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Vertical tight ends?

Chris Landry makes obvious observations regarding Cincinnati's struggling vertical game. The offensive line has been hurt and Chris Henry is a weapon that's been absent. Landry then made this observation that had me scratching my head:

The Bengals also are missing a tight end that can stretch the seam, and this makes the loss of Henry worse because Cincy's big plays come out of its three-wide receiver sets.

Miss? I wouldn't say so. Missing would imply you had something, but lost it. Last season, the Bengals didn't have a tight end down the seam and the team played well. The Bengals do not incorporate tight ends into the system as receivers -- they are usually blockers first. And just making the argument that Palmer has trouble with protection, wouldn't it make more sense to find ways of keeping our quarterback on his feet rather than finding a vertical tight end?

Whether you agree with it or not, it's the system that's led this offense into one of the premier offenses in the NFL. It would be nice to have Dan Ross and/or Rodney Holman on the offense. Fact is, the tight ends are blockers and special teams' contributors - both are very good at what they do.

But when called on to catch passes, Tony Stewart and Reggie Kelly did that against Carolina; combined five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby, eh Chris?