The Pressure Is on for Bengals' Chase Coffman To Come through in 2010

Dan ParzychSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2010

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 1:  Third round draft pick Chase Coffman #80 of the Cincinnati Bengals stretches during rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 1, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)
Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Last season, no player may have been more of a disappointment than Cincinnati Bengals tight end Chase Coffman. After being inactive for the first 12 games of the 2009 season, he was eventually placed on injured reserve due to bone spurs in his left ankle.

The Bengals set high expectations for Coffman when they selected him with the 98th overall pick of last year's draft, considering they were in need of a tight end to make a threat in the passing game. They hoped to make him a consistent target for Carson Palmer after he finished his career at Missouri as the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions for a tight end with 247 to go along with his 2,659 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns.

Instead, Coffman struggled during training camp to make the adjustment from playing at the college level to a professional level. During HBO’s Hard Knocks , the Bengals’ coaching staff constantly pointed out his inability to make the type of blocks expected for an effective tight end in the NFL.

With the 2010 NFL Draft quickly approaching, there have been numerous talks surrounding Cincinnati selecting a tight end with the 21st pick to improve the passing game. ESPN’s Todd McShay suggests the Bengals select Jermaine Gresham out of Oklahoma in his recent Mock Draft while Mel Kiper originally suggested Aaron Hernandez out of Florida .

If Cincinnati does end up selecting a tight end in the first round of this year’s draft, there may be even more pressure on Coffman to come through in 2010 after a disappointing rookie season if he expects to be with the Bengals in the near future.

The Bengals have been in need of a consistent tight end in the passing game for quite some time. If Coffman can bounce back and live up to the high expectations from last season, Cincinnati may have a bright future with not one, but two threats at the tight end position.

Dan Parzych is the Cincinnati Bengals Examiner for

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