santi was put on IR Tamme still didn't play.  It was shocking for a player with as much potential as him.  I am going to assume that he will find his way into the offense more this year.  I think Christensen will have more of a rotation at receiver and tight end because of his experience with those positions.  If Tamme has a good preseason, he could take the H-back job.  However, my guess is that we see him as a slot receiver-type tight end like Clark.

Chances of Being the Starting H-back

Santi-50%
Robinson-40%
Tamme-10%

Chances of Making Roster

Santi-100%
Robinson-100%
Tamme-100%

Conclusion

Yeah, I don't see any of these young talented players getting cut.  In the case of Santi and Tamme, it would be a wasted draft pick, and I don't see a starter from last year being cut.  I am a big Santi fan.  I expected him to be a great blocker, but his receiving surprised me.  I should have known he would be good coming from a tight end factory like Virginia.  Robinson had a good year last year but he isn't the receiving threat the Colts need.  Robinson may be a better blocker, but Santi is better overall and should be out on the field as a starter.

 

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