Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride
June 7, 2017
Q: Can (Evan) Engram block?
A: He can. Itís important to him. Heís very functional in that area.
Q: How many places can he line up?
A: Very similar to most of our tight ends. They have to be flexible lining up everywhere on the field. Heís going to be asked to do all those things. We are trying to figure that out as far as how everyone is progressing Ė the tight ends we have in the building. As we figure all that out and what they can execute what helps our team win, thatís what theyíll execute during the game week.
Q: Is this as deep a tight end group as youíve had?
A: I think so as far as the different skillsets they bring to the table. Weíre still trying to figure out who they are. The development that Jerell has had, the development that Will Tye has had. Who they were last year isnít necessarily who theyíre going to be this year. Thatís the exciting thing because there is a lot of competition. Weíll see how they progress.
Q: What does Will have to do to start? This is a huge summer for him?
A: Youíre right and it is for all of them. They have to compete. Not just with themselves as a group but with other offensive players and some of the defensive players as well. You never know how your team is going to shake out. He needs to do well on special teams. He needs to add that into his repertoire. He played some last year but not extensively. Then, continue to progress in the run game and in the pass game.
Q: Ellison is another guy in the mix. What does he bring to the table?
A: Heís been sidelined but everything that weíve seen from him previously and the work that weíve seen in phase two, he brings a lot to the table. Heís a veteran guy that has played a lot of football. Heís very bright and he works his butt of as far as the understanding of the playbook. He can catch more than heís shown from a statistic standpoint. He has good routes and is a good run blocker as everyone knows.
Q: Was he just used as a run blocker because of Adrian Peterson and all the guys in the box?
A: I think thatís part of it. I think the other part is the people they have at tight end in Kyle Rudolph. If you feel like you have a better asset to put out there to execute particular roles, thatís what youíre going to do. I believe that is what they did in Minnesota.
Q: How much is the tight end role going to change?
A: We hope so. Youíre figuring out what your team is right now. I canít speak on specifics but the more you can change up your personnel groupings during the game, the better off your going to be. The more the defense has to prepare for you. Last year, we were predominantly three wide receivers, a tight end and a running back. That doesnít give the defense that much to have to prepare for. The fact that weíve added additional pieces is certainly going to help us.
Q: What have you seen from Engram in his willingness to block? Is he a blocker that has developed into his own?
A: I certainly believe so. He shows a very much so willingness to block and to finish and strain the way weíre asking our guys to strain. Again, thatís not pads so thatíll change things to an extent, but I donít see him backing down. He has a toughness and a willingness to go against anyone on our defense and Iím hoping that remains through the course of this season.
Q: Has Engramís passing catching been what you expected?
A: Yes, so far. He still has some development to go but he has a good knack for it in the fact that he understands coverage and understands the leverage of the coverage, how it changes and how he needs to run his route. He came in with that and it has continue to progress from there.