Mike Gesicki stars in Miami Dolphins loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins played their home opener against the division rival Buffalo Bills. Miami kept it close, but Josh Allen and the Bills were able to put the game away late. There were a plethora of reasons why the Dolphins were unable to get their first win. Young tight end Mike Gesicki was not one of them.
Gesicki had himself quite the day against the depleted Bills’ linebacker group. He hauled in eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Those 130 yards set a franchise record for receiving yards in a single game by a tight end. One of those eight catches was an insane one-handed, highlight-reel play. He was the best player on the field for Miami and is showing great promise.
After being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, there were some big expectations for Gesicki. Coming out of Penn State, he was expected to be a middle of the field and red zone weapon for the Dolphins, especially after he dominated the NFL scouting combine. He failed to meet those expectations in his rookie season. His inability to block was put on full display in former head coach Adam Gase’s offense. Admittedly, he did not fit in the offense. Gase routinely put him in one on one pass blocking situations against pass rushers. He also only hauled in 22 receptions, scored zero touchdowns, and would routinely fall down on routes.
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In 2019, Gesicki was placed in a new offense. Offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea was bringing over a version of the offense that Josh McDaniels has been running in New England for over a decade. The Erhardt-Perkins offensive system has produced encouraging results for tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Martellus Bennett, and most recently, Benjamin Watson.
Early on, Gesicki’s struggles continued. However, that may be attributed to how awful of a football team the Miami Dolphins were to begin the 2019 season. Towards the end of the season, he really started to turn things around. He became a favorite target of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and scored three touchdowns in the final two games.
Coming into his third season, Gesicki was placed into his third offense. Chan Gailey came out of retirement to coordinate the 2020 Miami Dolphins offense. Gailey only had success with one tight end, Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, but has had success with big athletic players like Brandon Marshall.
After two weeks, Gesicki looks like he’s finally turning the corner in his career. Tight ends tend to develop slowly. Expecting everyone to be like Rob Gronkowski and score ten touchdowns in their rookie season is unfair. There’s a reason he may be the greatest of all time. Going forward, Gesicki may become Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target. Devante Parker is likely to draw every team’s number one cornerback. The young Preston Williams has struggled mightily through two games. With his size, speed, leaping ability, and strong hands, Mike Gesicki is an absolute weapon for the Dolphins.