Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Old Man Receiver

Mike Holmgren's said that he thinks new tight end Marcus Pollard will catch 45-50 passes this year. Pollard's on board too. Fox Sports implies that this may be a little optimistic, considering that Pollard is 35 years old.

Is it unheard of for 35-year-old tight ends to catch 50 passes? I checked into it at Pro Football Reference, and well, yeah, it is.

Most tight ends never make it to 35--Ozzie Newsome didn't, Kellen Winslow didn't, Todd Christensen didn't, Brent Jones didn't, even Mike Ditka didn't.

Of those few tight ends who were still playing at age 35, I could only find two who caught anywhere near 50 passes: Wesley Walls, who caught 43 passes with Carolina in 2001, and Shannon Sharpe, who caught 62 passes with Denver in '03 (it was Sharpe's final year).

This is not to say that Pollard won't catch 45 passes--by all accounts, he's in phenomenal shape, and, as has been pointed out elsewhere, he didn't play football in college so he saved that wear and tear on his body. Just to say that, if Pollard were to do it, it would be remarkable.

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