Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, John Brown, Michael Floyd. Those are the names that come right to mind when you think about the players who help Carson Palmer out the most in a game. But in a recent interview with Bickley & Marotta, Jermaine Gresham added a few other names to that list.
"Don’t forget Darren Fells and [Ifeanyi Momah]," Gresham said. "We’re doing better. We’re not there yet, but we’re doing a lot better. I feel like we’re better than we were last year at that position."
His point is valid. Not much has been made about Fells and Momah in the media, as well as the return of the Cardinals seventh round pick in 2015, Gerald Christian. While it's true, the media likely won't give the Cardinal Tight Ends their day in the spot light due to their role in Bruce Arians offense, Cardinal fans have grown to respect Darren Fells, and are happy that Gresham came back to Arizona for the same role, and less money.
Fells was the Cardinals top Tight End in 2015, attributing 311 yards and a trio of touchdown catches. Gresham was second on the list with 223 yards and a score. The Cardinals had what looked to be a talented group in Preseason, but after injuries to Momah and Christian, the Cardinals had a recovering Gresham, an inexperienced Niklas, and Fells with only one season really under his belt.
As the season wore on, the unit got better thanks to Gresham's recovery, and Fells gaining more and more experience. Now during OTA's the Cardinals have a deep unit, but still have their questions and are not quite where the want to be, as mentioned by Gresham.
"We’re doing better. We’re not there yet, but we’re doing a lot better. I feel like we’re better than we were last year at that position."
Gresham was also asked to compare the Cardinals group to other groups around the NFL.
"I think what most people don’t understand is we’re a different type of tight end than most tight ends in this league," Gresham said. "Most guys don’t put their head in the dirt, we put our head in the dirt and we can go block guys one-on-one. You look on tape and a lot of guys that get a lot of praise, they’re just catching a lot of balls. We’re effective in the pass game and in the run game, and even in pass protection."
That statement stands true. Bruce Arians has often said he prefers blockers to receivers. Bruce Arians mentions Heath Miller, the longtime Steelers Tight End, as a guy he wants his group to be like. A player who can block the whole game, and catch when he's needed to.
Other topics discussed in the the nearly 11 minute interview were his relationship to Chris Johnson, why he returned to Arizona despite bigger offers out there, and who he thinks is the best Tight End in the NFL today.
On his return:
This place (Arizona) feels so positive. You feel at home. When you got a coach like BA, I don't think people understand how good of a person he is. You feed off his swagger.
That is the same sentiment that many players describe when they play in Arizona, and are offered contracts elsewhere, but still return to the team.
The highlight of the interview however was when Gresham compared Bruce Arians to King Leonidas from the film 300.