Rams tight end Tyler Higbee's monster month of December led to multiple career-highs and franchise records. Head coach Sean McVay is confident that production is sustainable and will carry over into 2020.
"He made a huge impact for us," McVay said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. "He's always been a very important part of it and I think it was great for Tyler to be able to get the opportunities and then be able to maximize that."
Across the final month of the season, Higbee tallied 43 of his 69 catches, 522 of his 734 receiving yards and 2 of his 3 touchdowns. His 69 receptions and 734 yards set new single-season franchise records for a tight end. His three touchdowns set a new single-season career-high.
Higbee's performances in Weeks 13-16 also earned him the distinction of becoming just the fourth tight end in NFL history to record four consecutive 100-yard receiving games. It also benefitted Rams quarterback Jared Goff over the final month of the season, according to McVay.
"You could see, as his production continued to just show up week in and week out, especially towards – it's not by coincidence that a lot of Jared's really good play coincided with when Tyler ended up playing really well, starting with the first Arizona game and then leading into those last five games, so we've got big plans for him," McVay said.
Goff in December said what was most beneficial for Higbee is that he is capable of contributing and making plays on all three downs.
"A lot of instances, you can see a lot of certain guys production occur – the known passing situations, first and second down off the play action or different things like that," Goff said. "He's made plays in the drop-back game, he's made plays in the screen game, he's made plays in the play-action. He's done a lot of different things."
Additionally, scouting service Pro Football Focus awarded Higbee the highest offense grade of any Ram at 85.9. It's the third-highest by a Ram in the last three seasons, behind left tackle Andrew Whitworth's 86.1 and wide receiver Robert Woods' 86.4 in 2018.
"It was good, getting involved in the offense, just building off it," Higbee told the Rams.com in late December, when asked how he carries over the last month of the 2019 season in 2020. "Getting more in tune with the defense, just working and building off of the performance."
McVay is optimistic about what lies ahead for Higbee.
"I thought that was something that was great for him to be able to maximize those opportunities and we think he's got a very bright future," McVay said.