Ask any NFL fan who the two best Tight Ends in all of football were last year, and you’d probably get the same answer. The one seed would most likely belong to the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski, who set NFL records in a superb year, and coming in at number two would be the Saints’ Jimmy Graham, who was battling Gronkowski week in and week out for numerous Tight End records.
In an interview with ESPN Milwaukee, Finley said that he wasn’t buying in to the hype of the aforementioned Gronk and Graham. “I know Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) and Jimmy Graham, they did well last year. But in this league, you’ve got to do it consistently. If you’ve shown that you can do it one time, you have to come back and do it. They’re going to have to show me something. I’m not trying to beat them or see what I can do better than them, but they’re going to have to show me a little more.”
Okay, I can accept that, but Finley hasn’t done it year in and year out either. Granted, he didn’t play the whole season in the Packers Super Bowl year, but his production wasn’t great before the injury either. In his career, Finley has accounted for 1,818 yards and 15 touchdowns. Last year alone Gronkowski racked up 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns while Graham finished the year with 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns.
I can see where Finley is coming from saying they need to do it year in and year out, but so does he. All three of these guys have elite Quarterbacks getting the ball out to them, but Finley had a problem catching the ball last year. When asked about being in the top five percent of dropped passes in the league last year he said “Catching comes second-nature to me. All I’ve got to do is focus a little bit more. I know I can catch the ball. I know I’m going to catch the ball this year — for sure I’m going to catch it. It’s focus.”
I personally will be aiming for Gronkowski or Graham in the upcoming fantasy season, but Finley ‘guarantees’ that he’s going to have a great year – Haven’t we heard that before?
“If you go over the years I’ve done well, we had an offseason program, we had minicamps, we had training camps. So, we had three processes that we were going through for us to get the chemistry. This year, I feel it and it’s going to be a good one. I guarantee it.”
We’ll see if it all plays out for him, or if he can even stay healthy through the entire season, a feat in which he’s only done once since entering the league in 2008. Maybe it’s motivation for himself, but I’ve bought into Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, and I don’t see them skipping a beat.
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Sports-Kings Senior NFL Columnist – Justin Arbogast