That was always a bit of a stretch, and people kept repeating it so it took on a life of its own. TJ is not the kind of guy you’d assign a one on one block vs Julius Peppers. That was the example I used before the draft. Why? Because that’s how good Pettigrew was as a blocker. I literally watched him throwing key blocks vs Julius Peppers one on one…and win. I don’t think TJ will ever be that kind of a blocker. But what was clear was that he was willing, he had good technique for a tight end but most importantly he could GET TO blocks very few tight ends could get to. And that’s what really stood out to me about him. When you are designing your run game, you can do some really wicked chit with TJ and he’ll get to the block. And if you’ve watched the domino effect of blocking assignments (or know them from experience), having flexibility in assigning a particular player to make a certain block can make or break how the rest of the play unfolds as you assign the rest of the guys.
BUT…the idea that this kid was lining up and blowing opponents off the ball every down was a myth. It looks good on a highlight film when he catches a weak opponent or catches a decent guy off guard and knocks the snot out of him…but that was never the reality of who he was as a blocker. And I’m okay with that, because the kids movement skills, route running and catching ability in the passing game was next level.