Monday, June 3, 2013

Dolphins like that Keller is 'not only a tight end'


The Miami Dolphins bolstered their vertical game this offseason by adding former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace to man the perimeter.

But it's an addition to middle of the field that now second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill said the team needed in order to take a step forward. (photo: June Rivera, Flickr)

"I’m getting to know (Dustin) Keller more and more each practice," Tannehill said last week of the former New York Jets tight end. "... he does a great job of getting releases and getting vertical downfield, which will be a big part of our offense. It’s something we added and we needed from last year.”

Keller not only fills the void left by the departed Anthony Fasano, but he builds upon it, as Keller is more dangerous in the pass-catching department. His run blocking is suspect, but Miami drafted Dion Sims to help in that regard.

"Keller is a good receiver," Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall said last week. "He’s not only a tight end, he can get out into his routes where I play."

The now sixth-year veteran averaged 53 catches and caught 15 touchdowns through his first four seasons with the Jets but hauled in just 28 passes and two touchdowns during an injury-plagued 2012 season. He was Mark Sanchez's favorite target for most of that span thanks to his reliability and high capability in running routes.

Keller opted to sign a one-year contract with the Dolphins instead of a multi-year deal the team reportedly had on the table, as he wanted to prove he was worth more than the free agent market had in store for him at the time.

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