Tyler Eifert is beginning to read Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton’s mind. It’s how pass catching tandems become prolific. They have such a wonderful rhythm that they’re almost telekinetic.
“He’s been in the right spot,” Dalton said, via ESPN’s NFL Nation. “He’s so talented with the ball in the air. He’s got great ball skills and runs really good routes. That’s why he’s been able to get open and make big plays.”
The tight end was thought to be an immediate impact player last year. A Notre Dame alumnus, Eifert was selected No. 21 in the 2013 draft, but managed only 445 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his rookie season. His athleticism and physical abilities were unparalleled, but he needs to refine the rest of a his game. It seems he’s doing that this training camp and creating a bigger role for himself in the offense.
“We feel like we get looks and matchups with him, and he makes big plays,” Dalton said. “That’s what he did in college. It’s what we expect of him now. He’s been in the right spots and we’re getting looks that we want and we’re hitting them.”
According to ESPN, “He’s performed well all training camp and has been among Dalton’s favorite passing options.”
Eifert is not just expanding his route tree, he’s dominating every part of the field with his physicality. He could be a great safety valve for Andy Dalton, who threw a career-high 20 interceptions last season. If Dalton sees Eifert open more often, and as a result throws fewer picks, his hot seat in Cincinatti may cool down a bit. It’s no wonder he’s relieved to see the development of the young tight end.