It’s Time to Open The Gates

The Dolphins made an interesting choice in this year’s draft by selecting Wide Receiver Edmond Gates in the 4th round.  He would later change his first name to Clyde, a childhood nickname that was given to him by his father.  The Texas native never played high school football but decided to give it a shot by trying out for Abilene Christian, a Division II school.  He was able to turn heads and drop jaws with his blazing speed.  His senior year, he recorded 66 catches for 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Gates entered the NFL Scouting Combine and ran a 4.37 in the 40 – yard dash, tied with the fastest time among receivers.  He recorded that time even with a nagging groin injury. The guy can flat out run.  Even the Dolphin players are dazzled by his speed and concede that he is the fastest player on the team.  The Dolphins have nothing to lose and it’s time to open up this offense with some Clyde Gates!

We are now eleven weeks into the season and the Dolphins sit 3 – 8 with no shot at making the playoffs.  Gates has had very little playing time as a WR and has yet to start a game.  He only has 2 catches for 19 yards on the season.  This team needs a burner like Gates who can use his speed to spread the field to open up more plays on offense while keeping defenses honest.  Other players as Brandon Marshall, Anthony Fasano, and Davone Bess can benefit from a having a guy who runs a 4.37 line up next to them.  Maybe Marshall will no longer command a double team when a guy like Gates is running post-corners or “go routes” down the sideline. 

The Dolphins have lacked a deep threat that could score at will since Chris Chambers left in the middle of the 2007 season (I never considered Ted Ginn Jr. a threat because of his brick hands).  We all know the capabilities of Brian Hartline.  He has been a very serviceable receiver but he certainly doesn’t intimidate any secondary with his average speed.  Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace have had their opportunities the last two seasons but have failed to capitalize on them. 

Right now is the time to incorporate Gates into the offense with more plays so the Dolphins can have an idea of what this kid can actually do.  Most importantly, it will allow this organization to figure out if they need to draft another 4th round WR in next year’s draft.  Miami Dolphins’ Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll, needs to open up his bag of tricks with creative packages that will utilize his speed.  Dolphin fans have been patiently waiting all season for Gates to blow by a safety for a fifty yard bomb to bring some excitement to this team.  Instead of calling HB dives on second and nine, try going deep for once.  There’s only five games remaining and it’s time to turn this question mark wide-out into an answer.  The Dolphins literally have nothing to lose at this point.  Get Gates involved now!

Topics: Anthony Fasano, Brandon Marshall, Brian Daboll, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Edmond Gates

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  • redteg02

    I wish I could find another article that I read, but they said in recent weeks that Moore is ranked 4th in yards per attempt. That seems to indicate that the offense has been opened up. If Gates can’t seem to get himself involved, that is on him, not the coaches. From what I have seen from Gates he is a bit raw still and might need a few years to really come around.

  • mmandia

    @redteg02 I think the biggest issue is that he hasn’t been able to get on the field.

  • redteg02

    @redteg02 Found it. Taken from Mathew Berry’s love hate this week, ” Brian Daboll, the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, is quietly doing a great job of opening up this offense, as Moore’s 9.4 air yards per attempt is tied for fourth-highest in the NFL”.

  • redteg02

    @mmandia The problem with finding the field is that he is no better than the 4th best receiver on the team. Marshall, though he has had some really bad and angering drops, has been solid. Bess has fallen off, but continues to be a threat from the slot when actually used. And Hartline is very underrated in my opinion. It seems like he is constantly making plays or acrobatic catches when he is given the chance. Gates needs to earn his time like the rest. He won’t see the field more until he has shown something. In the limited action he’s seen he has done little to nothing to show that he warrants a larger role in this offense right now. On the other hand, in limited time Charles Clay has shown an ability to make tough catches and contribute to the offense. Clay is truly the one who deserves to be more involved in the passing game right now.

    To me there is nothing worse than when the dolphins go to 1 wide and it is Gates. Every time they have done that this year it has been a run.

  • mmandia

    @redteg02 All good and valid points. It’s always a chicken or the egg type of argument to me. Is he not producing because he can’t get on the field or he can’t get on the field because he’s not producing? Maybe he’s not getting the looks from Moore? It could be a myriad of reasons. I notice since Moore took over all the receivers not named Marshall have produced less. Oh well, I’d like to see more of Gates in the upcoming weeks, non the less. We know what we have with the other 4 guys.

    On your Hartline assessment: I’ve never been a Hartline fan before, but he’s shown me a lot this year. Some of those catches he’s made…..damn. It just makes me scratch my head when he drops the easy ones.

  • mmandia

    @redteg02 Yeah, those small school receivers frequently need years to develop. Considering the disparity between even the top tier schools and the NFL competition, it must be really difficult to transition from a D2 school.

  • mmandia

    @redteg02 Yes, I definately want to see Daboll retained this offseason. Another OC just means another 6-7 games of adjustment to a new system.

  • Lespaul

    @redteg02@mmandia clay dropped two yesterday…one sure long run and possible TD. So, drops aside…put Gates in and let him fly.

  • Lespaul

    @mmandia@redteg02 Jerry Rice was a small school receiver. Not very fast, couldn’t run NFL routes. I remember those were the knocks when he came out in 85. The Cowboys wanted him bad…could you imagine Rice and Irving on the same team? Anyway, he had the best hands coming out in the draft that year, but still needed some work on his route running. Gates has way more speed than Jerry ever did and hopefully can take that talent and grow into a stellar player. he is a young man and time is on his side…he just needs a chance.

  • redteg02

    @Lespaul That he did. There I go singing his praises and he goes and drops 2 passes he should have held onto. Oh well. I’m not against Gates or anything, but I do think that you earn time and looks by putting in work. If he is working harder than the 3 guys in front of him then he should get a chance. If not, I’m not a fan of putting a player in for the sake of “seeing what they’ve got”. If a player isn’t practicing hard, and I’m not saying Gates isn’t, he doesn’t deserve the playing time.

  • redteg02

    @Lespaul@mmandia This is very true. What made Jerry great wasn’t his speed or route running. Hell it wasn’t even the fact that he had the best hands in his draft class. What made Jerry great was his work ethic and dedication to being the best. At this level everyone is physically gifted, but only a handful understand that talent isn’t going to make them great and are willing to sacrifice what it takes to become great. DeSean Jackson is a great example of this. Sure he makes some good big plays here and there, but does he take games over? I really hope Gates can become great and is willing to put in the work.