It won’t take much for the Kansas City Chiefs tight ends to improve their production in 2013. In an offense that couldn’t move the ball in the air thanks in large part to the lack of any NFL-caliber quarterbacks, the position was washed away last season.
A less than stellar combination of Tony Moeaki, Kevin Boss, Steve Maneri and Jake O’Connell finished 2012 with just 587 yards on 44 catches, including two touchdowns. By comparison, former Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez caught 93 passes for 930 yards in what is likely his final season despite playing with two game-breaking wide receivers.
One of Andy Reid’s former tight ends, Chad Lewis, told Pro Football Weekly the fortunes of the Chiefs tight ends will absolutely turn around under the new regime. Lewis should know, he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection while playing for Reid in Philadelphia.
“Part of it is he coached the TE position for so many years in Green Bay, he has an affinity for TEs,” Lewis told PFW. “He understands the language, he understands the technique, he completely understands. Andy has no problem manufacturing plays to the tight end that helps the running game and passing game.”
“Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss, those guys are going to love Coach Reid. He loves tight ends and he knows how to get them the ball. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Both players, obviously, will need to show they can stay healthy.
Moeaki has already dealt with multiple injuries during his career with the Chiefs, including a blown ACL that cost him all of 2011. Meanwhile, Boss has yet to play in 16 games during his six-year NFL career. He landed on injured reserve last season — his first in Kansas City — after taking an illegal hit from Buffalo Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy in the Chiefs second game.
Depending on who Reid brings in this offseason, the wild card could be Maneri. The converted offensive tackle has a rare size/athleticism that could give defenses fits with the right coaching.
Though no matter who is lining up for the Chiefs this season, it’s a lock they will be a better unit than the one we saw in 2012.