INDIANAPOLIS — It's not eye-popping statistics that makes Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle a reigning Pro Bowler. It's his willingness to do literally anything his team asks of him.
He can split out wide, run routes from the slot or as an in-line tight end, or even from the backfield as a fullback. But he also blocks, something that seems to be going away from the tight end position in recent years.
And not only does Doyle block, but he does it very well.
This week, Pro Football Focus released its list of "The NFL's Best of Everything," showing its top performer in 60 different categories according to their grades.
Coming in as the best run-blocking tight end was Doyle, who earned the honor by a rather large margin:
"Of the 49 tight ends with at least 100 run-blocking snaps, Doyle's 83.2 run-blocking grade is 5.0 grade points clear of the next best."
Doyle played the first two games of the Colts' season before suffering a hip injury in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins. The injury occurred in the first half, but of course Doyle played through an injury that would sideline him for the next five games.
The Colts in that game ran for 104 yards against a Redskins defense that has been a Top 5 unit against the run in the league this season.
"He definitely had his best game blocking for us in this past game," Reich told reporters of Doyle after the Redskins game. "He was a big part of the success that we did have in the run game and Jack is just a really good football player."
Doyle returned Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders and picked up right where he left off, catching six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. However, he also contributed his blocking to a Colts run game that amassed a season-high 222 yards on the ground.
Much has been made lately about the discrepancy in snaps between Doyle and the team's No. 2 player at the position, Eric Ebron, who leads all NFL tight ends with 10 touchdowns this season despite playing only about 50 percent of the offensive snaps, compared to Doyle, who is usually playing in the 90-percent range.
Reich said every player brings their own value to the team, but Doyle's blocking abilities make him a key piece in just about every formation
"That's why he's in there the number of snaps that he's in there," Reich said of Doyle. "We have a great group of tight ends and we have said that right from the start, but Jack is definitely the guy who is the most versatile — meaning that he can still be very effective in the pass game, but still block at the point of attack. That's important if you want to have some balance in your offense and that's why he is in there so much."