Miami Dolphins rookie tight-end Mike Gesicki looks to help in red-zone
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins thought so highly of Mike Gesicki that they wasted little time getting his name to the podium in last April’s draft. Now he needs to prove they were right.
Adam Gase has a plan and he isn’t talking to anyone about it. He is keeping everything with Gesicki so close to the chest that he isn’t targeting him in pre-season games. Is this a tactical ploy by Gase or is there something wrong with Gesicki?
The latter seems unlikely because most have been raving about Gesicki all through camp. It was reported yesterday that following practice, Gesicki and Ryan Tannehill stayed behind, just the two of them and worked on red-zone timing.
Which again makes you wonder if there is a problem.
The Dolphins have been horrible in the red-zone. They can get there but they can’t punch it ins and between pre-snap penalties, holds, and bad luck, the Dolphins find themselves watching the football sail through the uprights for three instead of one.
"“I think it makes teams really decide what they want to do. Do they want to man it up and see if he’s as good as sometimes we’ve talked about? Do they want to play zone and give us a chance to run the ball and try to stop the run with a light box? – Adam Gase Via MiamiDolphins.com"
It’s an interesting point that Adam Gase is trying to make here. Early in the season we may see teams really challenge Gesicki at the line and in coverage, as Gase puts it, “man it up” and see if he is the real deal. This will be Gesicki’s challenge in 2018 and frankly it could lead to more success in the red-zone if the succeeds.
Gesicki may hold the keys to the Dolphins red-zone offensive success. If he takes on linebackers straight up and wins, defenses will drop a safety to help cover or fold into a zone. In that case, the Dolphins running game should take over the box which increases opportunities as well.
If the defenses stack the box to pressure Tannehill, the quarterback has the speed to get out of the box and outside where he can make something work with his legs or make the read to get the ball to the open receiver.
Most of this hinges on whether or not the Dolphins get what they hope for out of Gesicki. The lack of quality tight-end the last eight years or so has hurt the Dolphins in the red-zone where they have had to rely on slot receivers and tail-back swing passes. Gesicki is in a position to change all that.