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“There’s more versatility in the inside part of the field,” he says, “because they can go in any direction. If you’re an outside receiver and you’re split outside the numbers, there are not many places you can go, so it usually takes a little more time to get into your route. When you’re an inside receiver, you have every direction available. So that’s why those guys typically have more catches probably for less yards - because they have to deal with more people inside. But they also can catch the ball quick, short, intermediate, as well as down the field.”

Everything in pro football is cyclical, but right now it’s a tight end’s world. And the Patriots have the best tandem around, a pair of 22-year-olds who, before they’re through, could rank ahead of Dave Casper and Raymond Chester (Oakland Raiders, 1970s), Keith Jackson and Mark Chmura (Green Bay Packers, 1990s) and be thought of as the best of all time.