You can't make ANY educated or valid evaluation of a pass catching TE in Fix's offensive scheme. They just did not utilize the TE that way. Fix saw the TE as another OL for blocking.
I am not sure how he will be this season. But, let's wait to actually see him in a system that utilizes and values a pass catching TE that can work the seam.
He has the speed, hands, and athleticism that you want. Let's see if he can deliver in this system.
The ONLY time we saw him in this offense was ly training camp. And he looked very good and showed flashes of some great plays. I know it was only TC. But I would trust making an evaluation using TC in this system more than anything a TE did in Fox's system.
it wasn't fox's scheme, it was henning's that turned the TE into a 6th (and 7th) blocker. once davidson was hired, the TEs got utilized more, and you can say that their potential was maximized given the talent level that was there, which was basically mediocre. By extension you could say that WR utilization was also cut down to some degree. I don't remember Fox running nearly as many spread formations as he ran run heavy formations, and besides Moose and Keyshawn, WR2 production wasn't very good throughout Fox's tenure.
When Chud was hired we immediately went after Shockey and Olsen. Since a real pass catching threat at TE is required as it is a feature in Chud's offense, we had to shop for better talent. They're not generational talents by any means but they're way higher than Barnidge's level. Thinking that he's a 50 receptions guy if he just had the reps based on what doesn't even amount to a handful of productive games is jumping the gun. The funniest thing about it is that if he amounts to nothing and all this optimism is for naught (very plausible), everyone on the Barnidge bandwagon will simply forget they said anything about it relatively quickly.