CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 25: Jermaine Gresham #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals reaches for a first down after making a reception during an NFL preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Last week Pete Prisco with CBSSports.com listed one underrated, defensive tackle Geno Atkins, and one overrated player, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, for each team in the NFL. ESPN analyst KC Joyner writes something similar, except he lists the most overrated players in the entire league. Though the headline is mostly about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his overrated awesomeness, Joyner also included (naturally) Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham. He writes:
Gresham certainly showed some potential at times last year, but the blunt truth is that his numbers fell quite short of the Pro Bowl nomination he was given.
His metrics by route depth illustrate this:
|Jermaine Gresham's Routes by Depth, 2011 season|
|Short (1-10 yds)||56||265||4.7|
|Medium (11-19 yds)||24||209||8.7|
|Deep (20-29 yds)||8||122||15.3|
|Bomb (30+ yds)||0||0||0.0|
|Vertical (M, D, B)||32||330||10.3|
|Stretch vertical (D, B)||8||122||15.3|
The 4.7 short pass YPA was tied for the fourth-lowest total among tight ends in that category, and the 8.7 medium YPA ranked 30th. Gresham was tied for 12th in the deep pass YPA metric, but didn't have a single bomb pass thrown his way all season.
The overrated aspect, we believe, is based on Gresham making the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl, which Joyner tends to hint he didn't deserve -- despite the fact he was an alternate and was invited due to New England's Rob Gronkowski playing in the Super Bowl.
Much has been made of Gresham recently, notably two instances in which the coaching staff has mentioned the tight end's psychological mindset. Marvin Lewis calling him a changed man after his Pro Bowl visit last season and Jay Gruden saying that he'll make a great impact once he has a greater understanding of the offense.
Either way. There's a sense that Gresham needs to have a breakout season this year so everyone can simply get off his arse.