Injuries hurt the Browns’ depth at tight end from one of the first drills run in training camp in 2011.
Watson suffered his second concussion in the third quarter of the Browns’ 6-3 home win over the Seattle Seahawks and finished the year on injured reserve after his third came in a 14-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field Dec. 8.
Later in the season, seventh-year tight end
With Watson and Smith out of the lineup, the Browns relied on
Moore, who earned a contract extension early in the 2011 season, played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, while Cameron and Gronkowski had opportunities to make plays and lead block in the team’s final few games.
Able to play a full season without a missed game due to injury, Moore tied wide receiver
This past season, Moore set career highs in most every receiving category. He caught 34 passes for 324 yards and the four touchdowns. Prior to 2011, Moore’s previous career highs came in 2010 when he caught 16 passes for 322 yards and one touchdown.
The week after Smith went out with the shoulder injury, Moore had a season-best five receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown in a 20-14 loss at the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 24.
What To Watch For:
How the Browns continue to utilize the tight end position in year two of the West Coast offense under head coach Pat Shurmur.
The Browns kept four tight ends on the active roster when they broke training camp and began preparing for the 2011 regular season and all of them contributed in both the running and passing games.
Watson, Moore, Smith and Cameron combined to gain 898 yards and score seven touchdowns on 91 receptions. They averaged 9.87 yards-per-reception, or nearly a first down every time they caught the ball.
Among the tight ends, Watson had the most receptions (37), yards (410) and yards-per-reception (11.1 average) with two touchdown catches. Watson was also the Browns’ third-leading receiver behind rookie
Smith gained 131 yards and caught one touchdown on 14 receptions. In limited action, Cameron recorded six receptions for 33 yards. Cameron was active for just eight games during the 2011 season.