Last season, Kansas City Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki set a new team record for catches by a rookie tight end with 47, passing future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Moeaki started his second season on the PUP list thanks to arthroscopic knee surgery and while it cost him time at the beginning of camp, head coach Todd Haley sees the young tight end moving in the right direction.
“I think he’s coming on here now. He’s catching up physically to a lot of the guys because again, he was on the side working, but not in the same manner that everyone else was, so that can slow you down a little bit. But, I think he’s getting up to speed.”
Moeaki has yet to catch a pass in the preseason, but like most of his players, Haley know more important days are coming up.
“I think this next week, week-and-a-half will be real critical for him.”
Though Haley has faith in Moeaki thanks to a good feel for the game that gives him plenty of versatility.
“You’ve seen us split him out, you’ve seen him in the slot, you’ve seen him in the backfield. Those are good things because now you’ve got a chance to create matchups, either for him or other players.”
With Jonathan Baldwin’s immediate future in doubt and Steve Breaston being introduced to the offense slowly, Matt Cassel and the rest of the offense will need that versatility to be on display right out of the gate this season.
If he intends to stay on track with Gonzalez, Moeaki will need to top 59 catches and 621 yards this season. It was the third season for TG that really established him as one of the best tight ends in the league with 76 catches, including 11 touchdowns.