Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dolphins have some answers at TE, some questions


The Miami Dolphins spent a load of money shoring up their wide receiver corps last offseason but did little to address the tight end position, an increasingly important part of today's NFL passing offenses.

They did sign former New York Jet Dustin Keller as a one-year stop-gap, but a preseason knee injury left Miami with just third-year H-back Charles Clay, second-year project Michael Egnew and fourth-round rookie Dion Sims to help at the position.

Clay was the unquestioned starter, tallying 69 receptions and a team-high six touchdowns in a breakout season.
But with Clay playing out of his ideal position, new general manager Dennis Hickey is certain to re-evaluate where his team is at the tight end spot this offseason. Particularly, the Dolphins figure to be in the market for a downfield seam threat that the 6-foot-3 Clay would be hard-pressed to fill.

Miami does feel that Sims, who was targeted just nine times in 2013, did improve during his rookie season and can be more than a blocking specialist going forward.

"You needed a guy who could compete at the point of attack and he does that,” a Dolphins source told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "He’s versatile, athletic, will be a very good No. 2 tight end."

Evidence of these abilities won't be found on the game tape from this past season, nor from second-year reserve Michael Egnew, who caught just seven balls on 10 targets. It'll be a top task for Hickey on offense, behind reconstructing the offensive line, to assess this group and decide if and how many new faces are needed.

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