Changing the game: Howard and McNeil 

August, 15, 2012
8/15/12
8:40
AM ET
The tight end position is constantly evolving in the game of football.

[+] EnlargeO.J. Howard
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comO.J. Howard (above) and Josh McNeil might be future offensive threats for the Tide.
From Tony Gonzalez to Antonio Gates to Vernon Davis, the big, athletic, pass-catching tight ends are becoming the new trend in the National Football League, and it was never more apparent than last season with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots.

The duo combined for 218 receptions, 3,053 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2011. Gronkowski alone had 1,585 yards and 20 touchdowns, setting single-season records in both categories at the tight end position.

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