MIAMI BEACH—Nothing has gone quite like either side hoped since the Dolphins drafted DeVante Parker 14th overall in 2015. The team has been patient with him, but Parker’s tired of underachieving.
He dealt with a foot injury his rookie year and was hindered by a hamstring issue much of last season, and those issues are a big reason he’s started only 12 NFL games. He’s got three 100-yard performances in his career.
Miami offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said this month he anticipates a breakout season from Parker, and he shares those expectations.
“I’m tired of being hurt and not being healthy a full season,” he said this morning at a Fins Weekend fundraising event. “Expecting a big season this year.”
Parker, who is still under team control for three seasons, outdid all of his rookie numbers with 56 catches, 744 yards and four touchdowns last season. He was second on the team in all three categories.
Injuries haven’t been the only thing holding him back. Dolphins coach Adam Gase has raised concerns in the past about Parker’s dedication to off-field work with the training staff and his overall lifestyle when it comes to taking care of his body.
The accumulating frustration in games—“Basically the whole time I’ve been here,” he said—helped push Parker to make changes to his routine, and he said he’s changed some of his eating and sleeping habits. He’s also emphasizing strength training to prevent further hamstring flare-ups.
“I’m just really focused on leg workouts,” he said. “I still do upper body, but I want to do legs to get my hamstrings right for this season… It’s a bigger workload on the legs than I’ve had in the past.”
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