By Mark Gaughan
Tight end Scott Chandler has 39 catches in 18 games played for the Buffalo Bills. As long as he stays healthy, it’s reasonable to expect him to make 40 catches this season. If that happens, he already will have injected himself into the top 10 of the Bills’ all-time catches list for the position.
Tight end has not been a position bathed in glory for the Bills. When Lonnie Johnson -– best known for his Wile E. Coyote collision into a wall (Green Bay’s Darren Sharper) on a fake punt reception in 1997 -– is your No. 3 all-time at the position, you know you have not had many studs playing tight end.
On the positive side, the Bills’ No. 1 tight end, Pete Metzelaars, is a very worthy player to be at the top of the list. Besides being a sure-handed receiver and a consistent first-down maker, Metzelaars was a great blocker. As noted in Saturday's Buffalo News, Metzelaars now is training the Bills’ current tight ends on the rough trade of blocking.
Metzelaars was a monster blocker in the 1993 AFC title game victory against Kansas City. So often what players remember most about big games is not what you'd expect.
Here’s Metzelaars' top recollection of the game:
"I dislocated my pinky the week before against the Raiders. So I had a splint on it and got it shot up so I could play in the game because all week if anybody touched it at all, it killed me. ... We ran 'em out of the stadium that day and beat Joe Montana up."
Here’s a list of the Bills top 10 tight ends, ranked by catches:
Player Games Rec. Yards TDs
1. Pete Metzelaars 156 302 2,921 25
2. Jay Riemersma 90 204 2,304 20
3. Lonnie Johnson 74 153 1,489 5
4. Reuben Gant 88 127 1,850 15
5. Keith McKeller 68 124 1,489 11
6. Mark Brammer 65 116 1,137 10
7. Paul Costa 52 102 1,699 6
8. Ernie Warlick 56 90 1,551 4
9. Robert Royal 47 81 832 7
10. Mark Campbell 42 70 681 6