January 9, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; Boston College Eagles tight end Chris Pantale (81) rushes past Nevada Wolf Pack linebacker James-Michael Johnson (52) during the fourth quarter of the 2011 Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park. Nevada defeated BC 20-13. Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
With news that Boston College tight end Chris Pantale will be out six to eight weeks with a broken bone in his foot, the question becomes who will step up to replace the fifth year senior? While the Eagles have a few other options at tight end, it certainly won't be easy to replace the John Mackey Award watch lister.
Here's how the Eagles' current depth chart at the tight end position:
Not a whole lot of game-experience behind Pantale. The other TEs on the depth chart have all of one career reception -- Naples' 8 yard grab in last season's N.C. State game. Spaz and Martin will probably turn to "different packages and stuff" to compensate for the loss of Pantale, but it'll be interesting to see who the staff trots out there in formations where a TE is needed.
Could highly touted recruit and redshirt freshman Brian Miller step in and replace Pantale? Sounds like Miller is battling his own injury issues:
Brian was hurt in his senior year before he came in [to BC]. It was a very severe knee injury. Brian is a tremendous athlete and a very tough football player, but he did have a pretty severe injury and had a lot of metal put in. He's come back, he's worked hard, and he's having some flare-ups on it. We used him in the spring, but right now he hasn't been able to start practicing due to some medical issues. But they told me today that he'll be back out there and we're hoping that he'll be ready for the first game. He certainly can help us, if he's healthy.
At the other end of the depth chart, Mike Naples has missed a few practices this week, so BC may turn to an unlikely player to fill Pantale's spot on the roster.
[Jarrett] Darmstatter, [Mike] Naples, and we moved, a couple of days ago, because Naples missed a day or so, we moved Dave Bowen to tight end. That's one of the things we haven't had in a couple of years, we've got some bigger guys. We'll make another move here, but the system is flexible enough to move on.
Bowen is a 6-foot-7, 285 pound offensive lineman from Villanova, Pennsylvania. If he can catch the ball, that's a big boy to bring down downfield. If not, at least he'll be another big body to give Rettig a bit more pass protection.