August 10, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Michael Egnew (84) can not make the catch in the endzone as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jacob Cutrera (51) and defensive back Larry Asante (36) break up the play during the second half of the game at Sun Life Stadium. Tampa Bay won the game 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins 2012 Player Review: Michael Egnew

{Cue the Violins} The doom and gloom that acts as Michael Egnew’s shadow, continues to follow him as waves of criticism pour in on the Miami Dolphins 2012 third round pick.

After a disappointing rookie year that saw him make the active roster only twice, the reviews coming in from all angles have been negative.

Dolphins analysts see him on the Clyde Gates Path fast tracked to the waiver wire and current players are giving anonymous quotes to the Miami Herald about how he should have been cut this year and that he’s a P***Y.

As the first form of return in last offseason’s trade with Chicago for Brandon Marshall, Dolphins fans and brass met Egnew with excitement over the promise of a big, fast, vertical seam threat.

With a college career at Missouri that featured a 2 year span of pass catching prowess, one would think the transition to the role of pass catching Tight End would come seamlessly.

But this is the NFL, where the big boys play, and not everyone is ready for that raise in the level of physicality.

Micheal Egnew proved nothing more this season than he was just one of those kinds of prospects.

One who wasn’t ready to play at this level, both physically and mentally.

The excitement Egnew was originally met with, started with getting assigned as roommates with Rookie and eventual Starting QB Ryan Tannehill in hopes to manufacture a budding relationship between the two.

But whatever relationship that was forged between the two ended in the dorms because once they got on the field there was no chemistry.

That’s because Egnew, a player who at 6’5 255 pounds running in the low 4.6 range was used to being one of the elite athletes on the field and didn’t come to camp with the necessary mindset or motor needed to make an impact as a rookie.

That slow start in practices led to harsh coaching and eventual public humiliation via cable TV on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman’s words, “If I were the general manager, I’d cut you” are probably still ringing in Egnew’s ears since training camp when Sherman ripped into the rookie during an infamous offensive meeting caught on tape.

I don’t know for sure but if any of his preseason play was an indication of his confidence, then I would say it was shaken.

It also seemed like he never managed to rebound or improve as the season wore on.

Being inactive for all but the last two weeks only due to injuries, doesn’t inspire much in the way of believing in his development.

Now while everyone is down on the prospects of Egnew ever becoming a contributor, for 2013 you have to look at the bright side and look for light at the end of the tunnel.

He’s still young with immense physical tools and the returning staff has him for an entire off season.

Athletes built like him are rare, so before I take out my broom and sweep him under the rug with the rest of the busts, I put his immediate future into the hands of the coaching staff.

Whether he fulfills his promise or not, in my eyes it’s up to the coaching staff to at least get him to be a competent player.

Coach Philbin and his staff preach player development, so in this case of a high pick under their reign; developing Egnew into a competent #3 active TE who contributes at least on Special Teams is critical to the development of their program.

Playoff teams are built by turning draft picks into competent players who either become stars or quality depth, not busts.

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