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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