As details emerged about the return of Tony Gonzalez for one more season, some fans were concerned about the commitments Gonzalez had reportedly made to his family that would keep him away from some offseason workouts, but according to Jay Adams at AtlantaFalcons.com, tight end coach Chris Scelfo is happy to have the time to evaluate the tight ends fighting for a spot behind Gonzalez.
Fourth-round draft pick Levine Toilolo is also absent as he finishes his classes at Stanford and prepares to graduate. Toilolo did participate fully in rookie minicamp, but will have some catching up to do once he returns to the team after graduation.
The Falcons also began offseason workouts with Adam Nissley on the roster, but Nissley was waived/injured Thursday, and the Falcons have signed tight end Anthony Miller, who initially signed with the Denver Broncos prior to the 2012 season as an undrafted free agent, and spent some time with the San Diego Chargers as well.
The absences of Gonzalez and Toilolo provide Miller, Chase Coffman, Tommy Gallarda and Andrew Sczerba with an opportunity to show Scelfo and the rest of the coaching staff how they could impact the team this season. The Falcons have carried three tight ends on the 53-man roster in recent memory, and Gonzalez is a lock, and Toilolo probably is, also. The rest of the tight ends competing for a spot have different skills that could give them the edge.
Chase Coffman has had a chance to learn under Tony Gonzalez, and has potential as a route runner and receiver. Gallarda is known for his blocking abilities. Sczerba is at least familiar with the offense after spending part of last season on the practice squad. A scouting report compiled on Miller from BroncoTalk.net calls him a "sure-handed receiver" while also noting his blocking ability.
How do you think the 53-man roster will shake out at the tight end position? Discuss!