Back in 2018, San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo greeted his offense on the sidelines after tight end Garrett Celek caught an 11-yard TD pass. In trying to hype his teammates up following the score, Garoppolo asked if it was National Tight Ends Day.
From there, the holiday was created.
National Tight Ends Day is celebrated every season on the fourth Sunday in October and this year, October 23 is the special day on the calendar. So, to celebrate the Bills tight end group, here's a look into how Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, and Quintin Morris ended up in what they call "the best position in football."
When Dawson Knox started playing football, he actually started in the running back position as a tailback. And then throughout middle school and high school, Knox was his team's quarterback. But when he continued his football career at Ole Miss, he found the position that carried with him to the NFL.
"I haven't always been a tight end," Knox said. "When I got to college, I transitioned to the greatest position there is in football."
The 2019 draft pick was No. 9 throughout college, but he switched to double digits when he officially became a Buffalo Bill.
"When they gave me the option of numbers that I could pick, I sent the list to my mom, and she picked 88," Knox said. "So, 88 it was, and I'm going to rock it the rest of my career."
When asked what he likes about being a tight end, Knox said he loves that they do everything. From being a wide receiver to joining the O-line on some plays, Knox is ready for the task of blocking guys that are bigger than him or running away from guys that are faster than him,
"We want to be able to do whatever it takes to help the team win, whether it's blocking, pass protection, running routes, scoring touchdowns," Knox said. You got to be the best athlete on the field. You got to be able to do a little bit of everything, so that's what makes it fun."
At the age of 7, Tommy Sweeney was on the taller end of the scale compared to the rest of his teammates. So, the decision to be a tight end came easy for Sweeney when he started playing football.
"Luckily my height placed me at tight end and all these years later, I'm still here," Sweeney said.
The former Boston College Eagle was given No. 89 as a freshman, and he luckily kept the same number when he joined fellow TE Knox in the 2019 Bills rookie class. But what hasn't changed for Sweeney is his job description in this position.
"We have to know the offense as much as the quarterback really," Sweeney said. "So, we know more than the other position and we get to do a little bit of what everybody does."
All three tight ends have similar personalities and mindsets, which makes for a lasting bond on the field and in the locker room. Whether they're at practicing or golfing on the weekends, Sweeney acknowledged how much fun this group likes to have while also having a competitive nature about them.
"The room is a bunch of guys who like to have a good time, like to get our noses dirty, and also get out in the perimeter," Sweeney said. "Oh, and we make some nice-looking plays, too."
Quintin Morris has played almost every position throughout his football career. He started out is freshman year at Bowling Green University as a wide receiver and then switched to tight end during his junior year, where he's been ever since.
Having experience at different positions under his belt, the undrafted free agent said with confidence that tight ends are the best position in football.
"It's the only position where you get to do a little bit of everything," Morris said. "Play a little running back, play a traditional tight end, play a little receiver, get to hang with the O line, hang with the receivers. It's like the best of both worlds."
Being in his first year with the team, Morris said he didn't feel that he was in a position to request a special number when the time to make it official on a Bills uniform. But after earning a spot on the 53-man roster as No. 85, he was happy to keep it heading into the season.
"It's just kind of the number that was thrown to me when I first came in," Morris said. "And I figured I made a name in 85, so I might as well stay 85."
After the first seven weeks of the regular season, Morris is fitting right into the Bills tight end room and he shared he wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
"With me, Tommy, I guess we will claim Reggie (Gilliam) even though he's full back, and then of course, Dawson, I think it's just a perfect blend of personalities," Morris said. "We're just an unselfish group of guys that are going to put the team before themselves every time they step on the field."
Knox said the group always jokes that they hate when 10 personnel is out on the field without tight ends because they want as many of them out there as they can get, so the more tight ends, the better.
And the love for the game is only fueled by the special bond between Knox, Sweeney, and Morris.
"I love each and every one of those guys, we spend time together outside of football, we're always hanging out going to dinners, and playing card games," Knox said. "So, it really is like a brotherhood of tight ends."
Now even though the holiday falls on the Bills' bye week, the three tight ends will be sure to celebrate before they return to the field in preparation for the next game on their schedule.
"I'll just be watching my favorite tight ends, my favorite athletes on the field showing out and doing their thing," Knox said. "I wish I could be out there joining them, but I'll have to make up for that next week against Green Bay. "