Thursday, October 24, 2013

Belichick says Clay is 'more than just a receiver'


Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay has established himself as a very real factor in the passing game.

Clay has a touchdown reception in his last three contests and is averaging 12.7 yards a reception on 24 catches, including longs of 67 and 45 yards in two different games. But the New England Patriots, who host the Dolphins Sunday, aren't just preparing to defend his pass-catching work.

"He’s had long plays, he’s very capable with the ball in his hands," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday, via "I think he’s very competitive as a blocker too."

Clay's versatility has allowed him to be on the field for more snaps than any of the Miami Dolphins' running backs and half of their receivers.

"He’s more than just a receiver back there; he does a good job of being aggressive and sticking it in there, competing in the blocking game," Belichick said.

According to Pro Football Focus, Clay has been on the field to run block on 98 plays this season, more than fellow Miami tight ends Dion Sims and Michael Egnew, combined. Clay also has a rushing touchdown.

Sims, a rookie, has seen 103 total snaps to Clay's 317, mostly in run blocking situations. Sims, unlike Egnew, has a touchdown reception to his name. Egnew has seen the field 64 times.

"Egnew and Sims, they compete well as well, too," Belichick said. "They utilize all their personnel: all the receivers, backs, tight ends. They give you a lot of different things to defend."

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily