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Hereís another & easier: Best ALL-AROUND TE you ever saw?

Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 5:18 pm
For me it has always been Mike Ditka, Mackey, Winslow, Sr. As the years have gone on however, I now feel Bavaro was the best ALL AROUND TE I have ever seen, albeit his career was shortened with a bad knee.

You?
Gronk  
Ben in Tampa : 6/20/2019 5:19 pm : link
.
I'm younger  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 5:19 pm : link
but it's Gronk and not particularly close. Special shout to Tony Gonzalez but I don't think he was the blocker Gronk was.
Before posting, I thought Ďíwill anyone NOT say Bavaro?íí  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/20/2019 5:21 pm : link
...then I saw the first reply. SAD!
Bavaro ....  
short lease : 6/20/2019 5:25 pm : link
not even close.

Strong as an Ox, blocked like a lineman, hands of glue.
Gronk  
Capt. Don : 6/20/2019 5:32 pm : link
Witten is a distant 2nd.
Not that easy ... some terrific TEís that I have seen played over the  
Rick in Dallas : 6/20/2019 5:41 pm : link
Years;
John Mackey
Dave Casper
Tony Gonzales
Kellen Winslow
Shannon Sharpe

Navarro was by far the best Giants TE followed by Tucker and Shockey.

Special mention to Jason Witten who totally owned the Giants.
RE: Not that easy ... some terrific TEís that I have seen played over the  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 5:45 pm : link
In comment 14478144 Rick in Dallas said:
Quote:
Years;
John Mackey
Dave Casper
Tony Gonzales
Kellen Winslow
Shannon Sharpe

Navarro was by far the best Giants TE followed by Tucker and Shockey.

Special mention to Jason Witten who totally owned the Giants.


Easier in the sense of dealing with just ONE position as opposed to multiple positions (i.e. OL) in my other threads
Hard to argue against Gronk, although Mackey was really special.  
yatqb : 6/20/2019 5:46 pm : link
.
RE: Before posting, I thought Ďíwill anyone NOT say Bavaro?íí  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 6:13 pm : link
In comment 14478126 sb from NYT Forum said:
Quote:
...then I saw the first reply. SAD!


They were both good blockers. I know they were different eras, but the numbers aren't even remotely close, even though Bavaro played longer.

Gronk: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/G/GronRo00.htm

Bavaro: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BavaMa00.htm

Saying Bavaro was better is Giants homerism, plain and simple. Try to find intelligent, non-Giants fans who say Bavaro was better. Good luck.
Of  
Toth029 : 6/20/2019 6:21 pm : link
Course you can't compare eras. That would mean McNabb is better than Aikman or Kaep was better than Elway.
RE: RE: Before posting, I thought Ďíwill anyone NOT say Bavaro?íí  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 6:43 pm : link
In comment 14478172 Mike from SI said:
Quote:
In comment 14478126 sb from NYT Forum said:


Quote:


...then I saw the first reply. SAD!



They were both good blockers. I know they were different eras, but the numbers aren't even remotely close, even though Bavaro played longer.

Gronk: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/G/GronRo00.htm

Bavaro: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BavaMa00.htm

Saying Bavaro was better is Giants homerism, plain and simple. Try to find intelligent, non-Giants fans who say Bavaro was better. Good luck.


Thatís BS. Just because you say itís homerism doesnít make it so..No one Iíve ever seen blocked like Bavaro. No exceptions, imo..He was a terrific clutch receiver and was brilliant running the seam. You like Gronk (or whomever) fine, but I simply disagree when you judge the all-around production, as great as Gronk was..
Gronk and Gonzalez  
UConn4523 : 6/20/2019 6:47 pm : link
.
RE: RE: RE: Before posting, I thought Ďíwill anyone NOT say Bavaro?íí  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 6:57 pm : link
In comment 14478197 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478172 Mike from SI said:


Quote:


In comment 14478126 sb from NYT Forum said:


Quote:


...then I saw the first reply. SAD!



They were both good blockers. I know they were different eras, but the numbers aren't even remotely close, even though Bavaro played longer.

Gronk: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/G/GronRo00.htm

Bavaro: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BavaMa00.htm

Saying Bavaro was better is Giants homerism, plain and simple. Try to find intelligent, non-Giants fans who say Bavaro was better. Good luck.



Thatís BS. Just because you say itís homerism doesnít make it so..No one Iíve ever seen blocked like Bavaro. No exceptions, imo..He was a terrific clutch receiver and was brilliant running the seam. You like Gronk (or whomever) fine, but I simply disagree when you judge the all-around production, as great as Gronk was..


Yes, obviously saying something is homerism is an opinion with which you disagree. Therefore, I ask you, please find examples of intelligent, non-Giants fans who think Bavaro is better. If you can't, that would suggest to me that all the Giants fans saying Bavaro is better are being homers.
Here are 3 lists written within the past 5 or so years.  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:04 pm : link
1 is from NFL.com, 1 is from SI.com, and the third is from Lineups.com (not sure wtf that is, but it was written in 2019, has 25 listed, and was one of the top Google results). None of these lists even includes Bavaro.

NFL.com: http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000816049/gil-brandt's-14-greatest-nfl-tight-ends-of-all-time

Si.com: https://www.si.com/nfl/photos/2015/12/08/top-10-nfl-tight-ends-all-time#10

Lineups.com (whatever the fuck that is): https://www.lineups.com/articles/top-25-tight-ends-all-time/
I'm surprised  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:06 pm : link
that Witten hasn't gotten more love on this thread. I'd take Gronk over him but he's in the conversation.

'56, calling Bavaro a better tight end than Gronk is the definition of being a homer. Gronk will be a first ballot hall of famer. Bavaro will never get into the hall of fame.

Bavaro was obviously a terrific player, I have only really seen him play via highlights, but you would be hard pressed to find any NFL fan that isn't a Giants fan to say Bavaro was a better TE than Gronk.
Also silly.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:07 pm : link
Where am I going to find fans who saw Bavaro in his prime 30+ years ago? On here? Sure and weíll see what they opine. I will NEVER pay any attention to any fan who never saw him play. Never.
RE: Also silly.  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:08 pm : link
In comment 14478212 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
Where am I going to find fans who saw Bavaro in his prime 30+ years ago? On here? Sure and weíll see what they opine. I will NEVER pay any attention to any fan who never saw him play. Never.


How about hall of fame voters who have seen him play?
RE: I'm surprised  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:09 pm : link
In comment 14478211 MookGiants said:
Quote:
that Witten hasn't gotten more love on this thread. I'd take Gronk over him but he's in the conversation.

'56, calling Bavaro a better tight end than Gronk is the definition of being a homer. Gronk will be a first ballot hall of famer. Bavaro will never get into the hall of fame.

Bavaro was obviously a terrific player, I have only really seen him play via highlights, but you would be hard pressed to find any NFL fan that isn't a Giants fan to say Bavaro was a better TE than Gronk.


Better ALL AROUND TE. Not to mention we had Simms throwing to Bavaro, not Brady..And Mook, I doubt you ever saw MB play, so your opinion that Iím a homer is laughable
and you'll say well his career was shortened  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:10 pm : link
by injuries.

So was Gronk's career. He missed a lot of games throughout his career and was constantly banged up.

Yet he will go into Canton on the first ballot.
Why isn't he in the Hall of Fame  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:10 pm : link
if he's the best ever? The NFL HoF voters didn't elect the best ever at his position? That seems like a glaring omission. Are there other "best ever" at their positions not in the Hall of Fame? Also are you certain those people didn't see him play?
RE: RE: Also silly.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:12 pm : link
In comment 14478213 MookGiants said:
Quote:
In comment 14478212 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


Where am I going to find fans who saw Bavaro in his prime 30+ years ago? On here? Sure and weíll see what they opine. I will NEVER pay any attention to any fan who never saw him play. Never.



How about hall of fame voters who have seen him play?


Um, Bavaro doesnít have enough prime years to qualify due to the knee..But during his prime years, I have never seen a better all
around TE than him. NOTHING to do with homerism. Everything to do with what I personally saw
No matter  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:12 pm : link
how many times you type all around in capital letters it's not going to make Bavaro a better all around player than Gronk.

You also apparently did not read my post where I said I only saw him play via highlights.

How come the hall of fame voters don't agree with you? A guy who can't get in vs a guy everyone on the planet knows will go in 1st ballot. Can't use the excuse that they didn't see both play.
Read wtf I wrote.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:12 pm : link
.
I thought this thread was going to be an objective discussion  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:13 pm : link
of the best ever TEs. This has taken an odd turn.
Maybe  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:14 pm : link
you were watching through Giant colored glasses all the time?

Gronks career was absolutely shortened by injuries. Yet he will be a 1st ballot hall of famer so please find a different excuse.

It's not a slight against Bavaro to say Gronk is better. People who have watched and covered the sport for decades have not put Bavaro in the hall of fame.

Ok,  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:15 pm : link
weíll agree to disagree. I never said he was a HOFer, I said heís the best I ever saw. Leonard Marshall was arguably the best DE of his era. He will never sniff the HOF, unfortunately..
RE: I thought this thread was going to be an objective discussion  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:18 pm : link
In comment 14478224 Mike from SI said:
Quote:
of the best ever TEs. This has taken an odd turn.


It is an objective view. I saw him play. Did you? Gronk was never the hellacious block Bavaro was. Period. He didnít have Gronkís receiving skills, I agree but he was high end in that department. The Giants didnít feature the TE during that time
and we're saying  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:19 pm : link
that pretty much anyone who isn't a Giants fan would disagree with him being the best any of us have ever seen. Bavaro was clearly an excellent player, but I dont think there's any non-Giant fan who has watched the NFL the last 40 years that would say Bavaro is the best they've seen.

You could probably make a case that he belongs in the hall of fame. But I don't think there's a case to be made that he was the best any of us have ever seen.
Your argument amounts to an appeal to authority  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:21 pm : link
in which you are the authority: "He's the best *I* ever saw play." Well, I consider the HoF voters more knowledgeable than you. Sorry. And if your argument was "he was the best at the height of his powers when not injured according to me," ok, that doesn't make him the best ever. Unless I'm mistaken, these threads had been about objectively who is the best, and it seems like Bavaro doesn't really belong in the discussion as the best ever.
RE: RE: I thought this thread was going to be an objective discussion  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:22 pm : link
In comment 14478229 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478224 Mike from SI said:


Quote:


of the best ever TEs. This has taken an odd turn.



It is an objective view. I saw him play. Did you? Gronk was never the hellacious block Bavaro was. Period. He didnít have Gronkís receiving skills, I agree but he was high end in that department. The Giants didnít feature the TE during that time


"I am objective!" is not a particularly compelling argument when you're a Giants fan. Find some non-Giants fans who share your view. There's an entire internet to search....
RE: and we're saying  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:24 pm : link
In comment 14478232 MookGiants said:
Quote:
that pretty much anyone who isn't a Giants fan would disagree with him being the best any of us have ever seen. Bavaro was clearly an excellent player, but I dont think there's any non-Giant fan who has watched the NFL the last 40 years that would say Bavaro is the best they've seen.

You could probably make a case that he belongs in the hall of fame. But I don't think there's a case to be made that he was the best any of us have ever seen.


How do you know? Who are these fans youíre sure didnít hold those opinions? Have you canvassed them? I have zero idea what fans think of most retired Giants. I know what they think in real time, but I have rarely seen or heard opponent fans talk about any former Giants, save for LT, perhaps. Name a fan or two that has had positive things to say about Simms? Coaches and some in the media, sure. Fans? Where?
So  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:28 pm : link
the hall of fame voters, their opinion is worth less than fans?

You keep saying things like Period. And typing all around in capital letters.

He has never really sniffed the hall of fame. I think that's plenty enough of proof that other people on the whole would disagree with your assessment.

Your original post also makes it seem like you just recently have come to the conclusion that Bavaro was the best one you ever saw. I'm not exactly sure how that works.
RE: RE: RE: I thought this thread was going to be an objective discussion  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:30 pm : link
In comment 14478236 Mike from SI said:
Quote:
In comment 14478229 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


In comment 14478224 Mike from SI said:


Quote:


of the best ever TEs. This has taken an odd turn.



It is an objective view. I saw him play. Did you? Gronk was never the hellacious block Bavaro was. Period. He didnít have Gronkís receiving skills, I agree but he was high end in that department. The Giants didnít feature the TE during that time



"I am objective!" is not a particularly compelling argument when you're a Giants fan. Find some non-Giants fans who share your view. There's an entire internet to search....


You made the statement about other fans, the onus is on you to search. Oh wait, this is where you say, ďI donít have to because there arenít any.Ē

I am objective off of what I saw. I am stating, on this thread, that for most of my NFL life, I though Ditka was the best 2-way TE I ever saw. Is that homerism? I have changed my opinion the last few years.

The question was and is simple: Who was the best TE you ever saw? I said MB and gave reasons why. You and others said Gronk or Gonzalez. We disagree
If he truly was the best ever  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:30 pm : link
then surely some non-Giants fans would hold that opinion as well.

Perhaps other fans underrate him because he was a Giant. But there's a wide gap between excellent player and best anyone has ever seen, which is what you're saying.

You're acting like we're ripping Bavaro here. No one is doing that. We just dont feel like he belongs in the discussion of best ever.
Nothing more to say.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:31 pm : link
Iíve given my opinion, gave reasons why and because you disagree Iím an absolute homer?

Get lost.
Why would  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:31 pm : link
any of us have to search when the hall of fame voters haven't even come close to electing him to the hall of fame? Isn't that enough proof?
RE: RE: RE: RE: I thought this thread was going to be an objective discussion  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 7:33 pm : link
In comment 14478247 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478236 Mike from SI said:


Quote:


In comment 14478229 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


In comment 14478224 Mike from SI said:


Quote:


of the best ever TEs. This has taken an odd turn.



It is an objective view. I saw him play. Did you? Gronk was never the hellacious block Bavaro was. Period. He didnít have Gronkís receiving skills, I agree but he was high end in that department. The Giants didnít feature the TE during that time



"I am objective!" is not a particularly compelling argument when you're a Giants fan. Find some non-Giants fans who share your view. There's an entire internet to search....



You made the statement about other fans, the onus is on you to search. Oh wait, this is where you say, ďI donít have to because there arenít any.Ē

I am objective off of what I saw. I am stating, on this thread, that for most of my NFL life, I though Ditka was the best 2-way TE I ever saw. Is that homerism? I have changed my opinion the last few years.

The question was and is simple: Who was the best TE you ever saw? I said MB and gave reasons why. You and others said Gronk or Gonzalez. We disagree


I literally provided 3 lists in which Gronk was listed and Bavaro was not. Now where are your examples?
Well  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:34 pm : link
you are saying a player who hasn't even sniffed the hall of fame is the best TE ever.

If that doesn't make you a homer, I'm not sure what does.

And it's not like this is the first example of you being a homer. There's nothing wrong with being a homer, but you shouldn't make a thread like this where you clearly show you are a homer and then you flip out when someone calls you one.
Mook....  
Tesla : 6/20/2019 7:34 pm : link
I promise you I'm far from a Giants homer....but you never saw Bavaro play live. His problem was he had a very short prime....but I promise you his play in 1986 was as good as any TE ever. You can't compare stats....we were a run first team in a league that was vastly different than the one that exists today. Gronk was incredible but for at least 1986 Bavaro was every bit as good.

Now of course Bavaro's career doesn't come close to Gronk's, but that is a different question.
RE: Why would  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:36 pm : link
In comment 14478253 MookGiants said:
Quote:
any of us have to search when the hall of fame voters haven't even come close to electing him to the hall of fame? Isn't that enough proof?


For the last fucking time mook, he had 5 HOF type years. During those 5 HOF type years, he was the best all-around TE I ever saw, surpassing Ditka. I simply changed my mind as great as Ditka was..He does not qualify for the HOF. He didnít play long enough to qualify
Hmmm, I thought my post would easily be read as tongue-in-cheek  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/20/2019 7:37 pm : link
... with the whole SAD! thing, though I legitimately believe Bavaro was the best Iíve ever seen.

I didnít expect people getting attacked for thinking a Giant was the best TE. Weird.
Mark Bavaro, at his peak, was the best TE I have ever seen  
Optimus-NY : 6/20/2019 7:38 pm : link
Period.
Been watching the NFL since 1955.  
Red Dog : 6/20/2019 7:39 pm : link
Bavaro in his prime was as good, if not better than anyone - ANYONE - who ever played the position. But his prime was pretty short.

So I'd probably have to go with John Mackey. I can't think of anyone other than Mike Ditka that even comes close to those two guys.

The GIANTS also had another really good TE in Bob Tucker. He was every bit as good as most of those other "big" names.
THe question is Best ALL_AROUND TE  
.McL. : 6/20/2019 7:42 pm : link
Not best pass catching TE...

At his peak its Bavaro in my book, he just didn't last long enough.
Doing it over an extended period, Gronk...
Red DOg  
.McL. : 6/20/2019 7:42 pm : link
Didn't see your reply before mine... Seems we agree
56's  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:44 pm : link
question was not who had the best single season as a TE you ever saw. His question was Best all around TE you ever saw. That, to me, means entire body of work. And anyone who believes his entire body of work was even close to Gronks is a homer.

'56, spare me the injury excuse. Gronkowski has been banged up his entire career. He only played 9 seasons. Just like Bavaro.

And what 5 seasons did Bavaro have that were HOF worthy? '86,87,88. If you want to include 93 in there then your argument that his knee injury derailed his career goes out the window, cant have it both ways.

Gronkowski played in 11 less games in his career than Bavaro did. So spare me about injuries derailing his career.

There is zero argument to be made that Bavaro was a better player over his career than Gronkowski was. Both players had injuries that shortened their careers. One is a first ballot hall of famer, one is not going to the hall of fame.

Tony Gonzalez was the best receiver I watched  
Dave in PA : 6/20/2019 7:45 pm : link
But I only started watching the NFL in 1994 so what do I know
Others who saw him play  
Big Blue '56 : 6/20/2019 7:46 pm : link
have weighed in. Nothing more to add.
RE: RE: Why would  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:46 pm : link
In comment 14478265 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478253 MookGiants said:


Quote:


any of us have to search when the hall of fame voters haven't even come close to electing him to the hall of fame? Isn't that enough proof?



For the last fucking time mook, he had 5 HOF type years. During those 5 HOF type years, he was the best all-around TE I ever saw, surpassing Ditka. I simply changed my mind as great as Ditka was..He does not qualify for the HOF. He didnít play long enough to qualify


So if he didn't play long enough to qualify, then surely Rob Gronkowski didn't play long enough to qualify, right? We can revisit this in 5 years when Gronk goes in on 1st ballot.

At a players peak is an entirely different argument. But that's not what '56 said.

RE: Others who saw him play  
MookGiants : 6/20/2019 7:49 pm : link
In comment 14478278 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
have weighed in. Nothing more to add.


Yes, Giants fans.

Hall of fame voters disagree completely.

Your argument that he didn't play long enough to qualify for HOF is ridiculous.

He only had 3 HOF type seasons out of 9. That's why he's not in the hall of fame. Gronkowski played the same amount of seasons and less games.
I saw Bavaro play..  
Thunderstruck27 : 6/20/2019 8:02 pm : link
Interesting that Simms throwing to him(as opposed to Brady) was entered into the argument. I think Simms had a pretty good career considering Bavaro was one of his better receivers. Bavaro was great in his day and was a great blocker. Huge fan. But to compare him to Gronk who has been absolutely dominant at times and was pivotal in multiple Super Bowl runs...I have to say is kind of homerish.
Bavaro was a great player, but not on a plateau of his own  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/20/2019 8:10 pm : link
the way Lawrence Taylor is. Thinking that he is or was on that Mount Olympus of great tight ends is reasonable, but again he wasn't there by himself.

Gronk, Gonzales, Capser, Mackey, Gates, Winslow and one who way too often gets overlooked Raymond Chester were all terrific players who could block and catch the rock, and run with the rock once it was in their hands. If Bavaro had any significant leg up on any of them as a blocker, remember that on a daily basis in practice he went up against Lawrence Taylor and/or Carl Banks and he openly said in a long interview that blocking those guys regularly in practice upped his blocking game considerably. Parcels ran tough practices, and the D of that era liked to beat the piss out of the offense.

Young folks think Gronk invented the athletic tight end who could also block like a Mack truck, but ironically that was invented by John Mackey of the Colts, the 1st great TE in my memory. Before him, and in his time mostly, the greatest TEs were primarily blockers, like Mike Ditka. But Mackey was a true deep threat, and he set the model for the guys that followed him.
RE: I saw Bavaro play..  
Mike from SI : 6/20/2019 8:11 pm : link
In comment 14478296 Thunderstruck27 said:
Quote:
Interesting that Simms throwing to him(as opposed to Brady) was entered into the argument. I think Simms had a pretty good career considering Bavaro was one of his better receivers. Bavaro was great in his day and was a great blocker. Huge fan. But to compare him to Gronk who has been absolutely dominant at times and was pivotal in multiple Super Bowl runs...I have to say is kind of homerish.


THOSE WHO SAW HIM PLAY HAVE WEIGHED IN [sarcasm]
Peak value or career value?  
81_Great_Dane : 6/20/2019 8:38 pm : link
I don't remember Ditka well, was too young to watch him at his peak (which was short). Don't have a clear memory of Mackey. Bavaro was great for a short time. But I don't think he was ever GOAT-level.

Hard to argue with Gronkowski. And he had a decently long career, though injury-plagued.

Winslow Sr. was probably 2nd. Gonzalez, great receiver, but I don't think he's at the same level as Gronk and Winslow Sr. for overall game.
...  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 6/20/2019 8:42 pm : link
Gronk.

I think Gates is very underrated too.
Bavaro was beast of a two-way TE  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 6/20/2019 8:43 pm : link
"I'll put him there with Bavaro in terms of the guys I've coached," Belichick said of Gronkowski. "I mean, it'd be hard for me to put anybody past Bavaro just because of the number of times he blocked Reggie White with no help. We ran those 38-Boss and all that and they were in that over front and Reggie was the six-technique and Bavaro blocked him. There was no double- team. He just blocked him. Now that was a good battle."

Belichick isn't the only one who fell in love with Bavaro's blocking, check out what John Madden had to say. The same John Madden who coached Dave Casper who is a Top 10 TE all-time and was known for being a great blocker at his position...

His pass catching fell off in that stretch, but he could sure block. In a Monday night game against the Redskins, he was assigned the job of handling the defensive end. The Giants rushed for 202 yards. "Best job of blocking I've ever seen by a tight end," CBS's John Madden said.

https://www.si.com/vault/1987/09/09/116127/nfc-east-legend-in-the-making-after-only-two-seasons-tight-end-mark-bavaro-has-quietly-become-a-giant-among-giants



I don't think there's anything overly "Giants homer!" about choosing Bavaro for this topic if you aren't valuing longevity and are simply talking Peak performance. Yea, there are a bunch of other worthy choices but his first 4 or so years before his degenerative knee condition killed his career were dominant. He took the term "Two-Way Tight End" to another level.

I'd go Gronk by a mile from guys I've seen, I don't think Gonzalez or Witten are even close. I don't know if Witten is even better than Antonio Gates.

But Bavaro was a different animal from those non-Gronk guys, and in today's era where the middle of the field is wide open he would have put up huge numbers too when he played. He really was a freak.
Mike Ditka was the Dick Butkus of TE's  
gtt350 : 6/20/2019 9:03 pm : link
google his highlights he's top 3 imho
Gronk  
mdthedream : 6/20/2019 9:22 pm : link
and no one is close to him.
Gronk  
djm : 6/20/2019 9:29 pm : link
Not a second of debate for me. Whatís sad is Bavaro was better than Gronk for a 3-4 years and good enough for a few additional years and not a sniff of canton. Does Bavaro even get a vote? Criminal.
tough one  
fanofthejets : 6/20/2019 9:45 pm : link
Especially when you put 60s/70's tight ends in the conversations. It was just a different league back then in terms of what was expected from the position. A different league in terms of offensive philosophy. Ditka was an absolute monster. But he also didn't play in 16 game seasons, or have Tom Brady throwing him the ball, and he actually had to deal with defenders who were allowed to defend

To me the best I've seen is Gonzalez. He worked his ass off to become a good blocker and was always an elite receiver. I mean he caught 83 passes at the age of 37.
I'm with Red Dog on the Peak Bavaro train  
Bobby Humphrey's Earpad : 6/20/2019 10:06 pm : link
and Belicheck makes the argument for Peak Bavaro.

Now that doesn't mean Bavaro was the best TE ever - there's a ton of guys you can argue. For me Gronk is the best in modern times - simply unstoppable in all phases. From the earlier years, Mackey or Ditka.
Gonzalez  
trueblueinpw : 6/20/2019 10:20 pm : link
I think Gronk is great, but over rated and benefits from a few things that really skew perception. Brady and Belichick canít be ignored. They are the GOAT HC and QB and if anyone thinks that doesnít matter then theyíre wrong. Itís also a passing NFL now and more so than even when TG played and much more so than Bavaro, who I think actually stacks up pretty well against Gronk but much less so against TG.

I think Antonio Gates should be in the mix for players that Iíve seen. Shannon Sharpe was a ridiculous mismatch in the passing game. He played in twice as many NFL games as Gronk. Iíd put Sharpe and AG in front of Gronk.

TG was a good blocker. I donít know if he was a great blocker but he certainly wasnít a bad blocker. He could catch and run routes every bit as well as Gronk, or better. And, for me, this is way Iíd say TG is the best Iíve seen, TG player a lot more games. Dude was a force in the NFL for 270 games. I mean, thatís amazing.
Giant TEs thru the years  
yalebowl : 6/20/2019 11:25 pm : link
Bob Schnelker 1954-1960

Joe Walton 1961-1964

Aaron Thomas 1962-1970

Bob Tucker 1970-1977

Gary Shirk 1976-1982

Zeke Mowatt 1983-1991

Mark Bavaro 1985-1990

Howard Cross 1989-2001

Jeremy Shockey 2002-2007

Kevin Boss 2007-2010
Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
Rafflee : 6/21/2019 6:33 am : link
He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.

HOF has been very short on TE's  
Rafflee : 6/21/2019 6:42 am : link
Bavaro was a Great Player, not a "very good" player....the slant agaionst TE's was probably more based on the limited use of TE's in the Game....often, they were tied to the line as 3rd Tackles. Bavaro (for that Matter, SIMMS!!!) was limited by his opportunity within the offense they ran.

Unfortunately, Bavaro doesn't have big stats to reinforce what was visible--- in today's game, he'd be a Monster.
I saw all these TEís play that are mentioned in this thread  
Rick in Dallas : 6/21/2019 6:54 am : link
To me Mackey is the best all around TE. He invented the TE seam pass in the modern era of football. He was also a tenacious in line blocker.
Ď56 I loved Bavarro who was a tremendous all around TE but he was not better than John Mackey.
Just MHO.
Mackey, Bavarro and Gronk  
DeepBlueJint : 6/21/2019 7:44 am : link
Different eras, different best TEs in my opinion. Having watched all of these TEs over the decades I have to go with Mackey first. Seam routes, breaking tackles all over the place and could block defensive linemen and did often. Bavarro is a similar version of Mackey; yet the height of his career wasn't as long due to the knee injury (Saw that happen against San Diego. Ouch!). Ditka is a distant 3rd. These guys all had similar styles, attitude (quiet demeanor; yeah even Ditka before he retired.) and did catch, run and block.

Now, concerning Gronk. He is #1 in my book in today's era. Today's top TEs are not particularly tasked with blocking. I pick Gronk over Gonzales and Whitten because he delivered in the big games and won multiple championships. Gonzales could block well when the play called for it; but that was not essential to his success. Catching the ball was.
Really hard to compare time periods with regard to tight ends  
Peter from NH (formerly CT) : 6/21/2019 8:17 am : link
a lot of TEs today are really big WRs. The Patriots in particular, figured out how to substitute TEs for WRs in the structure of their offense. Gronk has been incredibly productive in an offense that has been designed to take advantage of his skill set. No one was designing an offense around tight end play in the 1970s and 1980s. Those that saw Bavaro can only imagine what he would have done in the current Patriot offense.

While he doesn't have the stats, Bavaro was as tough as anyone who ever played the game. Made big plays and was a total team guy. Best all-around? Hard to say but he was a force on the underappreciated (non-stats) parts of the game.
John Madden once said if he were starting a team  
Motley Two : 6/21/2019 8:21 am : link
and could have any player he wanted in the history of the league, his first pick would be Mark Bavaro.

And he coached a pretty damn good Tight End himself in HOF'er Dave'The Ghost'Casper.

It's not being a homer to suggest Mark Bavaro here.
This discussion..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 6/21/2019 8:24 am : link
really went sideways.

I'm not really sure what being the best all-around TE has to do with longevity. It has to do with being great at all facets of the game. In his generation, Bavaro was great at all facets.

But, like Don Mattingly, his peak wasn't strong enough to get him in the Hall. Saying he wasn't that good because he isn't in the Hall is hilarious, but probably understandable from young people who didn't watch him play. He isn't in the Hall for two reasons - his peak was only 2-3 seasons and TE's have only recently been looked at for Hall worthiness (not surprisingly tied to the increase in receiving numbers).

In many ways, Bavaro was the best All-Around TE I've ever seen. I also think Gronk is awesome too. Not sure how this thread got a couple of lunatics to go haywire though.
RE: John Madden once said if he were starting a team  
Big Blue '56 : 6/21/2019 8:25 am : link
In comment 14478760 Motley Two said:
Quote:
and could have any player he wanted in the history of the league, his first pick would be Mark Bavaro.

And he coached a pretty damn good Tight End himself in HOF'er Dave'The Ghost'Casper.

It's not being a homer to suggest Mark Bavaro here.


My only beef: being referred to as a homer just because in THIS case, I happen to laud Bavaro as the best all-around I ever saw.. I guess some were not around when I shit on Fassel and Accorsi daily as well as Eli until he began to win me over during the 2007 season finale against the undefeated Pats.
Best I've ever seen  
Chris684 : 6/21/2019 8:26 am : link
Tony G.
Gronk
Witten

In that order.
To be fair..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 6/21/2019 8:27 am : link
Fiddy, one of the guys arguing vehemently against you is still killing the Giants for not drafting a sure-fire franchise QB last year
Bavaro  
Dave : 6/21/2019 8:29 am : link
Gronk is close, but Bavaro was like having another OT on the los
You guys do realize  
BigBlueShock : 6/21/2019 8:48 am : link
The Giants offense in the Ď80ís during Bavaros years was just a bit different than the Pats offense of the Gronk years? If youíre too young to have seen Bavaro play and you want to compare stats of two completely different eras, thatís fine. But as someone that HAS seen both play, there is not a TEcthat has ever existed that Iíd take over Bavaro in his prime. He played in a different time, in a different offense and had a shorter prime than Gronk. And I donít blame people say Gronk is the best. But my opinion is, if I have one game to win and I can choose any TE in history to help me win that game, Iím taking prime Bavaro.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...Iím seeing things through blue colored glasses. Or maybe I donít give a shit about Hall of Fame voting when it comes to two players playing in different eras and different offenses?
Winslow couldn't block,  
Section331 : 6/21/2019 8:50 am : link
so as great a receiver as he was, I wouldn't call him a great ALL AROUND TE. I always thought Bavaro was the best I had seen, until I saw Gronk. As much as I hate the Massholes calling every Patriot the best ever, with Gronk I think they're right.
RE: Winslow couldn't block,  
Big Blue '56 : 6/21/2019 8:56 am : link
In comment 14478787 Section331 said:
Quote:
so as great a receiver as he was, I wouldn't call him a great ALL AROUND TE. I always thought Bavaro was the best I had seen, until I saw Gronk. As much as I hate the Massholes calling every Patriot the best ever, with Gronk I think they're right.


And that is fine. If you believe Gronk was the best you ever saw, say it and move on. Donít disparage or be condescending to a fan who has a differing opinion about a player you never saw play
RE: RE: Winslow couldn't block,  
Section331 : 6/21/2019 9:11 am : link
In comment 14478794 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:

And that is fine. If you believe Gronk was the best you ever saw, say it and move on. Donít disparage or be condescending to a fan who has a differing opinion about a player you never saw play


First of all, you asked for opinions, I gave mine. I donít see how anything I said was condescending, just that Winslowís ineffective blocking prevents me from calling him an all around great.

And I never saw him play? Iím 58, I saw him play plenty.
RE: RE: RE: Winslow couldn't block,  
Big Blue '56 : 6/21/2019 9:15 am : link
In comment 14478808 Section331 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478794 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:



And that is fine. If you believe Gronk was the best you ever saw, say it and move on. Donít disparage or be condescending to a fan who has a differing opinion about a player you never saw play



First of all, you asked for opinions, I gave mine. I donít see how anything I said was condescending, just that Winslowís ineffective blocking prevents me from calling him an all around great.

And I never saw him play? Iím 58, I saw him play plenty.


I wasnít referring to you at all. I was referring to earlier posters on this thread
I can see where you thought I was addressing you.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/21/2019 9:16 am : link
Instead of saying ďyouĒ I should have said ďoneĒ
RE: I can see where you thought I was addressing you.  
Section331 : 6/21/2019 9:39 am : link
In comment 14478815 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
Instead of saying ďyouĒ I should have said ďoneĒ


Fair enough, but you did quote my comment.
Bavaro at his best was as good as any TE I've seen.  
Big Blue Blogger : 6/21/2019 9:50 am : link
Two caveats, though:
1) His prime was brief, about four years.
2) Simms, despite his other limitations, was among the very best ever throwing the deep seam pass. We're talking Marino/Elway level, and possibly better than either. That unique skill, combined with Bavaro's hands and fearlessness in the middle of the field, made MB a much more effective deep threat than would otherwise have been possible, since he wasn't particularly fast.
Gronk is GOAT  
x meadowlander : 6/21/2019 9:56 am : link
Bavaro, even in his prime was never an all-world receiver. Had great hands, and could run that seam route with the best, but he's not even the best receiving TE in GIANTS history, never mind NFL (Bob Tucker, Shockey).

That said, Bavaro is MY FAVORITE TE of all-time - absolutely lovable - quiet, tough as nails, MONSTER blocker.
RE: RE: I can see where you thought I was addressing you.  
Big Blue '56 : 6/21/2019 9:58 am : link
In comment 14478860 Section331 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478815 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


Instead of saying ďyouĒ I should have said ďoneĒ



Fair enough, but you did quote my comment.


I did. It was intended to be a piggyback off your post, pointing out that even though you saw Bavaro play, you still went with Gronk and that was fine. My bad
RE: RE: Winslow couldn't block,  
x meadowlander : 6/21/2019 9:58 am : link
In comment 14478794 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478787 Section331 said:


Quote:


so as great a receiver as he was, I wouldn't call him a great ALL AROUND TE. I always thought Bavaro was the best I had seen, until I saw Gronk. As much as I hate the Massholes calling every Patriot the best ever, with Gronk I think they're right.



And that is fine. If you believe Gronk was the best you ever saw, say it and move on. Donít disparage or be condescending to a fan who has a differing opinion about a player you never saw play
Sorry, bro, Bavaro wasn't half the receiver Gronk is - I went to MANY of the games in the 80's, I LOVE Bavaro and HATE Gronk so that's hard to say, but it's a fact. Gronk is a fucking FORCE as a receiver and will be a first ballot HOF.
I never say Mackey or Ditka play.  
Klaatu : 6/21/2019 10:25 am : link
So for me, Mark Bavaro was not only the toughest SOB I ever saw play TE (can you imagine playing the position with your jaw wired shut?), he was the best all-around TE I ever saw, period.
RE: Gronk is GOAT  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 6/21/2019 10:38 am : link
In comment 14478880 x meadowlander said:
Quote:
Bavaro, even in his prime was never an all-world receiver. Had great hands, and could run that seam route with the best, but he's not even the best receiving TE in GIANTS history, never mind NFL (Bob Tucker, Shockey).

That said, Bavaro is MY FAVORITE TE of all-time - absolutely lovable - quiet, tough as nails, MONSTER blocker.


Shockey wasn't a better receiver than Bavaro imo. Shockey was an overrated talent imo. He had pretty good hands but a weak catch radius. His biggest strength was his YAC, but that was limited because he struggled to catch the ball while staying on his feet. He was more hype than anything imo.
Mark Bavaro  
GiantJake : 6/21/2019 10:42 am : link
I may be biased, but Bavaro is my favorite Giants player of all time. He blocked like a tackle and caught everything. He brought such toughness to the offense. Imagine being a young TE and coming in having to line up against LT and Carl Banks! You could certainly make a case for other TEs, but I will take Bavaro and go to war every time.
Bill Walsh  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 6/21/2019 10:47 am : link
Called Bavaro the best TE in the league. Not really known for his unsolicited praise, called Montana a no talent he could easily replace.
Gronk in his prime.  
Mike in Long Beach : 6/21/2019 10:53 am : link
Gates and Gonzalez incredible, too.
RE: RE: RE: I can see where you thought I was addressing you.  
Section331 : 6/21/2019 11:04 am : link
In comment 14478881 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:


I did. It was intended to be a piggyback off your post, pointing out that even though you saw Bavaro play, you still went with Gronk and that was fine. My bad


I see, no worries. Like I said, Bavaro in his prime was as good as any TE Iíve seen. Iíd give Bavaro a slight edge over Gronk in blocking, but Gronk was like Winslow as a receiver, just a freak. And I want to hate the guy.

And I donít want to look like Iím dissing Winslow. If the questions was the best TE of all time, heís in the conversation. He revolutionized the position, and was the perfect player for a Coryell offfense, he just wasnít a great blocker.
RE: Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/21/2019 11:16 am : link
In comment 14478718 Rafflee said:
Quote:
He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.


No he's not and that's a ridiculous assertion, when you put him in the same class as Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Gayle Sayers, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and his own QB Tom Brady. In fact, I could name 10 more offensive players in a heartbeat that were greater than Gronk. Give me a break...

Walter Payton? OJ simpson?

Gronk probably isn't in the same class as Earl Campbell or Eric Dickerson, either...

Gronk is among the top 5 TEs ever, but not the top 5 offensive players all time, IMO.
RE: No matter  
clatterbuck : 6/21/2019 12:05 pm : link
In comment 14478221 MookGiants said:
Quote:
how many times you type all around in capital letters it's not going to make Bavaro a better all around player than Gronk.

You also apparently did not read my post where I said I only saw him play via highlights.

How come the hall of fame voters don't agree with you? A guy who can't get in vs a guy everyone on the planet knows will go in 1st ballot. Can't use the excuse that they didn't see both play.


No, but you can cite the fact that injuries shortened his career and took him out of HoF contention. I've watched Bavaro and Gronkowski (and not just on highlights). I've been watching pro football for more than 60 years. Bavaro is the best I've ever seen followed by Mackey, Witten, and then Gronk.
RE: Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
clatterbuck : 6/21/2019 12:09 pm : link
In comment 14478718 Rafflee said:
Quote:
He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.


Best offensive player ever? Better than Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Gayle Sayers, Joe Montana, etc, etc.? Take a breath, please.
RE: RE: RE: Also silly.  
clatterbuck : 6/21/2019 12:12 pm : link
In comment 14478220 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14478213 MookGiants said:


Quote:


In comment 14478212 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


Where am I going to find fans who saw Bavaro in his prime 30+ years ago? On here? Sure and weíll see what they opine. I will NEVER pay any attention to any fan who never saw him play. Never.



How about hall of fame voters who have seen him play?



Um, Bavaro doesnít have enough prime years to qualify due to the knee..But during his prime years, I have never seen a better all
around TE than him. NOTHING to do with homerism. Everything to do with what I personally saw


+1
Also the McConkey story about Bavaro in church  
Bobby Humphrey's Earpad : 6/21/2019 12:33 pm : link
is funnier than any of Gronk's party stories.
Osi  
KWALL2 : 6/21/2019 2:00 pm : link
Love the stuff you posted on Bavaro. Those quotes alone should make him a HOF lock.

Shockey? You're wrong there. He was a great player early. One of the best players in the league. Not just a receiving threat, he battled in the run game too.
Shockey  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 6/21/2019 3:13 pm : link
could move well and was a willing blocker, but he wasn't some stud vs. the run. I think he was a good player, worthy of a Pro Bowl or two in his best couple of years.

But even before people here turned on him because of his personality, I thought he was overrated because I hated how he was physically incapable of catching a ball over his head without maintaining balance. It pissed me off so much, we missed out on a ton of big plays because of this flaw in his game. This is one of the reasons he was a poor fit with young Eli, who threw the ball high often.
In addition to the quotes  
pjcas18 : 6/21/2019 3:22 pm : link
on Reggie White, Belichick also had some quotes om Bavaro vs LT and Banks in practice.

Was this posted? Maybe.

But this was when Belichick was asked to compare Bavaro and Gronk during Gronk's rookie season.

Quote:
...."I don't mean that in any way to slight any of our players. He set the bar up there pretty high. He could block, he could catch, he could run, and run after the catch. He was a great competitor. Mark was there every single week," Belichick said. "That's a guy you could count on. We lined up every year at training camp and he could block Carl Banks and Lawrence Taylor. Not too many guys blocked them. You talk about competitive battles -- if you like football, that's about as good as you could find right there."...


For me it's Bavaro, no one asked about longevity or the HOF, but best two-way TE is Bavaro.

Gronk is next, he was like Bavaro but bigger, so to be that athletic, strong, and have Gronk's size - creating offensive mis-matches just made him the perfect weapon for this era.
Hated to see him kill us game after game.  
TMS : 6/21/2019 3:32 pm : link
But thought Jason Whitten was as good a TE that I ever saw.
Novacek  
bc4life : 6/21/2019 3:53 pm : link
vs Witten?
Mark Bavaro  
arniefez : 6/21/2019 3:57 pm : link
Gronk played in the arena league.
Gronk is wildly overrated  
Stan in LA : 6/21/2019 6:07 pm : link
Because of the system he played in. Put him on any other team w/o Brady/Beliciack and he'd be just another good player.
RE: Bavaro  
LauderdaleMatty : 6/21/2019 7:10 pm : link
In comment 14478771 Dave said:
Quote:
Gronk is close, but Bavaro was like having another OT on the los


Pretty much this. How integral was what MB could do to make the Giants successful. All around was Bavaroís blockingís as significant as Gonkís receiving. At this point choosing one over the other at their peak in want was asked.

Gonzalez and Winslow are both great and are HOF players but healthy and at the peak im pretty torn between Gronk and Bavaro. Two guys youíd be happy to have in a huge game. But talk about. Yin and Yang personality wise Lol.
all around?  
RasputinPrime : 6/22/2019 1:18 am : link
Gonzalez, Witten, Bavaro.
Cool NFL Films on Bavaro  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/22/2019 10:24 am : link
...
Link - ( New Window )
RE: In addition to the quotes  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/22/2019 11:30 am : link
In comment 14479318 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
on Reggie White, Belichick also had some quotes om Bavaro vs LT and Banks in practice.

Was this posted? Maybe.

But this was when Belichick was asked to compare Bavaro and Gronk during Gronk's rookie season.



Quote:


...."I don't mean that in any way to slight any of our players. He set the bar up there pretty high. He could block, he could catch, he could run, and run after the catch. He was a great competitor. Mark was there every single week," Belichick said. "That's a guy you could count on. We lined up every year at training camp and he could block Carl Banks and Lawrence Taylor. Not too many guys blocked them. You talk about competitive battles -- if you like football, that's about as good as you could find right there."...



For me it's Bavaro, no one asked about longevity or the HOF, but best two-way TE is Bavaro.

Gronk is next, he was like Bavaro but bigger, so to be that athletic, strong, and have Gronk's size - creating offensive mis-matches just made him the perfect weapon for this era.


There's one long interview with Bavaro, years after he retired, wherein Mark tells a funny/ironic story about prescience. He said ND played at times in the Meadowlands stadium, and once Bavaro coming out on the field got to see a cluster of Giants OLBs practicing together - Banks, Headen, Taylor, maybe Hunt...

And his thought was: "who the heck would want to block those guys in practice every day!" Comparing this group of guys 6'3"-6'5" and 240# plus to the 6' 215# guys playing OLB in college programs at that time.

What an irony that the Giants drafted him, and those practice sessions and Bavaro's drive to excel (or at least not to embarrass himself) vs. whomever he lined up against made him the player he became.
Gronk was just so good as a receiver that he would  
Jimmy Googs : 6/22/2019 12:07 pm : link
have to get my vote despite an avg blocker.

But if we are choosing up sides...I pick Bavaro for my team in any decade...
Does availability matter?  
trueblueinpw : 6/22/2019 1:37 pm : link
OP said all around, which I take to mean blocking and pass catching. And thereís been some discussion here about longevity and availability where Gronk clearly falls short of many others, most of whom could catch passes. So, not sure about all the love for Gronk.
RE: Bavaro was beast of a two-way TE  
short lease : 6/23/2019 1:17 am : link
In comment 14478377 Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy said:
Quote:
"I'll put him there with Bavaro in terms of the guys I've coached," Belichick said of Gronkowski. "I mean, it'd be hard for me to put anybody past Bavaro just because of the number of times he blocked Reggie White with no help. We ran those 38-Boss and all that and they were in that over front and Reggie was the six-technique and Bavaro blocked him. There was no double- team. He just blocked him. Now that was a good battle."

Belichick isn't the only one who fell in love with Bavaro's blocking, check out what John Madden had to say. The same John Madden who coached Dave Casper who is a Top 10 TE all-time and was known for being a great blocker at his position...

His pass catching fell off in that stretch, but he could sure block. In a Monday night game against the Redskins, he was assigned the job of handling the defensive end. The Giants rushed for 202 yards. "Best job of blocking I've ever seen by a tight end," CBS's John Madden said.

https://www.si.com/vault/1987/09/09/116127/nfc-east-legend-in-the-making-after-only-two-seasons-tight-end-mark-bavaro-has-quietly-become-a-giant-among-giants



I don't think there's anything overly "Giants homer!" about choosing Bavaro for this topic if you aren't valuing longevity and are simply talking Peak performance. Yea, there are a bunch of other worthy choices but his first 4 or so years before his degenerative knee condition killed his career were dominant. He took the term "Two-Way Tight End" to another level.

I'd go Gronk by a mile from guys I've seen, I don't think Gonzalez or Witten are even close. I don't know if Witten is even better than Antonio Gates.

But Bavaro was a different animal from those non-Gronk guys, and in today's era where the middle of the field is wide open he would have put up huge numbers too when he played. He really was a freak.


+1 .... Thank-you Osi.
Mike Ditka's "A Football Life" was on yesterdayy  
Bobby Humphrey's Earpad : 6/23/2019 10:06 am : link
Even as a HOF player, definitely underrated for reinventing the TE position. You go from Ditka to Mackey to Kasper/Winslow/Ozzie to the modern TEs.
Gronk  
Joey from GlenCove : 6/23/2019 11:35 am : link
Im not sure its close to be honest
Mark Bavaro  
Matt M. : 6/23/2019 1:29 pm : link
Gronk is probably 2nd. Winslow third. And I would be thrilled if any one of the 3 was my TE.

Zeke Mowatt was also an very underrated TE. He was on his way to being a star before he hurt his knee. Bavaro stepped right in and was amazing. It would be hard to find too many 1-2 punches better than them when Mowatt got healthy.
The reason I say Bavaro over Gronk is the all around  
Matt M. : 6/23/2019 1:30 pm : link
criteria. His blocking was good enough to consider him a 3rd OT. That's what sets him apart from most other TEs, given he could catch with the best of them.
RE: RE: Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
Rafflee : 6/23/2019 10:40 pm : link
In comment 14479087 clatterbuck said:
Quote:
In comment 14478718 Rafflee said:


Quote:


He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.




Best offensive player ever? Better than Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Gayle Sayers, Joe Montana, etc, etc.? Take a breath, please.



I believe what I wrote...he's the best TE ever, and He may be the best Offensive Player ever. His Production and His impact On Game PLanning for Defenses have been enormous. There is no Matchup against him... he dominates in all factors of the Game.

To Other's Comments... My considerations would certainly include Jim Brown and Peyton Manning ---Peyton changed every single thing that The NFL has come to expect of the Modern QB. Jim Brown was "The Babe Ruth of Football". There would be a handful of others I'd consider.

PS.... Bavaro was a Great Player---and the NFL HOF has long been a tough place for TE's.... NFL coaching has also been tough on TE's, for too long ignoring the mismatches that Big, Fast TE Receivers can cause.


RE: RE: Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
Rafflee : 6/23/2019 10:47 pm : link
In comment 14479002 BlueLou'sBack said:
Quote:
In comment 14478718 Rafflee said:


Quote:


He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.




No he's not and that's a ridiculous assertion, when you put him in the same class as Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Gayle Sayers, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and his own QB Tom Brady. In fact, I could name 10 more offensive players in a heartbeat that were greater than Gronk. Give me a break...

Walter Payton? OJ simpson?

Gronk probably isn't in the same class as Earl Campbell or Eric Dickerson, either...

Gronk is among the top 5 TEs ever, but not the top 5 offensive players all time, IMO.


Certainly Tom Brady deserves consideration----but Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell??????.... I think you're way off base, and I'm sure that the next 10 you "name in a heart beat" will be just as stupid.
I've mulled this one over for a while.  
Torrag : 6/24/2019 12:07 am : link
I love Gronk's game. There is only one legit knock on the guy. In 9 seasons he's missed a combined 29 games not including the playoff games he's missed. That's over two full seasons. Over 20% in total. I just can't give him the #1 overall spot.

Tony Gonzalez is the #1 TE all time imo. In 17 seasons he played in every game of his career except 1. He caught over 70 balls in 14 of them and significantly more than that in many of them. He has 111 career TD's and achieved that with an incredible pair of hands.

His combination of elite production, consistency, reliability, playmaking and durability are ridiculous.

AS for the Giants Shockey was the most talented TE we've ever had on the roster. Foot injuries and attitude prevented him from fulfilling his promise. Bavaro is the best TE in franchise history. He did it with toughness, clutch playmaking and elite physicality.
...  
christian : 6/24/2019 12:28 am : link
All things considered Bavaro's 86 season is probably the best a tight end has ever played. He was as effective as a tackle blocking, and had more catches and nearly the same amount of yards as the two starting WRs combined on a 14-2 championship team.

Gronk, Gonzalez, and Gates have had better careers. But all things considered, Bavaro's peak is as good as it gets.
For a few years there in mid80s, Simms to Bavaro  
Jimmy Googs : 6/24/2019 8:02 am : link
on the skinny post was just a deadly combination...
Gronk & Winslow Sr.  
Rong5611 : 6/24/2019 10:23 am : link
.
RE: Not that easy ... some terrific TEís that I have seen played over the  
NikkiMac : 6/25/2019 10:54 am : link
In comment 14478144 Rick in Dallas said:
Quote:
Years;
John Mackey
Dave Casper
Tony Gonzales
Kellen Winslow
Shannon Sharpe

Navarro was by far the best Giants TE followed by Tucker and Shockey.

Special mention to Jason Witten who totally owned the Giants.



I think every TE the cowboys have had since Ditka has owned the giants .....
RE: RE: RE: Gronk May be the Best Player Ever....  
KWALL2 : 6/25/2019 3:33 pm : link
In comment 14480826 Rafflee said:
Quote:
In comment 14479002 BlueLou'sBack said:


Quote:


In comment 14478718 Rafflee said:


Quote:


He's certainly in consideration as the Best Offensive Player Ever....there'e simply no comparison to Him as a TE.

His blocking ability...His Pass Catching and After the Catch...Probably the Biggest "Field Tilter" in the History of the Game.




No he's not and that's a ridiculous assertion, when you put him in the same class as Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Gayle Sayers, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and his own QB Tom Brady. In fact, I could name 10 more offensive players in a heartbeat that were greater than Gronk. Give me a break...

Walter Payton? OJ simpson?

Gronk probably isn't in the same class as Earl Campbell or Eric Dickerson, either...

Gronk is among the top 5 TEs ever, but not the top 5 offensive players all time, IMO.



Certainly Tom Brady deserves consideration----but Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell??????.... I think you're way off base, and I'm sure that the next 10 you "name in a heart beat" will be just as stupid.



Earl Campbell and "way off base" doesn't go together.

He didn't have the longevity because of the way he played but the day he entered the NFL he was the best player on the field every week & that run lasted at least his first 3 years. Nobody was better. He was the MVP of the league in those 3 years? Gronk? Never once was he the best player in the league.

Gronk is not the best player ever. That comment is way off.
From the article that Osi linked to a few posts up.  
short lease : 7/1/2019 12:40 am : link

"Oh, we've got one, even if he's only 24 years old," says Phil Simms, the quarterback-turned-narrator, in the best Giants tradition. "We've got our legend." Simms pauses for dramatic effect, rolling the name off his tongue, drawing it out. "Bavaaaro! Mark Bavaro. Great big kid. Real quiet. Some guys have never heard him talk. Loves to block, knock people down, plant 'em. First game [of 1985, his rookie season] we rush for 192 yards, more than in any game the year before. Against Cincinnati he breaks the club record with 12 catches for 176 yards. We're a veteran team, but we're a little bit in awe of this guy."

Link - ( New Window )
Almost pissed my pants -  
short lease : 7/1/2019 12:46 am : link

from Zimmerman's analogy

"They make an odd pair, kind of like a rhino and a tickbird. McConkey is 30 years old, 5'10", 170 pounds, knobby-looking, battle-scarred. Bavaro is 24, 6'4", 245 pounds of chiseled marble, and startlingly handsome in a sleepy-eyed, innocent-looking way."
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