No. 6 Jeremy Shockey
Explosive? Impressive? While these are all synonyms for the Saints offense the past four seasons, they’re actually descriptions of tight end Jeremy Shockey.
His health may be questionable – he has never played all 16 games in a regular season, missing with various injuries – his heart is not.
When Shockey is in the lineup, the Saints offense is different because of his physical style of play. In the three games the tight end missed this past season for either injury (Dallas and Tampa Bay) or for rest (Carolina), the Saints lost by putting up three of their worst offensive performances of the season.
A quarter of the season’s sacks came in the three games Shockey was out, proving to me that it’s not all about the catches for the tight end. While he has caught a pass in every professional game he has played, he has meant more than just numbers for the Saints.
Shockey is the tight end Drew Brees needed and the “toy” that opened up the offense completely for Head Coach Sean Payton.
This past season, he had 48 catches for 569 yards and an 11.9 yard per catch average. His touchdown against Indianapolis put the Saints ahead for good in the Super Bowl.
As flamboyant and volatile as he can seem to be, he’s also indispensable for the Saints offense right now.
When David Thomas had to take on the tight end duties on his own, the flow of the offense wasn’t quite the same.