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      By GladiatorHawk

An essential ingredient in Mike Holmgren's version of the West Coast Offense, is that of the tight end position. A star performer is not needed, particularly when you have highly skilled QB, RB, and WRs. So what are the attributes that conspire to create the perfect all downs tight end and keep a defense guessing run or pass?

One of the keys to Holmgren's offensive system is to have the size and physical tools needed to secure the point of attack. Seattle has a diminuative set of receivers, hence a huge target with springs would induce mis-matches for a defense when reeling in the jump ball in the endzone. Coach Walrus prefers a TE who can stretch the field, opening up room for the RB or WRs to work within space in linebacker territory. The guy manning this position must possess sure hands to keep drives alive. An ability to "seal the edge" on the defensive end will enhance the running game. Finally, intelligence is highly sought because the WCO is intricate and challenging to assimilate. Which gladiator possesses these attributes and would be available for Ruskell to draft?

Kevin Boss out of Western Oregon offers great value in the 4th round. He is projected to be selected at 125-135 in the draft. He fits the mold for what is needed at tight end. He has 31 starts to his credit and played basketball in college. One year of grooming by Pollard and Boss will be very productive for years to come.

At 6-7, Boss is a huge target that can reach another 35 inches with his vertical jump. He has proven to be one of the most sure-handed receivers in the draft thus making the most critical of fans to forget about Jerremy Who. He can fly in the 40 yard interval in 4.71 seconds just as Mr. Who. Boss man weighs in at 252 lbs and could add 10 more lbs of bulk without loss of quickness.

Kevin uses his hands effectively to jolt the defender and get a clean release off of the jam. He has large hands, demonstrates great body control and leaping abilty to snag the ball at its high point. He can separate in the short area of the field and has valid speed to elude second level defenders to threaten the secondary. He has the loose hips to weave around linebackers. He has the power to break tackles and the stride to gain yardage after the catch. Very adept at adjusting his routes when the play breaks down. His agility allows him to contort his body to catch errant passes. He is a physical player who will win most fights for the ball in the air. Also, very alert to position himself beyond 1st down markers.

Kevin is very intelligent and needs minimum reps to understand plays. Playing collegiate basketball reduced the off-season training typically needed to learn the finer points of football. Probably needs 1 year of good coaching to improve his route running and become more precise in his cuts. However, he is very effective on his out and crossing patterns. He has recovered from a shoulder injury which caused him to miss 6 games last year, thus lowering his draft status to provide the Hawks great value in the 4th round.

Meet your tight end of the future -- Kevin Boss.

Gladiator Hawk

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