Bengals study up on Pats' 2-TE attack

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
12:00
PM ET
This is the time of year when NFL teams study the competition, potentially adopting some of the successful things they do. A few weeks ago, it was noted that the Cowboys have used the Patriots as a model for creating a two-tight end offense.

Add the Bengals to the list too.

In his "Sunday Blitz" piece on the National Football Post website, Dan Pompei speaks with Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden about his plans with 2013 first-round draft choice Tyler Eifert, and how he'll team with 2010 first-rounder Jermaine Gresham. Gruden touches on the Patriots' attack.

"If Tyler is a good blocker, that puts us in a good advantage in the run game. That’s what New England does so well," Gruden tells Pompei. "They get teams to match up nickel with them and they can run the ball effectively out of that two tight end set. They have an extra big body blocking."

Bill Belichick has always had an affinity for the position because it helps dictates favorable matchups. It helps explain why the Patriots currently have a loaded tight end depth chart that looks this way:

Rob Gronkowski
Aaron Hernandez
Michael Hoomanawanui
Daniel Fells
Jake Ballard
Zach Sudfeld
Brandon Ford

In having quality depth, the Patriots don't have to stray away from the two tight end offense in the event of injury, which wasn't the case in 2011 when they didn't have much behind Gronkowski and Hernandez.

To read Pompei's piece on how the Bengals (who host the Patriots on Oct. 6) are transitioning to a two tight end approach, CLICK HERE.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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