While listening to Simmons' BS report talk with Mike Lombardi in between the jokes and shallow often misinformed analysis they said something that struck a cord. Their discussion on the 2008 Pats turned to the loss of blocking TE Daniel Graham. They talk for a bit about the dimension the offense lost with a great blocking TE, then Lombardi says this:
Tony Gonzalez isn't Tony Gonzalez without Jason Dunn. If you don't have a blocking TE to go with the receiving TE, you can't get him the ball.
When you don't have a blocking TE to go with your elite receiving TE you have to use your great receiving TE to block. Dallas Clark disappeared in the first half of the Ravens game so much I looked for him on the end of half kneeldown just to make sure he hadn't left injured. When I went to the tape where was he? Blocking.
Dallas Clark is being neutralized in the passing game because he is needed to stay in and block. Do the Colts miss Ben Utecht?
Well actually, even as a huge Utecht apologist I can't honestly base a yes on Clark being in to block a lot last Sunday. The Colts have their Utecht, Gijon Robinson. The Colts used Gijon a lot last week, mostly as a blocker. They also needed to keep Clark in to block. Dallas Clark was taken out of the passing game because Colts (rightly) didn't trust the line to handle the Ravens rush without getting help from 1, often 2 TEs.
Guys like Gijon Robinson and Ben Utecht before him are on the field because without them they'd have to take Clark out of the passing game. Gijon Robinson isn't really starting over Anthony Gonzalez. Dallas Clark's recieving with Gijon's blocking is staring over Gonzo.