“The Dolphins could benefit from having an in-line blocking tight end because Miami’s depth at that position is thin.
This particular part of the column bugged me because Kelly consistently and constantly criticized Gesicki’s blocking last year.
Gesicki is a 6’6” 245 pound tight end. His job is to set up mismatches in the passing game, not block. Admittedly he didn’t do as good of a job at that as most would have liked last year, but he’s still developing and it was apparent that he wasn’t ready to take on a bigger role. We shall see what happens this year when you could reasonably expect a second round tight end to bloom.
Personally, I thought Dave Hyde, also at the Sun-Sentinel, provided a more sensible analysis:
“The Dolphins’ signing of tight end Dwayne Allen says: (a) new offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea liked Allen in New England; (b) they’re not happy with blocking tight ends like fourth-round pick Durham Smythe or Nick O’Leary; c) they’re not going to ask Mike Gesicki to be an in-line blocker anymore.
This I can get on board with. Allen is an upgrade to Smythe, who will now be a backup, because he can both block and catch. And, yes, the Dolphins are rebuilding, not tanking. If you are tanking you don’t sign anyone who can help. Rebuilding means targeting only players that you think will be a part of your long-term future.
Which brings me to my only real criticism of the deal. At 29 years old, Allen is just a little older than I’d like. But rebuilds nowadays can happen quickly and it's unlikely that two years down the line at 31 years old the Dolphins will have any major regrets about the signing, particularly if Allen brings a locker room presence that can help younger players develop.
“Sam Young, who filled in admirably for an injured James as the starting right tackle for the final eight games of the 2017 season, is also a free agent. It is unclear at this moment if Miami intends on re-signing the former St. Thomas Aquinas High standout.
None of those veteran options look particularly tantalizing and it's unlikely that the Dolphins are going to find a good solution in free agency.
Given that the current make up of the Dolphins brain trust is very Patriot heavy, you wonder if they aren’t planning to follow the New England offensive line model. New England rarely pays their offensive linemen, preferring to develop unknown players and turn them into Pro Bowlers. Turning Trent Brown into one of the league's top left tackles only to let him go to the Raiders for a record contract this offseason is the latest example.
I’m all in favor of the Dolphins pulling off similar feats but I doubt they can pull it off without New England coach Dante Scarnecchia, who is universally acknowledged as the best offensive line coach in the business. Is Dolphins line coach Pat Flaherty in Scarnecchia’s class? Not that I ever heard.
Something tells me that if the Dolphins are planning to spin straw into gold on the offensive line the way New England does, they are in for a rude awakening.
“’I think that his height was inflated,’ an unnamed scout told Dan Patrick on Tuesday, and Dan relayed the story on the Wednesday edition of his show. ‘Maybe it’s the tin-foil hat theory. I just don’t see it. If he refuses to be measured at the Pro Day, that will be telling.”’
If it's a tin hat theory, then it's going around because I’m wearing a similar one. The possibility that this number wasn’t accurate was the first thing I thought of when I heard the result. Murray was measured at 5’9-5/8” at Oklahoma. Suddenly he is half an inch taller, meaning that his college substantially underestimated his height rather than inflating it as is the more standard procedure.
I’m having a hard time with that.
“I think he just wants to flex his power He has small [man’s] syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”
Bennett also let it be known that he will be staying in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem this season:
“’I explained to them is that my integrity mean everything,’ Bennett said, according to ESPN. ’I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual.’”
Yeah, Bennett is an individual alright. Just like his brother Martellus, Michael is an individual to a fault.
There’s a reason why Bennett will be going on the fourth team of his career (the Seahawks twice) and the third in three years. He’s an immature, high maintenance player who can be a handful in the locker room. The Patriots are betting that they have the culture to tame Bennett but it says here that if he plays for them in 2019, he won’t be there in 2020.
Talented as he is, New England could be his last stop.
I have never like the league’s procedures for replay and in my opinion this is a step in the wrong direction. The challenge system for review is hopelessly broken in part because NFL coaches are expected to do both their own job and that of the officials under the current rules.
I really don’t care what sort of system the league implements but it should be one that relieves coaches the responsibility for cleaning up the mess created by poor calls.
Personally, I favor an extra official in the booth who is responsible for deciding whether a play should be reviewed. And, of course, any on-field official should also be allowed to request a review of a call they weren’t sure of.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
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