Tight end enjoying career season for Tennessee

In his fourth season, Bo Scaife leads the Titans with a career-high 48 catches for 498 yards.
In his fourth year, Scaife is leading the Tennessee Titans with a career-high 48 catches and 498 yards receiving with four games remaining. He ranks fifth among NFL tight ends for most catches behind the likes of Tony Gonzalez, Chris Cooley, Jason Witten and Owen Daniels.

And he'll be a free agent when the season ends.

"It's great timing I guess if you're on the outside looking in," Scaife said Wednesday. "I try not to worry about that. People keep putting a bug in my ear, friends, family and teammates and stuff. I try to handle it, stay humble and keep doing what I'm doing."

Scaife has been a key piece in the Titans' best start ever at 11-1 going into Sunday's game with the Cleveland Browns (4-8).

"Bo Scaife has just had a really, really good year," Titans quarterback Kerry Collins said. "Really has played well, been a big part of everything we've done this year ... We've asked him to run block. We've asked him to pass block. We've obviously asked him to do a lot in the passing game. He's been a tremendous asset for us this year."

When the Titans signed veteran Alge Crumpler in the offseason, the assumption was the tight end with 316 career receptions would be the top target at that position. Crumpler has started every game and is averaging 10.4 yards on his 20 catches. Collins thinks Scaife has benefited from having Crumpler around.

"He's seen what it takes to really play at a high level in this league, and Alge's influence I think has been really good for Bo," Collins said.

Under coach Jeff Fisher, the Titans make the tight end a key piece of the offense. Frank Wycheck led the team in receptions five straight seasons, and Scaife was among a quartet that combined for 149 catches in 2005, second in NFL history for a group of tight ends in a season.

"This offense is good for me," Scaife said. "You see a lot of tight ends around the league catching a bunch of balls, I'm just trying to maintain and do everything I can to help my team out. I'm glad I've got (coordinator Mike) Heimerdinger and Kerry and Vince (Young) to get us the ball."

That Scaife is playing in the NFL at all is a credit to modern medicine.

Scaife has recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament not once, not twice but three times. He tore his right ACL while in high school in 1999 in Colorado, then tore his left ACL in 2000 on the first day of two-a-days in college at Texas. He tore the left ACL again in 2002 yet still finished second among Texas tight ends for career receptions.

The Titans drafted him in the sixth round, and he responded immediately by ranking fifth among NFL rookies with a team-record for a rookie tight end with 37 catches. He had 29 catches in 2006 and had a career-high 46 catches in 2007.

During the offseason, Scaife signed a one-year tender for $1.47 million. While Crumpler often is on the field for first and second downs, Scaife often comes in on third down where he has 17 receptions. He set a career-high with 10 catches at Chicago on Nov. 9, seven of those in the first half.

"We're fortunate to have Bo in the position right now where he's been productive for us, and he's playing well," Fisher said.

Scaife isn't looking ahead, but he hopes he's still with the Titans after this season.

"I just think personally the best fit for me in the NFL is here in Tennessee. The way coach Fisher runs things, the way he takes care of us, it just fits me," he said.

It's working out pretty well for both right now.

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