This past Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Charles Clay made an impact in the game and reminded everyone that he was still a big part of the Miami Dolphins offense. Clay, who has had a down year, led the Dolphins with 114 yards on six receptions. Prior to the game on Sunday, he had accumulated 416 yards on the season. Was his breakout game by design or was it just the way the game flowed? Bill Lazor says that it was a little bit of both.
“I think it was a mixture of number one, we know what we have in Charles Clay and we’re getting a clearer and clearer picture of what we have in Dion Sims. We feel good about our tight ends regardless of who we’re playing. Number two, we felt the matchup was probably going to work out well and I think what they chose to do led that to be the case. But still you call a pass play for them; you still have to throw the ball to who’s open. For example, on the last play --the touchdown -- most of the time in practice I’d say the ball probably goes to Brian Hartline. You run the play, they run the coverage, they run it goes to Damian Williams who scores a touchdown. That’s sometimes that’s how it happens.”
Joe Philbin said that he was happy with the way that Clay played on Sunday and admitted that it’s hard for a tight end to get 100 yards every week but they still have high expectations for him. Philbin also downplayed the fact that he’s been injured most of the season.
“I’m not saying we game plan. We had certain plays in the game-plan where schematically he’s number one in the progressions. Sometimes it works itself out that it’s exactly right, the protection is right, the decision is right and the throw is right. I was happy for him. As I’ve said many times, he’s one of our harder working guys. I thought he played well. He’s been healthy this year. We wouldn’t have put him out there if he wasn’t healthy.”
Clay will be a free agent after the season is over on Sunday and it’s unclear whether or not he will return. If you read between the lines from Philbin, it sounds like they expected much more of him this season but for one reason or another, Clay wasn’t able to get the job done. It will be interesting to see how that plays out when the Dolphins can start re-signing their own players.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs