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For Bruce Arians, blocking is a tight end’s primary function

Bruce Arians

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


So how does Cardinals coach Bruce Arians view a tight end’s job responsibilities?

The subject came up at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, and Arians made his stance clear.

“The tight end for me, I’m old school. You’ve got to block first and catch passes,” Arians said.

“That’s why I loved (Steelers TE) Heath Miller. I still think Heath Miller’s the best tight end in the National Football League, not because he catches 90 passes, (but) because he blocks big defensive ends, and he catches about 60-70 passes.

“The guys that line up as wide receivers might get tagged as wide receivers. But, you know, tight ends for me block first, catch second.”

Rob Housler was the Cardinals’ leading pass catcher among tight ends in 2013, hauling in 39 receptions for 454 yards and one TD in 13 games. He was targeted 57 times — about four times per contest.

The Cardinals’ three most-targeted players in 2013 were all wide receivers: Larry Fitzgerald (134 targets), Michael Floyd (112), Andre Roberts (76).