#80 | 6'6, 245, RSFr. | Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Bill C.: We don't quite know what changes to expect from new offensive coordinator Josh Henson. Pace might be raised at times ... maybe there's some more running involved ... we've heard a lot about role simplification for the receivers. But the one thing we always hear is that Henson has much bigger plan for the tight ends. Whatever that means. More blocking, more catching ... just more.
Considering the number of good things we've read about Sean Culkin in the last year, then, this could work out really well. By all accounts, Culkin would have played last year if not for a temporary, but perfectly timed, injury nearing the start of the season. His highlight film shows someone with the combination of body control and fearlessness that you want to see from a tight end, and if he's ready to perform at a pretty high level in 2013, Mizzou's offense could have an efficiency aspect that it lacked last season. But he's a redshirt freshman. We're just over three weeks from the start of the season, and we're still speaking hypothetically about him.
Mizzou has had plenty of tight ends deliver a high level of quality in their second seasons on campus -- Martin Rucker started as a redshirt freshman, Chase Coffman had already caught 47 passes with four touchdowns by the time his second year even began, and at the very least Michael Egnew was a decent backup. Culkin was brought in to be like them: pass-catchers first, then situational blockers. It will be interesting to see both how well he performs and how well he fits what Josh Henson is looking for in the position.
MizzouRugby: Clearly the bigger offensive threat, Culkin is going to be asked to do a lot this year, both catching the ball in traffic as well as blocking the notorious collection of mutants/giants that are SEC D-Lines. Hopefully that job won't be too tough for his first year as a starter, and only second in the program.
The Beef: Culkin was impressive in the first week or so of camp last year before an injury derailed the progress and kept Culkin to the bench. I cannot help but think that Culkin ends up being one of the leading receivers on the team. Also, I love Indian Rocks Beach, home of Crabby Bill’s, home of the all-day Happy Hour and Yuengling on tap. It is right across from the beach ... you will thank me later.
CapnCribbs: An increased role of the tight end in the 2013 Mizzou offense means a big jump in Culkin’s ability to show his NFL potential. Josh Henson has promised time and again that he will make sure to expand the tight end’s responsibilities in his offense, and that means he’ll be doing more blocking as well as continuing to play a role as a receiver. If there’s one thing the tight end must be, it’s versatile. Culkin will likely see time lining up in the slot, next to the tackles, and in the backfield as a fullback. This will allow him to increase offensive efficiency in run and pass blocking, as well as get mismatches against linebackers by forcing coverage in the backfield. Color me as excited to see what he can do, and like The Beef, I think he will be a leading receiver on this team. Look for Josey and co. to benefit running off tackle as well.
countrycal: The signal has been sent quite clearly that the tight end is going to be more involved in all aspects of the offense at times, and then at other times will disappear for a four wideout formation. I’ve got to believe Sean Culkin’s name in on some of the special plays Coach Henson has put together. I doubt if that will disappoint any True Son, as this young man’s talents are utilized by our new OC.