CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 2: Jermaine Gresham #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals hauls in a touchdown pass against George Wilson #87 of the Buffalo Bills during their games on October 2, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Bills 23-20. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Despite the fact that Jermaine Gresham appears like an athletic freak that was manufactured from Sauron's tower, the Cincinnati Bengals have struggled to get him involved in the deep pass according to Brian McIntyre with NFL.com, who writes:
Even though he's perceived as a tight end who can stretch the field, Gresham has not run many deep or even intermediate routes thus far in his career. That's hardly his fault. As a rookie, just four of Gresham's 83 targets were considered "deep" pass attempts. That number jumped to 14 out of Gresham's 92 targets last season, but an overwhelming number of his targets have involved the ball traveling fewer than 10 yards, which has kept his yards per reception at 9.9 yards for his career.
The bright side is that Gresham caught eight of the 14 "deep" attempts in 2011, gaining 176 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns. Gresham has also effective in the red zone, where he's scored nine of his 10 touchdowns and has posted positive DVOAs in each season.
Gresham, who Marvin Lewis called "changed" after his Pro Bowl experience earlier this year, has been the subject of several Jay Gruden comments, who said earlier this year.
"He's just got to continue studying, learn and rep, rep, rep, rep and rep. He's just got to mentally get into it and see the looks. He's very raw. He's never done this type of thing before where option routes, reading the safeties, two deep, three deep or whatever it might be. The more he sees the better he's going to be and once he gets it, he will be a dominate force."
For his part, Gresham wants to have a bigger impact with Cincinnati's offense, especially reflecting on the contract extension that New England's Rob Gronkowski received.
"I've watched every catch five times," Gresham said of Gronkowski's 2011 masterpiece. "You have to. He and Jimmy (the Saints' Graham) had the best seasons ever by a tight end. You have to see what they're doing. How they're getting open, how they're getting so many balls. He's a beast. What he got, he deserved."