The receiving tight end in the NFL is the “en vogue” position according to Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
“I know that the tight end position has obviously become a predominant position in the NFL,” Allen said. “Teams are using those guys in a lot of different ways.”
No one uses their tight ends better than the New England Patriots. The last time the Broncos and the Pats met, Aaron Hernandez had 9 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown.
The Broncos were so worried about stopping the league’s leading receiver Wes Welker, and the league’s leader in touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski, that Hernandez was open for the better part of the day.
“The thing about Hernandez is he’s really like a wide receiver,” Allen said.
Then you have Gronkowski who at 6’6″, 265 lbs. present all kinds of problems. The Big Gronk had 4 catches for 53 yards in mid-December. The Broncos actually did a nice job on him except for on one of his catches which went for 38 yards.
“Gronkowski is such a big, physical matchup issue that he creates a lot of issues,” Allen said.
So what are the Broncos to do with these matchup issues?
“A lot of it is going to be dictated by the personnel that they put in the game,” Allen said. “If they put three wide receivers in the game, and Hernandez is the tight end, they’ve really more or less got four wide receivers on the field. We’ve got a good plan for how we’re going to handle it. We’ll see how it plays out on Saturday night.”