The 2013-2014 NFL season has been full of surprises for the Miami Dolphins up to this point. Nobody saw the Incognito-Martin fiasco coming, and many expected to see bigger and better things out of a bolstered Dolphins offense, especially regarding WR Mike Wallace. One of the most surprising surprises has been TE/FB Charles Clay. After Dustin Keller was lost to a pre-season injury, the tight end position seemed doomed for failure. Charles Clay proved otherwise.
Clay has blossomed this year considering that he came into the season as Ryan Tannehill’s fourth option in the passing game behind Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson. He has put up great numbers considering his lack of targets (his 60 targets are 25 less than Hartline and Wallace’s 85), totaling 474 yards and 4 touchdowns. His numbers this year are already career bests, and Clay has shown his versatility as well, rushing for a TD earlier in the season against the Indianapolis Colts.
My biggest concern right now with OC Mike Sherman and Miami’s offensive game plan is Clay’s targeting level. He has been Miami’s most consistent receiver when targeted, and his impressive catch and run for a TD last week against the Chargers was something out of an Adrian Peterson highlight reel. Why are we not getting this guy the ball more? Instead, Sherman seems content to try to fix the connection between Tannehill and Wallace, which is understandable. However, this should be coached and fixed in practice. We should use the offensive plays we have in games to work our strengths, which so far have included Charles Clay.
The Carolina Panthers are coming to Miami, fresh off a season defining victory over the New England Patriots. Miami’s best chance is to give this outstanding Panthers defense different looks and the ‘Fins must be diverse on offense. They might not have a more versatile athlete or offensive weapon than Charles Clay.
I just hope they’ll use him.