The Bengals have been getting offensive production from a number of receiving threats this year, and stepping up Sunday was tight end Jermaine Gresham, who had one of his most complete performance of the 2012 season in the Bengals 28-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He grabbed six balls for 69 yards, including a 10-yard catch on 3rd-and-goal from the KC-11 that helped break open the game after he he carried four Chiefs defenders five yards down to the goaline after catching a pass over the middle at the 6-yard line, a play which set up a 1-yard TD run by Andy Dalton that essentially broke the Chiefs’ spirits at 14-3. It was memorable in large part because we’ve not seen that kind of heart in Gresham in his three years in Cincinnati, but now he appears to be developing a strong work ethic that could soon make him one of the NFL’s top tight ends.
Gresham was originally drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft after an All-American college career at Oklahoma, and the Bengals expected him to be a dynamic receiving threat, as well as a solid run-blocker, a combination the Bengals hadn’t had in a TE since the days of Tony McGee. He was also projected to immediately become one of the NFL’s top redzone threats, as evidenced by his final two active seasons in Norman, when Gresham caught a total of 25 touchdowns.
He didn’t exactly disappoint, accounting for 108 receptions and 1,067 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns in his first two years, though he didn’t quite light the world on fire like most believed he would.