Apparently some people are comparing tight ends Jermaine Gresham and rookie Orson Charles to the New England Patriots duet of tight ends in Ron Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Gresham, who has already surpassed 100 receptions, 1,000 yards receiving and ten touchdowns in two seasons with the Bengals, will (likely) combine with rookie Charles in double-tight formations -- much like so many had hoped when the Bengals had Gresham and Chase Coffman for two years.
Charles had a good practice on Saturday with Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer observing:
The fourth-round pick from Georgia was able to get in the open on a couple plays and break away from defenders, which drew plenty of praise from tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes.
“I played receiver in high school and my coach always stressed technique and fundamentals – getting open, using my release move,” Charles said. “He told me I wasn’t going to beat everybody with just speed and power.”
With Charles the Bengals have a backup plan to deal with Gresham's somewhat slight durability issues -- though most of the games he's missed were more cautionary than required -- while adding another threat within Cincinnati's passing offense. Imagine for a moment. A.J. Green goes deep, the No. 2 receiver works the sidelines while Gresham and Charles abuse under-talented linebackers while a running back sneaks out of the backfield following a quick-chip block.
Charles, a finalist for the John Mackey award in 2011 honoring college's football most outstanding tight end, generated 45 receptions in 14 games with the Georgia Bulldogs, for 574 yards receiving and five touchdowns. According to multiple accounts at Cincinnati's minicamp this weekend, Charles has often been found in the hip pocket of tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes.
Despite Cincinnati's fairly optimistic level of talent at tight end, this isn't going to be similar to New England's tight end situation. Nope.
“Thing is I kind of dislike when people say we’ll be like the guys in New England,” Charles said. “I’m not like Hernandez. We’re not like them. We’re going to set something new.”
We can only assume that something new is translated to "something completely more badass."