After Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht went down, it was assumed after watching three preseason games, that Daniel Coats was the likely candidate to be the team's starting Tight End. He has more experience, is more refined than the other Tight Ends and he's probably the best blocker -- which is important because this offense uses Tight Ends as blockers most of the time. At the same time, while Chase Coffman has a ton of potential as a receiving end, he has a long way to go to be a Tight End with good overall talent. And honestly, the way the team's protection schemes keep breaking down, we need to keep as many blockers in pass protection as possible.
The Bengals made it official, naming Coats the team starting Tight End when the season starts, writes beat writer Joe Reedy. It wasn't that Coats was the best option. It's just that there wasn't any other option.
The reason why Coats is the starter is because of his strength as a blocker, which improved with his time at fullback. Add in the injuries to Kelly and Utecht along with the continuing development of third-round pick Chase Coffman, it left the Bengals with no other viable option.
Besides his blocking, Coats has four catches for 50 yards. He had a 27-yard reception in the second preseason game at New England, but fumbled it.
“He played both spots last year and they’re almost interchangeable in some of the things that we do,” coach Marvin Lewis said of Coats. “I think there’s an experience factor and there’s obviously a thing with pass protection, some of those things that he had to continue to work hard at. His versatility has been a good thing.”
Don't expect Coffman to sit the bench while he continues developing.