Former third round pick Chase Coffman will no longer be a project for the Bengals, as he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today. Coffman will join new Tampa Bay and former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.
Coffman was selected in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft out of Missouri. As a tight end, he holds the all time touchdown reception record at Missouri, with 20. As some of you may remember, Coffman was a main focus of HBO's "Hard Knocks" in 2009. Coffman was shown missing assignments and being forced to do push ups for every missed assignment by tight ends coach Jon Hayes. When Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht went down with season ending injuries during Coffman's rookie season, Coffman was expected to take over the starting job by many Bengals fans. It was J.P. Foschi and Dan Coats that took over the top tight end duties. Coffman was inactive until week 12.
2011 seemed to be the year of the tight end, and teams like the Patriots and 49ers used two tight end heavy sets in the passing game. There had been hope by many Bengal fans that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden could incorporate Gresham and Coffman on the field together. Instead, he will be now known as a bust to Bengal fans, as it seemed that he never got up to speed with the offense.
Coffman looks like he has the ability to succeed in the NFL. It is up to the coaches to put him in a spot where he can succeed, especially if Coffman cannot greatly improve his blocking. It will be interesting to see if Schiano has any type of specific gameplan in mind for Coffman in Tampa Bay, or if he is just brought in to be a camp body. Coffman leaves the Bengals with three career catches for thirty receiving yards.