2010 Preview: Tight Ends

O.k. so I am out of town on vacation with the family and have limited Internet access.  Right now, it’s raining here at the beach which is just as well considering that I am burnt as it is.  So, i’m using my little bit of “I” time to write.  I figured the tight ends were easy enough.

So with that, here is my preview of the 2010 Miami Dolphins TE’s.

First on a sad note, prayers go out to the family of former Dolphins Dlineman Norman Hand who died at the age of 37 late last week.  Drafted in 1995, Hand played for two seasons in Miami before moving on to another 8 years in the NFL elsewhere.

TE’s:

Anthony Fasano:  You should expect big things from Fasano this year.  For one, he is in a contract year and wants to get paid.  Players typically play well when they are looking at a new contract.  The other reason is Brandon Marshall.  If Marshall can play like he did in Denver, Fasano will be given the green light to run routes instead of staying in to block which has been his primary job most of the last 2 seasons.

A strong physical TE, Fasano has the tools but thus far has underachieved since coming to Miami from Dallas two seasons ago.  Part of that can be blamed on the blocking assignments.  It does not however excuse the dropped passes and fumbles at critical times early last year.  With a new contract on the line and more roaming space, Fasano stands to have a big season for Miami this year and could emerge as Chad Hennes’ favorite target.

Joey Haynos: A favorite of us here at Phinphanatic.com Haynos showed some solid signs last  season as he filled in for an injured Fasano.  Haynos has the size, 6’8′ and the strength but he lacks the explosiveness that top TE’s have.  However, he is young and last  season saw his most playing time.

While his inexperience showed at times last season, Haynos could blossom with another full off-season and a better understanding of the Dolphins play book.  Like Fasano, the addition of Marshall will go a long way in allowing him to get more involved with the passing game, he has very good hands.

Haynos could emerge by years end as the Dolphins future at the position or he could fade away.  Either way, this year he will need to produce enough to keep a roster spot open for him in 2011 as the Dolphins will likely try and address the position in the 2011 draft, if Haynos and Fasano don’t work out.

John Nalbone: Nalbone was a reach in last years draft and spent the entire season off the field.  Listed as one of the 25 players that are on the cut bubble by Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel, Nalbone doesn’t have a season to prove his worth, he has a training camp and likely only a partial at that.  The odds are not in his favor to make the team and these Dolphins don’t keep players around who don’t produce regardless of their draft positions.  Nalbone was a 4th rounder.

Kory Sperry:  Sperry came to the Dolphins last season and will enter training camp battling John Nalbone for a roster spot.  He has a strong fan support based on collegiate high-lights but has done nothing of yet in the NFL.

Overall: IF the Dolphins keep 3 TE’s then it’s going to come down to Sperry and Nalbone for that final spot.  If they keep 4, which is unlikely, that 4th is not on this roster and it’s a good possibility that the Phins may just look elsewhere and cut both Nalbone and Sperry.  But it’s likely that Sperry finds a spot on the team.  Last year he at least saw the field.

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  • Tony

    A few small disagreements here. 1) As far as Fassano knew, last year he was also in a contract year. That did not make him want to play better nor did itt help with his production. 2) I hope your right, but I’m not sure how having Marshall means Fasano won’t have to stay in and block. A QB can’t throw from his back. Hopefully, the O-Line won’t need help and Fasano will benefit from softer coverage. 3) I see Haynos has size but I didn’t see the strength part that you indicated. Hopefully, he hit the weight room, because he was as soft as a 6’8 guy as I’ve ever seen. 4) I think its too early to judge Nalbone or Sperry 5) I think Nalbone was drafted in the 5th round, not the fourth. Otherwise, great article!

  • The Boz in Oz

    I agree Tony. Marshall is being used as an excuse to watch everyone on offense get better. They will have a bit more space, but thats because of the attention Marshall commands, not that the individual player is improving. Fasano is not the answer, the fumbles and drops last year showed me that. Haynos is ‘soft ‘ as you rightly pointed out. Sperry looked good in the limited time he had, scoring and getting open well. Nalbone, that 5th rounder seems to be going the way of Murphy and it looks like Turner, never get a sniff of the field and being cut. Maybe we will live with what we have and pick a TE early in next years draft. Still no Mark Bavaro clone for Parcells bodyguard !!

  • MileHighDolfan

    There were several young TEs drafted in April. Several teams such as NE and Baltimore drafted two. What does this mean for Miami? If their young TEs don’t blossom in training camp, they will be scouring the waiver wire for veteran TEs displaced by the youngsters. Neither Haynos nor Nalbone looked like the answer to me.

  • Brian Miller

    I agree about Marshall. He should free up some space but hopefully teams won’t stack the line with 8 man fronts. If that holds true then our Tes won’t have to block all the time. No Marshall won’t make them better but he should give them more opportunity. And yes nalbone was a 5th. My bad. :). I actually like Haynos a lot and think he could develop over the next year or too. As for Fasano he spent a lot of time injured last year so hard to say he was thinking new deal

  • luke

    the offense is gonna have to prove they can throw the long ball. the def. will load the box until the off. can consistantly go deep for big chunks & td. if not than its not gonna matter anyway. but i feel that marshall got here early enuff to spend the summer with henne to create some chemistry. this is the key to the rest of the off. gelling.

  • luke

    (help me help you) the rest of the off. has to step up and try harder to produce in order for marshall to do his part. fasano could be and should be one of the biggest pieces to this puzzle. not statisticlly, but physically and his style, very similar to jason witten. whom BP drafted. i expect big things from fasano this year. haynos is more of a blocking TE at 6’8 270. good hands, great target in the redzone. more of a posession TE. i really like to see sperry get a chance to produce. he has 3 catches for 31 yards and a TD last year in the TB game. dont know enuff about nalbone to comment.

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