Adam Gase: Miami Dolphins’ Julius Thomas is a better run-blocker now

Can Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas regain form? (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — The whole idea is that Julius Thomas will stretch the middle of the field for Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins this season.

That Thomas will regain some of the explosiveness he showed when he played tight end for the Denver Broncos and Adam Gase was an assistant coach.

That Tannehill and Thomas will develop the type of chemistry the quarterback unfortunately never developed with Jordan Cameron, who once was supposed do to the aforementioned things as a notable free-agent acquisition.

But, of all things, what stood out to Gase about this more mature version of Thomas in mini-camp was a bit of a surprise.

Thomas can block now.

“I saw a different guy when it comes to the run game compared to when we were together in Denver; but it was a different scheme, so I think this fits him a little bit better,” Gase said this week.

In fact, Thomas (a college hoopster with minimal university football experience) was seen working on his blocking as much or more than any tight end or receiver during mini-camps. He was constantly working with coaches and blocking pads on the side of the field during and after practice.

This seems to be a committed Thomas, a player committed to showing he’s not at all the bust he was portrayed to be in Jacksonville.

Now for the pass-catching part.

Anyone who caught glimpses of Dolphins spring practice would suggest Thomas and Tannehill have a long way to go in the chemistry department.

RELATED: [Peyton Manning helped sell Miami Dolphins on Julius Thomas]

As much as Thomas has (and should have) a familiarity with Gase’s offense (since it’s very similar, of course, to the one they used in Denver)  the whole rhythm-timing-harmony elements of any successful quarterback-tight end combination are not yet present.

And hence, the very significant meaning of training camp (which opens Thursday) for Tannehill-Thomas.

“They spent a lot of time together, because he’s the newer face and him and Ryan (Tannehill) trying to get on the same page,” Gase said. “I like the process they went through. We had some good plays.”

A few good plays. A few not-so-good plays.

As Gase says (and he’s a straight-shooter) Tannehill and Thomas are trying to get on the same page.

If Thomas has improved his conditioning and is fortunate enough to experience improved health luck in Miami, he can be a valuable weapon for Tannehill, especially in the red zone.

Opposing defenses can’t possibly account for healthy and talented Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and Thomas with a balance that eliminates all aspects of the pass and run games.

As far as Gase sees it, someone should be open.

Miami’s offense has been built for big plays in 2017 (if the offensive line holds up, but that’s a novel for another day).

And so as Thomas, a very thoughtful, cerebral, intelligent player, tries to get the physical aspects of his game back on track (he has been, after all, a Pro Bowler), Gase sees Thomas also trying to process how he fits in.

Thomas’ role will be largely determined by how healthy he is and how much of Tannehill’s trust he can gain.

“(Julius is) trying to feel his role out in this team and he does a good job of that, because he’s a team guy first, and he’s always going to see how he fits in and where his skill-set fits in with the rest of the guys,” Gase said. “We’ll use him to his strengths and see how it fits in this year.”

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey says he’s received good news

Miami Dolphins sign CB Alterraun Verner; move LB Koa Misi to IR

Adam Gase: ‘I don’t have to tell [Jarvis Landry] anything’ about camp, contract

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi might start camp on unable to perform list

Dolphins C Mike Pouncey’s status undetermined 2 days before training camp

Miami Dolphins working out two veteran corners

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

0 comments