Tight ends have to be the players most loving the Chicago Bears' switch to offensive coordinator Mike Tice's attack.
The position became one of a glorified blocker and a last-ditch or goal-line receiver in the old offense. When former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo dealt away tight end Greg Olsen, he did it because the team was unwilling to make high priority a big, long-term deal for a pass-catching tight end when he wasn't even being used.
Olsen averaged a career-best 12.0 yards per catch for Carolina and Cam Newton last year. Now it's ironic that the Bears in their new offense actually could have used the services of one of these new-fangled, athletic, tight end threats taking the league by storm.
"Tight ends are the No. 1 reads and the No. 2 reads on a lot of the passing plays now, and a lot of the quick-game stuff will be good for us," tight end Kellen Davis said.
Coach Lovie Smith has been pumping up Davis every chance with the media, but it may be a hard sell.
Physically, Davis looks a bit larger than most of the new breed of tight end at 267 pounds, but at 6-7 has the reach. In training camp, he has been particularly adept at seam routes but has needed to show better hands on the quick out.
The knock on Davis was he couldn't be a downfield receiving type, but this has never been proven. After all, the Bears used him pretty much in goal line as a receiver, as his nine TDs in 28 career catches indicates. If he can catch passes by the goal line, shouldn't he be able to handle them elsewhere?
"Makes sense to me," Davis said.
Rookie Evan Rodriguez has also gotten off to a quick start at the spot in camp but lines up more in an H-back capacity than in the traditional tight end spot where Davis is positioned.
Overall, the thinking is they may get by without the big-name tight end because the presence of Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester in the receiver corps and Matt Forte out of the backfield could divert coverages and leave tight ends wide open.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.