Miami Hurricanes OC Josh Gattis expects versatile TEs in his offense

Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis stated that the tight end position is like a Swiss Army Knife in his offense during his meeting with reporters on Wednesday. Miami is loaded at TE led by fifth-year senior Will Mallory. Stephen Field returns as the TE coach. Field is the only coach back from the previous staff.

Gattis expects his TEs to be involved in the pass and run game. The Miami Hurricanes were far better in pass blocking than run blocking in 2021. Pro Football Focus via Inside the U 43.9 gave Mallory a run-blocking grade on 276 run-blocking snaps. Elijah Arroyo had a 70.3 run-blocking grade on 76 run-blocking snaps.

Gattis and Miami head coach Mario Cristobal are going to demand physicality throughout the team and especially in the trenches. If Mallory struggles again in run blocking expect Arroyo to challenge him for first-team TE in 2022. Mallory leads all returning Miami receivers with 30 receptions and four touchdowns on 347 yards.

Arroyo had five receptions for 86 yards and one TD. Expect Arroyo to have a bigger role this year. Miami also returns sophomore Khalil Brantley who had one reception for seven yards. True freshman Jaleel Skinner has been impressive during the first week of spring practice. Susan Miller-Degnan of the Miami Herald quoted Gattis.

"“I will tell you this: They will be a big factor in what we do. The tight end position for us is like a Swiss Army Knife because we ask those guys to do so much for us. We’re going to develop the complete tight end, and I think that’s the thing that’ll be a little bit different, asking those guys to be involved in the run game as much as in the pass game.”"

Mallory has to improve to be a complete TE. Arroyo has graded out higher being a complete TE but is not as experienced. Skinner is likely to push both for snaps this season as the number three TE in the Class of 2022. Brantley adds depth and could eventually develop into a quality receiver.

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The Miami offense will look different in 2022. Expect more balance and physicality. Miami is deep at TE and should be able to use two and potentially three TEs in certain formations. The Hurricanes finished 97th averaging 127.67 rushing yards per game in 2021. Quality blocking from the TEs will help improve the run game.