A year after breaking out and putting the NFL on notice, Charles Clay didn't have a great year in 2014. Yes, he was battling injuries throughout a part of the season but there was a feeling out period between offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and Clay.
This period took more than half the season for Lazor to figure out how to properly utilize him in the new offensive system. This was evident as Clay finished the 2014 season with 58 receptions for 605 yards and three touchdowns. As the saying goes though, it's better late than never.
Because Lazor was able to see how valuable Clay is to the offense, the Miami Dolphins plan to make a contract offer to Clay within the next few weeks. This news is according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Dolphins like what Clay brings to the table and considering he's only 26, he's a prime target for them to lock-up. Earlier this season, Lazor had this to say about Clay.
"The more I’m around him, the more skills I see that he has. We’re trying to expand some of the things that he can do in some of the routes we ask him to do. The only limitation is time. He works on something he tends so far to get it and look natural at it."
If the Dolphins are able to get Clay back in the fold, they'll be able to continue their plan of using a two tight-end attack during the 2015 season. That's because they have been impressed with the development of Dion Sims and want to get him more involved in the offense.
“I think evolved, grown, matured, developed, all those words would describe Dion." said Lazor. "He missed a little bit of time there with a toe injury. Before that, he had started really coming on. We were excited about it. Then he missed a little bit, but as he came back obviously he’s just gotten better. His production has gone up, and when Charles (Clay) is out we do a couple of things to make up for that. We’ve played four receivers at the same time a little bit more during the last couple of game. At the same time, Dion has played more plays than he had for us before. He’s become reliable. I think that he caught all four (passes) that were thrown to him. It isn’t easy, and big (catches) in the fourth quarter. I think that’s another player who’s confidence is going up, and our confidence in him is going up.”
The Dolphins would be smart to get Clay under contract and could likely buy low considering his lackluster production this past season and of course, the knee injury that he battled. That would be one less hole the team needs to worry about heading into the upcoming season.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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