Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Without Keller, Fins to lean on Gibson in slot


When tight end Dustin Keller's season was ended by a catastrophic knee injury earlier this preseason, the Miami Dolphins lost one of their best vertical receiving threats, and one who was expected to improve the offense's ability to attack the middle of a defense.

Filling the void created by the loss of Keller will be difficult, but the Dolphins feel that another free agent addition will help accomplish some of the same things on offense.

Wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who joins the Dolphins this year after four seasons with the St. Louis Rams, was brought in to be a bigger, faster slot target than Davone Bess, who manned the slot receiver position for Miami in 2012.

After recording five receptions for 43 yards and a score in Saturday's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gibson has his teammates excited about what he adds to the offense from the inside receiver spot.

"That’s what we brought him here to do, win in the slot for us," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Monday. "I think he’s going to do that all year.”

Gibson will be asked to do some different things in Miami than he did in St. Louis, where he primarily served as a boundary receiver. According to his new signal-caller, Gibson has picked up on the intricacies of the position well so far.

"He’s kind of new to this [because] he didn’t play in the slot last year, so he’s learned a lot," Tannehill said. "You can see him just getting more comfortable running the routes and really did a great job getting open. He's a weapon, and we plan to use him.”

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