It's in the comparison. Unable to analyze a roster move, statistics, or any topic of fluidity at face value, most need a comparison to establish value.
After Cincinnati selected Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert during the 2013 NFL draft, analysts tripped over themselves making interesting comparisons to the New England Patriots. Even the San Francisco 49ers were recipients of such descriptions after selecting Vance McDonald to team up with Vernon Davis. With Eifert and Jermaine Gresham playing together, the Bengals are suddenly becoming compared to the New England Patriots.
"We're not the Patriots," Bengals offensive coordinator Jon Gruden says. "We're the Bengals and we're going to do what we do with our players."
According to Bengals.com, the Bengals ran a double-tight formation on 23 percent of their plays compared to three-wide sets 52 percent of the time. Obviously having someone like Eifert replacing Donald Lee or Orson Charles will prompt change, but according to Gruden, it won't be difficult.
"We featured probably more of the personnel groupings with one tight end and one back and three receivers. It's very easy to take out that third receiver and put a tight end in there and call the same plays," Gruden said. "A lot of it is the same thing. It's a matter of keeping the personnel on the field that you want to dictate. If (the defense) wants to play nickel, we'll match up. If they want to use base, it's a good deal for us."