Monday, April 1, 2013

Dolphins' Matthews ‘just trying to contribute’ in '13


For a seventh-round rookie, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews saw a decent amount of work last season, thanks to a weak receiving corps.

Fast forward to 2013 -- the former Nevada product will be battling through a talented depth chart in hopes of some playing time.

Matthews spoke with’s Andy Kent recently about his expectations for the season ahead. He said that he’s planning to use his sophomore season as a learning year but will also take advantage of any chance he’s given to show his worth.

“I just want to try to learn all of the positions and I was talking to (special teams coordinator Darren) Rizzi about learning different positions on special teams,” Matthews said. “I’m just trying to contribute as much as I can and when I do get the opportunity actually make something happen.

“If the ball’s thrown my way I’ve got to catch it and if we need a first down then make the play and make things happen in practice and be consistent in the games.”

Miami’s offseason dealings currently have the team stacked -- in comparison to last year -- at the position. Returning players Brian Hartline and Davone Bess will now compete with free-agent pick-ups Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson for the top three spots on the depth chart while Matthews, who mainly contributed on special teams in 2012, will likely go back to his primary role.

Matthews told Kent that he’s grateful for the opportunity he was given last year as a rookie, which will make for an easier transition into this year’s preseason workouts — whatever his job may be.

“Having that experience and the first year behind me in this offense and in the league, that’s what it’s about," he said. "Now I know what to expect going into OTAs and training camp and I’m getting the chemistry down with [Ryan] Tannehill. We’re just all excited. We’ve got a young squad and a lot of talented players and I’m excited for this season.”

Matthews played in eight games last season, hauling in 11 receptions for 151 yards. Seven of his catches were for first downs.

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