Tight Ends: D
The tight ends did little to help or harm the Browns in Sunday’s loss. Gary Barnidge was the only member of this unit targeted in the pass game, and he was virtually the only one who played at length during the game.
The final numbers for Barnidge were disappointing, as he caught three passes for a total of 23 yards. However, the 2015 Pro Bowl selection was only targeted those three times, further confirming his role as Cleveland’s sure-handed safety valve.
Barnidge was a limited factor in blocking as well. On the majority of the plays, he ran routes and served as a decoy which attracted linebackers and safeties. Since the Browns got very few runs down the field, Barnidge was irrelevant on most plays.
Since Barnidge is continuing to play consistently, many fans wonder why he doesn’t play a more active role in the offense. This is a legitimate concern, as Barnidge has Jason Witten-like ability. Witten, who caught 8 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown for Dallas, is thriving. Barnidge, on the other hand, rarely gets an opportunity to do such damage to opposing defenses.