Player: Tony Scheffler
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 255 lbs.
College: Western Michigan
Acquired: Draft, Second Round (61st overall), 2006
Pro Year: Fourth
- 4.54 seconds – 40 yard dash
- 17 reps of 225 lbs. – Bench press
- 33½" – Vertical jump
- 9'7" – Broad jump
- 6.82 seconds – Three cone drill
- 4.04 seconds – Short shuttle
Scheffler led the NFL and set a Denver single-season record for the tight end position with a 16.1 yards-per-reception average in 2008. This helped him register a career-high 645 receiving yards (40 rec.), which ranked eighth in the league among tight ends.
Scheffler is known as a receiving tight end in the National Football League. His speed and his sure hands have allowed him to attain a certain level of success thus far in his career, but he will need to become a better blocker if he wants to take his game to the next level, especially in new Head Coach Josh McDaniels's offensive system.
“All of our guys have got to be able to do everything; they cannot just be one-sided players," said Denver Broncos tight ends coach Clancy Barone. “They have got to be tough and smart and Tony certainly is both of those things.”
Barone certainly knows how to evaluate talent and get the best out of his players. He has coached a Pro Bowl tight end each of last four years—the Chargers' Antonio Gates (2007-08) and the Falcons' Alge Crumpler (2005-06).
With such an impressive résumé of experience, it is clear that Barone is one of the best tight end coaches in the business.
And the intriguing part is that he has coveted the ability to work with Tony Scheffler for a while.
“[Tony] is such a talented guy, I knew that way back when he was in college. I was with the Falcons and he was a guy that I wanted to draft. Of course, the Broncos got him first,” Barone said. “He is a guy that I would always keep in touch with when I’d see him after games when I was with the Chargers and we’d kind of talk. [Tony] is such a talent and I’m just happy to have another one like that to coach.”
Coach Barone, who coached Gates and Crumpler to Pro Bowl seasons with their respective teams, believes that Scheffler is a guy who belongs in that same class of players talent-wise.
Barone is not the only coach who recognizes Scheffler’s abilities either.
“He can do a lot of things. Tony is very versatile. He obviously has very good speed and hands in the passing game," said McDaniels
When coaching for New England, McDaniels used to split tight end Ben Watson out as a receiver to create a mismatch on the defense backs. I would imagine, given Scheffler’s abilities, he would use him in a similar capacity here in Denver this season.
McDaniels continued by saying, “[Scheffler] has also shown a good solid toughness in our running game for us here in training camp and that will be important when we are in those two tight end sets and want to try to run the ball. We ask [our tight ends] to do a lot in our offense and Tony showed up and worked hard every day and he is getting better.”
Scheffler’s marked blocking improvement in camp, under coach Barone’s tutelage, has not gone unnoticed.
This will allow McDaniels to use Scheffler in his two-tight end formations, which will allow the Broncos to run the ball with power, and disguise some passing plays with this heavy formation.
Scheffler continues to get better and increase his versatility as a tight end and is just one of many very potent weapons on the Denver Broncos' offense.
Scheffler will need to keep his wits about him and make the most out of the opportunities he gets to make a play this season.
This will be Scheffler’s fourth year in the league and, at 26 years old, if he continues to hone his craft, listen to coach Barone and impress Coach McDaniels, he will certainly take his place among the NFL elite tight ends in the next few years.
***Update*** I found some interesting Statistics in another article about Scheffler that are worth checking out:
They may be irrelivant now, with the offensive overhaul, but interesting nonetheless.