Having suffered through what I'll call the "elephant graveyeard" years (i.e., Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason, Jay Schroeder, Jim McMahon, Jeff Blake... need I go on?) and then rejoiced during the Kurt Warner era when they made magic happen despite having nothing of any substance from the tight end position, I'm going to make a bold prediction: The Arizona Cardinals player who will have the biggest breakout year is one Robert Housler, Jr.
I was excited by the pick when they drafted him... an extremely fast, athletic tight end. Needless to say, the 2011 season left everybody a little flat - Todd Heap was injured frequently and Housler had far too many dropped passes. Jeff King surprised everyone when he showed that he wasn't to be thought of as just a blocking tight end. This year, with a full off-season, a re-tooled offensive line, a quality number two wide-out, and (oh please oh please) more consistent quarterback play, the stage is set for Housler to become the next Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Jeremy Shockey... take your pick. I mean... honestly... I'm having a hard time actually remembering even the NAMES of tight ends that have been even remotely useful for the Cards... Ben Patrick... Spach? Um...... ???
I'm really excited to get Michael Floyd, and of course Number 11 will take care of his business as he always does, but I think that defenses are going to have an exceedingly difficult time covering all 3 of those big fast guys this year... I think it presents HUGE match-up problems for teams.
So I think all the planets are lining up to make this Rob Housler's year to shine. I would love to see a 10 touchdown season. Let's go Cardinals!