Mark Campbell is the jokester among the Buffalo Bills' three tight ends. He's always good for a timely, well-placed wisecrack during team meetings. He's been around the National Football League for a while, so he can get away with a little heckling for the sake of keeping things loose.
Ryan Neufeld is the quiet one. His temperament keeps his lips sealed, but he wouldn't say much even if it were otherwise. He worked too hard for too long just getting back into the NFL. He isn't about to blow it now that he's been with the same team for consecutive years for the first time in his career.
Tim Euhus? Well, he's Theodore Cleaver.
Campbell started calling him "The Beaver" last Sunday after watching the rookie score his first NFL touchdown. He and Neufeld couldn't help but laugh when they were reminded about the kid's personality. It's a concoction of youthful exuberance, inexperience, naivete and confusion. Anyone who knows the Beaver would understand.
"It's a nickname that's going to apply. That's him," Campbell said. "He's very genuine and a can't-do-wrong type of kid. He's excited to play football. It's nice to be around because not everybody has that. . . . To have a guy come in like him, it's really refreshing because it purifies what we're doing."
For the record, Sam Adams lined up at tight end last week, too, but nobody called him "Lumpy Rutherford." The Bills were howling after Euhus scored and danced to the sideline for a wide-eyed celebration in the 38-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He kept jumping up and down and repeating, "That's my first one!"
Heck, Beaver, act like you've been there before. This is the NFL.
"It was really exciting," Euhus said with a smile. "It was one of those routes where they say 'always expect the ball' but you're really the third option. You just run your route and then something cool happens."
Euhus (pronounced YOU-us) is a ferocious blocker who has progressed much sooner than the Bills expected. That's cool. His touchdown came one play after he was flagged for a holding penalty at the 1-yard line. That was not cool. The Bills told him to put the play behind him and concentrate on the next one. Euhus wasn't the primary receiver, but he caught a pass from Drew Bledsoe in the flat and rumbled into the end zone.
"He was pretty fired up," Bledsoe said with a smile. "He was pretty fired up after his first NFL catch. I guess he still has the ball."
The Bills have used all three tight ends in various situations. They could be interchangeable, but they've had distinctly different roles. It coincides with their different personalities and their paths to the NFL. Campbell is the veteran, Neufeld the survivor and Euhus the kid next door who doesn't quite understand the world around him.
"I joke around a lot more than those guys," Campbell said. "It's hard to get a word out of Ryan. Tim is running around with his head cut off like most rookies."
Regardless, the three-headed position has worked for the Bills.
"I think it's because our personalities are a little different," Neufeld said. "We complement each other well. That's how we feed off each other."
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Campbell has been the best blocker and pass catcher among the three, which is why he's had the biggest role. He's the Bills' third-leading receiver with 10 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He can beat any linebacker with his speed and athleticism, any safety with his size and strength. He also has the most experience, which includes four years in Cleveland and two more in Buffalo.
Neufeld (6-4, 250) has been used mostly when the Bills need two tight ends, which is often. He lined up in the slot last week in the Bills' four-receiver set when Josh Reed suffered a knee injury. Neufeld was an undrafted free agent in 1999 who played parts of two seasons with Dallas and Jacksonville and another in NFL Europe. The Bills called him before last season, and he appeared in all 16 games. His only catch in seven games this year is a 6-yarder against New England.
"It was hard," Neufeld said of his two-year NFL absence. "The second year I was out of football (2002), I thought maybe that would be it. I didn't think a team would pick me up after being two years out of the league. Once Buffalo gave me a shot, I figured I would give it another shot. Things worked out."
Campbell and Euhus have one thing in common: Both were all-state basketball players in high school. Campbell was a star in Michigan but played only football at the University of Michigan. Euhus came off the bench in basketball for two years at Oregon State, where he was a three-year starter on the football team.
Euhus (6-5, 249) mentioned how he played basketball against Mark Madsen, the former Stanford star who won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and now plays for Minnesota. Maybe someday Madsen will talk about how he played against Euhus. Campbell walked past and chuckled. His teammate was still walking on air.
"It was like peewee football all over again," Campbell said. "He looked like a kid in the candy store. I couldn't help but laugh when I got to the sideline and I saw how he reacted. I was extremely happy for him."