DAVIE—This might sound like the Dolphins are in reruns, but they’re declaring high expectations for receiver DeVante Parker again.
After two decent-but-not great years, he seems to be straightening out issues and has looked good in the offseason program. Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen beamed when he talked about what he thinks Parker can do for Miami this season.
“I really think the lifestyle and routine is better,” Christensen said this morning. “Sometimes when those young guys come into this thing, it takes them a while to fall into the routine of what it takes to put your body in position, sleep, eating, practicing and being able to make it through a 16-game season, especially for a receiver where you’re just running so much.
“All those things have gotten better for him, and I think they’ll all combine for him having a great year this year. I really think he’ll have a great, big year—a gigantic year for us. That would be huge.”
Those are many of the things Adam Gase has mentioned over the past year. He said multiple times he wanted to see Parker make some changes that would help him stay healthier, ranging from nutrition to being reliable about coming to the facility for training and treatment.
There was progress for Parker, 24, coming off his injury-hampered rookie season. He went from 26 catches for 494 yards and three touchdowns in 2015 to 56 for 744 and four last year. He also jumped from playing 45 percent of the offensive snaps to 78.
The biggest problem for Parker in Year 2 was a hamstring injury that kept him out of the season opener and bothered him for months. That doesn’t seem to be an issue this spring.
“We’re kinda seeing what we were hoping to see, and that’s a healthy DeVante Parker—he’s running better than I’ve seen him run since I’ve been here—and a hungry DeVante Parker,” Christensen said. “He’s been around a lot more than last year. He’s practicing hard. He’s kinda zeroed in on this thing. We are seeing what we wanted to see out of him.
“What we need him to be is a big-play, No. 1 receiver. That’s what he has the potential to be; that’s what he has to be. We need him to play at a high level week after week after week in a consistent manner. It’s not easy to do, but he has the skills to do it, which not many guys do have, and now he’s applying himself.”
Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook