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49er ineptitude

Posted by Doug on April 13, 2006

I was poking around the database earlier this week and noticed that the 49ers had virtually zero tight end production last year:

| Name | G | REC YARD AVG TD |
| Billy Bajema | 15 | 5 54 10.8 0 |
| Steve Bush | 15 | 3 21 7.0 0 |
| Patrick Estes | 6 | 0 0 0.0 0 |
| Brian Jennings | 16 | 0 0 0.0 0 |
| Terry Jones | 8 | 9 76 8.4 0 |
| Trent Smith | 5 | 3 7 2.3 0 |

It's officially mid-April now, and therefore probably time to start thinking about ratcheting up the draft chatter a notch or two around here. With that in mind, I submit that Maryland tight end / cyborg Vernon Davis might be worth thinking about when the #6 pick rolls around.

But there are lots of blogs where you can find speculation about the 49ers' tight ends of 2006. This is the only place where you can find trivia which places into historical context the ineptitude of the 49ers' tight ends of 2005 (and offhand remarks about how the tight end from Oklahoma State was much less inept than the one from Oklahoma).

Glancing at the above numbers, I would have guessed that this was the worst team tight end performance in at least 10 or 20 years (run-and-shoot teams excepted). That guess was wrong. While bad, it wasn't unprecedented. In the last 10 years, I count six teams with lower tight end receiving yardage. Four of those teams were Steelers. There have also been 10 other teams in the last 10 years with zero touchdown receptions by tight ends.

So the 49er tight ends were bad, but merely worst-in-the-league bad, not once-in-a-decade bad. They were barely any worse than the Bills' tight ends last year. But I didn't want to leave you without some decent trivia, so I uncovered the following: San Francisco only had two players catch TD passes last year. That's the first time that's happened since 1978.