Turns out, the Bears offense wasn’t junky for just the lackluster receiving corps. The tight end squad played a massive part in such a blah offensive year. Rookie Adam Shaheen boasts a massive ceiling and Zach Miller was quietly consistent but after catching our breaths, let’s run down the tight end bunch for the season.
Zach Miller: B-
For performance on the field, a B- is pushing it a little bit for a tight end who had his season (hopefully not career) ended in Week Eight and only put up 236 yards and two (should be three but whatever) scores in that time.
Comparatively, though, he was consistently the most reliable target rookie Mitchell Trubisky had in his arsenal. I know that’s not saying much but with the receiver corps being a hot mess and Dion Sims as a second tight end option, but Miller blew everyone else out of the water. Still, only eight games and an underwhelming stat line can’t result in more than a B- on this one.
Shaheen’s rookie year went from rocky to looking like the next Gronk and back down to being rocky again. He couldn’t wheedle his way into the lineup until a Zach Miller-sized hole opened up. From Weeks 9 to 13, he brought in 125 yards and two scores with a 91.25% catch percentage. However, a curious chest injury ended his season after weeks of strong play.
With only five games with actual play under his belt, it’s impossible to gauge whether or not the Bears have a gem on their hands. It’s clear the physical traits are all there and hopefully with offensive mastermind Matt Nagy at the helm, he can begin to hone his raw talent.
The Bears never intended for Sims to be a pass catching an offensive tight end and he was used exactly that way. Primarily a run blocker his career, he ripped a lot of snaps out of the inferior blocker Shaheen. Outside of being a subpar offensive tackle all season, only mustering up 180 yards and a score makes for a pretty poor season. He’s worth having around for a stable blocking tight end but anything past that would be asking way too much.
Yes, Daniel Brown is a tight end for the Bears. And yes, he did have actual yardage. In fact, he had more yards than Shaheen did over the season. Why does he not have a higher grade than Shaheen? Name three things about this man without Googling it and I’ll bump him to a D+.